I just bought a few new t-shirts to wear during the day. They will make up my work-at-home attire. My rule is, however, that I cannot have more t-shirts than I can fit in one drawer and I have to wear the shirt that is furthest to the left.
So, I need to get rid of a few t-shirts to fit the new ones.
The question Marie Kondo suggests we ask when deciding to declutter/eliminate a possession is:
Does this bring me joy?
I like the question from Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism, even better:
If I didn’t already own this, how much would I spend to buy it?
To me this is more concrete than the “spark joy” criteria. If something does “spark joy,” like a shirt I love to wear and that reminds me of many fond memories, then I would spend a lot to buy it. But, if it’s just a shirt I somehow accumulated over the years and I try to avoid wearing, then I’m not likely to spend a lot (or any) money at all to buy it.
This approach applies to possessions and to projects, too.
We can’t evaluate a project simply based on whether it “sparks joy” since a lot of projects require hard work.
Instead, we might ask:
If I didn’t already have this opportunity, what would I sacrifice to obtain it?