Time to prioritize

In the field of Economics, one of the first things that you learn is that resources are scarce. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is little of it. There many things that there are almost unlimited quantities of. Almost.

But the one thing there is never an unlimited quantity of is your time.

Even with all the money in the world, you can never buy enough time to do everything you want.

Opportunity cost is what you sacrifice in order to be able to do something with your limited time. You can’t go out and study at the same time. You can’t join all the clubs. You can’t have the convenience of fast food and be healthy. You can’t please everyone. You have to choose. There are rarely times you can have your cake and eat it too.

On top of that, there isn’t an unlimited amount of you. Whenever you are stretched too thin, you’ll find yourself with a large quantity of things, but without enough time or money to develop quality.

You can know a little about a lot of things, or a lot about a few things. You can have lot’s of friends that are really just acquaintances or you could  invest time in cultivating good, longer lasting friendships. You can help make a tiny impact on many people, or a change the life of a few people.

Neither is really wrong. By prioritizing what is important to you can discover for yourself which is better for you. Whichever you decide, quantity or quality, can be adapted in different situations; course, friends, clothes, food, skills, activities, to suit you. Sometimes it’s quantity that’s better, sometimes it’s quality.

When it comes to buying things, having stuff, minimalism is about definitely about quality over quantity. More wholesome and nutritious food over vast quantities of junk. More high quality, versatile and longer-lasting clothes/furniture/equipment over cheap and disposable stuff.

If you really want to get things done properly, you have to prioritize – choose what you want the most, because you can’t do them all, and it would be a shame if it was because of that you ended up not doing anything at all.

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On that note, I’m prioritizing writing for Minimal Student as part of my Five Focus of 2011. This year, I’m aiming to publish more frequent, shorter posts like this one, tell me what you think! You can also follow my Twitter which I now update daily with what I’m up to, minimalist tips and awesome links.

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  • Andre

    Although I’m sure that I understand this truth intellectually, I’m also sure, that my subconscious/real self/heart/whatever you name it did not understand it yet, because otherwise I would act according to this truth… Probably I should contemplate on what to focus this year to help me understanding this truth. Anyways, thank you for your reminder.

    By the way, I like the idea of shorter but more frequent articles, because sometimes it’s better to provide some brainfood to think through by yourself. But I’ve to admit that the length of those articles depends mostly one the idea communicated. In short, I trust you to find the right balance.

    P.S.: I added your Twitter feed to my feed reader, nice. :-)

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Dear Andre,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Actually, it inspired it’s own post so look out for it!

      And thank you for having faith in me to find the right balance, I really appreciate it. I hope you’ll enjoy the posts!

  • http://www.momentumgathering.com Katie

    We really are on the same page these days, Jessica. I’m also in the process of looking for ways to simplify, prioritize and choose quality over quantity. It’s difficult when you run a blog because everyone is screaming at you to write more, do more, have bigger numbers. Whether your posts are short or long I don’t think matters as much as if they are posted and you are writing them because you have something to say vs. you are feeling you should write something. Andre makes an excellent point – “find the right balance”.

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Hi Katie, yes I think we are! Blogging is a beast of it’s own that’s hard to deal with sometimes, but yes if we find the right balance we both know it can be very rewarding too. I’ll definitely keep in mind though that every post should ‘have something to say’ rather than being there simply to fill in that week’s schedule, I think that’s what really makes a blog people want to read.

  • Nick Brook

    Although I would love to be able to read a new post by you every night, I understand that it is better to have these amazing posts once a week than rubbish posts everyday, so I agree with the above, do what feels right for you.
    Is this similar to what you began doing (then dropped?) with the Simple Philosophies section of your blog?

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Dear Nick,

      Thank you for all your comments! I know I talked about quality vs. quantity here, but it don’t worry, you know I would never publish anything below par just to simply get a post out! I have a feeling you’ll enjoy the new posts ;)

      As for the Simple Philosophies section, I know I said they would be weekly, but at that time I only had time to publish once a week, which would have meant a blog full of simple philosophies! Haha, so I’ve edited the posts and now they will come out periodically, I think it’s better that I publish good ones when I write them and not be restricted to a time schedule. Thank you again for you comments!

  • http://luinaemcanish.blogspot.com Luinae

    I’d rather have blog posts that are super amazing every once and a while, then little ones all the time. But of course, you have to do what’s right for you.

    I also completely agree with the post- I can’t do everything, so I select what’s really important. That’s what minimalism is about, to me.

    • http://minimalstudent.com Jessica

      Hey Luinae, thank you for participating in the discussion here again! I really appreciate that you trust me to do what feels right for me, I would never let my readers down, and what if all the posts are amazing? ;)

  • J

    Great blog 頑張ってね