The Biggest Applied Lesson from 2022: Subtraction

Deducting the inessential to focus on the essential.

The Biggest Applied Lesson from 2022: Subtraction

When we first hear the word subtraction, we associate it with the mathematical operation of finding the difference between numbers. Even Google is of the same opinion. However, last year, I got a chance to be a part of an experience that changed the meaning of subtraction for me forever. No longer was it just math, but formed a core value to be followed in life.

Over this past year, I have found myself invariantly applying subtraction in different aspects of my life. Extending this knowledge over the past years, it seems to be a cornerstone, esp. executed by my major interests at a certain point of time. Bear with me as I elaborate further.

Subtraction is the simple concept of removing the unnecessary to make space for the essential. As you deduct more and more from your life, you will find more time to focus on that which requires your attention.

Subtraction by addition

Early this year, I was shared a process for accountability. As part of the process, I was to maintain an attendance register. The side where the names would go would hold a list of tasks to be for a month. The tasks would be split based on the following time periods:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

There would be more number of daily, a fewer weekly, and even less monthly tasks. Every 3 months, a quarterly tasks could be added, something like checking accounts and the P&L statement. The key to adding these tasks were the must do tasks should be maintained in the

"I don't have time"

To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to.” The trouble is you think you have time when most of your time is getting consumed by trivial pursuits. One of the major time sinks I have found is social media, in its gamed systems that are made to get you hooked on its content.