Sensible Defaults / Chapter 01

  1. Chapter 01 / Introduction the System
  2. Chapter 02 / The Physical, the Digital and the Mind
  3. Chapter 03 / Variety is the Spice of Life

Chapter 01

Why You Need A System That Gives Control And Agency Over Your Physical, Mental and Digital Worlds

Navigating modern life can be overwhelming.

We all have a great deal on our minds. We are surrounded by physical items. All the while, our digital worlds tend to grow to infinity. We all need ways to help us manage the noise and clutter that manifests in our lives.

We all either develop our own individual systems to help us deal with our lives, or let the pieces fall as they will. Maybe whatever system (or lack of system) you are using, is not working completely, which is what has brought you here. In search of an alternative that might hopefully address the waves of chaos in your life.

The intent of this series of articles is to establish an implementable system, that gives you agency and allows you to gain control of all these different elements.

Part of the issue stems from the fact that as humans, we are natural accumulators. We are constantly accumulating. The issue is then compounded by the fact that it seems to takes considerably less effort to accumulate as it does to discard. We seem to have more difficulty letting go of what we have, in the fear that is might come in handy in the future.

Any system seeking to define a universal approach to life is going to fall far short for all people. When it’s too broad it becomes harder to tailor to everyone’s unique situation. I’m a teacher. I’m a father. I’m an Engineer. I’m a mother. I am a student. I am a doctor.

Once you are able to see the elements of your life for what they truly are and what they actually mean to you, then you can decide on what to do with them. The challenge with the things that we all collect is that their status in our lives shifts in importance the longer they stay with us. They also shift in importance depending on where in your life they appear. Being able to understand these shifts and react to them is an essential skill that needs to be developed in all of us.

Our lives are complex, with a number of moving parts that are all competing with each other for attention and oftentimes supremacy. As we carry these parts around with us, they occupy physical, digital and mental spaces. The issue being that each one of these parts contributes overall to our mental overhead. The journey to reduce this mental overhead begins by defining those elements that are essential, followed by carefully considering what is enough to our overall wellbeing, with as little excess as possible.

Why is this even important? Why change the way you are doing things?

Being able to reduce and understand will give you agency. Agency over the world around you. Agency over your belongings that you are beholden to. Many (most?) of us have muddled through life as we try to navigate this world. The world gave us these things and we were tasked with understanding and managing them.

You’ll figure it out they said. They call it experience. They call it life lessons. While this is true, there has to be a system or method to help you on your way. A method that you can return to when things aren’t going to plan. We all need some help.

We all need Sensible Defaults.