Declutter your smartphone with our free minimalist wallpapers
The Minimalists The Minimalists
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC, and NPR.

Every Other Never

There are a few things I’ve been putting off lately. Meditating this morning. Cleaning my house this week. Finishing my taxes this month. This embarrassing list stretches on and on.

With my mounting task list, I’ve let my crastination turn pro. If I were running for public office, “I’ll get to it tomorrow” would be an honest slogan for my tacky yard signs.

Tomorrow? Well, today was once tomorrow, so if I want to break the cycle, I must pause and then prioritize my most important affairs. I know this intellectually, but it’s difficult in practice because it often feels like life gets in the way of life. Or, more accurately, everyone else’s life gets in the way of my life. Work, leisure, and family obligations prevent me from doing what I need to do.

But do they really?

The truth is that even my best excuse is still an excuse. Today, I have the same 24 hours as everyone else. The only difference is how I spend it—what I say yes to, and, just as important, what I say no to.

So, instead of a never-ending to-do list, I make three lists in the Notes app on my phone.

Today. My Today list functions like a to-do list but with one major difference: anything on this list must be completed today, so I’m careful about what creeps onto this list because these are the things I’ll say yes to over the next 24 hours; everything else receives a polite no, thank you. Today’s list includes: meditate, write, exercise, read, sauna, file taxes, prepare for a podcast, cook dinner for Bex and Ella, and make three business-related phone calls. If I don’t have enough time, I’ll wake an hour earlier, before the world is buzzing, so I can focus. At the end of the day, I’ll write a Tomorrow list at the bottom of this list, which becomes my new Today list in the morning. If anything from Today makes it to Tomorrow two times, then I either delete it or move it to the next list because it’s not a real priority.

Someday. This short list helps me collect aspirational considerations—items that are important to me but not urgent. These Somedays might eventually become a priority, but not right now. My current list includes: schedule lunch with a friend, do the laundry, grocery shop, plan a vacation, and consider a couple consumer purchases I’m still pondering. Eventually—as soon as later this week—some of these items will make their way onto my Today list, while others will fall by the wayside as I focus on more vital undertakings.

Never. These are the things I mustn’t do if my Today list is incomplete; they are imaginary values that clog the path to my priorities. It turns out that nearly half my compulsions make this list—watch TV, surf YouTube, check email, peruse social media, browse the news. However, the onus of these burdens is fake. I feel compelled by these distractions only because they are easier than hunkering down and drudging through more meaningful endeavors. Of course, everything worthwhile—and all the rewards—reside on the other side of the drudgery.

You May Also Enjoy

How to Start a Successful Blog Today

Learn how to start a blog in less than an hour. Follow the step-by-step instructions we used when starting our blog, which now has reached more than 20 million people. Creating this blog is one of the best decisions Ryan and I ever made. After all, our blog is how we earn a living. More important, it's how we add value to other people's lives. Read more

30-Day Minimalism Game

Let's play a simple game together. We call it the 30-Day Minimalism Game. Find a friend, family member, or coworker who's willing to minimize their stuff with you next month. Read more

11 Ways to Write Better

We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blog posts, emails, Instagram captions, or text messages, you are a writer. No matter your preferred medium, here are a few tips to help you write more effectively. Read more