Sensible Defaults / Chapter 02

Understanding Collecting

As human beings we are constantly accumulating and collecting - information, data, objects, memories, scars, pain, email, experiences and so on. This explains why there are so many methods, courses, apps and products designed to help you categorise, manage, store or replace items within your collections.

You will never cease to collect until the day you die. It’s part of being a human. The intention of Sensible Defaults is to start making you more mindful of the existing items in your life and allow you to consider any new ones that you choose to add. The intention is not to achieve the perfect equilibrium, as this will likely be a fools errand. Your needs will change throughout your life and constantly reviewing the items in your life in this manner is exhausting.

The aim rather is to allow you to arrive at a moderate point along your journey whereby most of your surroundings blend around you and where everything has it’s place and provides a specific function in your life.

There will be outlier elements that will likely need to be considered separately. Don’t get bogged down with these items to begin with. Turn your focus to the low hanging fruit first.

The Physical, the Digital & the Mind

Most people’s world is occupied across three distinct containers, the physical, the digital and that vast expanse of the mind.

This does not define every human being on earth. There are people in this world with no electricity, much less internet access and for those millions a digital container is irrelevant. However the other two containers definitely remain relevant.

Each container plays an important role in defining many aspects of our lives. Left unchecked, the containers have the potential to add infinite amounts of weight and baggage over time, like weeds in a garden.

The physical world is the most readily apparent, as everything associated with this container ultimately surrounds us, in plain view. While the digital world can be infinitely larger and potentially more dangerous if not taken into account and understood and managed. Finally, the mind has the absolute biggest impact on everything, as it will impact the way you interact with each of the other two container and has the most power over you.

The first step is to accept the concept of trying to divide your life into these three spaces and then providing the necessary maintenance to each one throughout different phases of your life.