Do you often think, "How can I improve my daily routine?" If so, you may be one of the many people who are working to optimize their lives. While wanting to improve your experiences is a great idea, perhaps you're spending too much time optimizing your life as opposed to enjoying your life. Do you often search for the next best cleaning gadget or technological advance, so you don't have to spend so much time doing things in your daily life? When you optimize your life, it requires your time and energy to make your system perfect. Maybe it's time to stop optimizing your life. Take a step back and ask yourself why you need to revamp all aspects of your life.
It's possible that you optimize things so that you can feel that you're in control, you're making things better, or that your life is so much more productive. However, you don't need to do all those things to know and affirm that you care about yourself. You don't need everything to be perfect to show that you are giving your all.
It's not exactly wrong if you choose to optimize your life. But you also have to think if it's absolutely necessary that you do so. Is it something that you get enjoyment from, or is it causing you more stress? Are you mindfully living or are you living mindlessly? If it turns out that optimizing is causing you more harm than good, then maybe it's time to reconsider your decision and drop it altogether.
When you optimize your life, you spend time and energy upfront so you can set up your system perfectly. Ideally, when you're done setting everything up, you're going to save so much effort after that. But is this really the case?
For most people, they don't enjoy the benefit of the system they've created because they forget about it. They forget that the whole goal of optimizing is that they'll set it up once, and then things will be much smoother from there. But when it doesn't work out because the system is flawed or you stop caring about it, you keep trying to revamp your life over and over again, therefore wasting more time. In the end, you spend more time working on a system you never really use.
Frequently, people who optimize and keep on optimizing fall into the trap of dissatisfaction. You try to make things perfect, so you keep on working on making it perfect. However, you know for a fact that perfection is unrealistic and unattainable. If you're too focused on daily habits to improve life, you may lose out on actually experiencing life. The quest for perfection will leave you feeling dissatisfied and frustrated because nothing you do will come close to the idea you have in mind.
You can put in so much work into optimizing your life, but it will never be perfect, and where does that leave you?
So, instead of always running toward the horizon which you'll never reach, why not learn the value of contentment and mindful living? You can only do so much for something, and most of the time, what you give to make something work is more than enough.
Before you try to revamp or reorganize your life, ask yourself, "What is my state of mind?" You have to carefully assess if you're genuinely trying to optimize your life, or you're just creating a distraction for yourself. Maybe you think that you can't work on your task until you find that perfect software to improve your productivity. With so many choices available, you're going to spend too much time choosing which one you want to use. You could have worked on your task instead.
The process of optimizing can be a significant distraction for you. You lose focus on what you should be doing. If you're on a diet, you don't need to get every calorie counting app so you can measure your food intake to the last calorie. It's self-discipline and commitment that you must instill in yourself. You can have all the best apps out there, but if you continue eating unhealthy foods, then nothing is going to help you.
Imagine that you can finally attain that perfection that you've been working so hard to achieve. What are you going to do next? Now that everything is optimized and all is working perfectly, what else is there to do? Chances are you're going to get bored in a matter of days. A perfect life is a boring life. You've got what you've wanted, but now, how else are you going to make meaning in your life?
As you can see in this scenario, there's something magical about doing something that requires effort. Most of the time, the point of doing something is not the end product but the process. Some people don't really mind not eating what they cook because they love the process of cooking. They enjoy letting others enjoy the food because the goal was to experience the act of cooking. Having a cook would optimize their lives, but it wouldn't be as much fun.
Coffee lovers may buy ground coffee in the grocery, but some would rather buy whole beans so they can grind the coffee themselves. Some even roast the beans on their own so they can have control of the entire process of their coffee-drinking experience. You surely have something in your life that you enjoy, and you don't need to optimize it. That would take the fun out of living.
Optimizing is good if it genuinely makes your life better. However, if you end up feeling worse than before you started, then it's time to rethink if it's even necessary. Everyone seems to be so focused on this optimization process that they lose focus on what's truly essential.
Find out why you do what you do and if you get enjoyment and happiness out of them. If you're happy with your process, then why change it, right? Optimization can be excellent for some aspects of your life, sure. But you're going to have to decide what works for you and what makes you happy and fulfilled.
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