Skymall magazine disappeared from the kneespace of commercial flights everywhere about two years ago. It was a mildly interesting diversion, but by shedding it American Airlines may have saved up to $350,000 a year on fuel.

So too I have shed a lot of things from my own mind. I have clothes that more or less mix and match. I have a number of quick meals that I go back to rather than making something new every time I cook. I believe that with each year of life, I’m more successful at not over-dwelling on things that are low priority. If we tried to grapple with everything it would use a lot of bandwidth.

To prevent this, I try to think of the most important things I should be doing, finish them, and then do something pleasant. Having clarity of mind allows one to immediately meet new, unexpected challenges and focus on getting through them.

Stress is unhealthy, and we ought to try and maintain a mixture of zeal and repose in our lives. Controlled breathing or other practices, eating a good mix of micro and macronutrients, getting adequate sleep (the hardest one?), learning things in multiple sessions rather than all at once, and jettisoning unimportant trivia in the search of meaningful truth are some of the things I incorporate in my own life.

In short, the things we pay attention to end up dictating how we allocate resources throughout the day. I would encourage everyone to identify the most relevant work they should be doing and start now. Just don’t forget to seek balance as well.

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