On Being Minimalist, Or Not

I’ve been using Chris Brogan’s system of three words this year instead of goals or intentions or what have you. I would argue that I’ve actually been quite successful for the most part using this approach to direct my focus for the year.

My three words are healthy, minimalist & creative.

For healthy, I altered my diet, have daily mobility exercises that I do, I go to the gym a few times a week and as a result I’ve lost 50lbs and feel a whole lot better. As an aside if you want to know exactly what I’m doing send me an email. I’d be more than happy to help you guide you through the first month or so.

While it can be difficult to measure creativity I’ve been tracking the number of images in my lightroom catalog, the number of images finished and imags submitted to exhibitions. By these measures I’m on track to easily surpass the equivalent numbers for last year. All good there.

Minimalist? No so much. I knew this would be a tough one for me but something that I needed to get a handle on. I’ve revamped my financial accounting systems, so that I actually have them now, and would at least say that my spending is intentional and aligned with the things that are important to me but I’m still accumulating stuff.

I was reminded about this when I was thinking about the basics of the GTD system last week. While we dealt largely with how to sort and process collected items there are five steps that provide the foundation for GTD.

Capture – the collection phase, corral everything both physical and electronic that has your attention
Clarify – preliminary processing, what does each collected item mean? Is there an action associated with it?
Organize – parse out the actions onto the appropriate lists
Review – don’t let your lists become stale. Check in with them as often as needed to ensure that they are remaining current.
Engage – work the system to do the work.

What I’ve been finding is that having become healthier I have more energy and that funnels into being more creative and generally curious. What about this and what if that, questions that usually result in reading and the accumulation of more reference material. I’ve taken over the largest room in the house for my reference material and support materials for image making. Not exactly the behavior of a confirmed minimalist.

I’m almost ready to give up on the idea of being minimalist and instead ready to settle for being intentional and aligned with my larger goals. What about you? How are you doing with progress towards annual goals? Any that you’re ready to throw in the towel on? How are you dealing with that?

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7 thoughts on “On Being Minimalist, Or Not

      • It might not be a problem for the photographer – it is a problem for the audience. Because we are (here at least) continuously in a competitive mode and trying to indulge in contests, minimalism is the least favored type to look at. Needless to say how it is perceived when exhibited.

      • I will try to check on it thoroughly when I get the time to. Contests were not and are not my main concern, but because I’m a member in a photo club, their main concern is contests and some local activities – I guess it is normal that way since they need to make a name for the club after all. Thus, I’m just at their disposal when they need me to enroll in some contests and such!

  1. Hey, thanks for liking my blog, I find yours interesting also.
    Besides gardening, I am also an artist, a clay artist.
    I found some of your comments about photography similar to discussions that potters & clay artists have about their art. Enlightening the public is always a challenge, and is often more work than the art itself.

    • It’s interesting to me how ideas and issues translate across the arts and is one of the reasons my attentions roam widely. It does often feel like 20% doing and 80% all the other stuff. That can be frustrating at times. Thanks for stopping by!

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