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I recently listened to the audiobook ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Sarah Knight, which I picked up for a bargainous £1.99 at Audible. The book is a parody of Marie Kondo’s cleaning revolution ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, and even though it’s a parody, it actually has some useful advice. Knight’s advice is very simple – just like Kondo suggests tidying up by collecting all your belongings and deciding what sparks joy, Knight suggests mentally gathering up all the things you care about deciding whether or not they are worth it. The book promises to help you stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do – all very good to ensure you make the most of your precious, precious time!
“You first decide on the things you do and don’t care about, and then don’t give the negative things another thought.”
Knight’s advice is to follow the ‘not sorry’ method. You make a decision on what you do and don’t care about, and the things that aren’t worth your time? Poof! They’re gone from your radar. She first suggests that you break the thoughts down into 4 categories: things, work, friends/strangers/acquaintances, and family – and deal with them in that order. You first decide on the things you do and don’t care about (she is very clear that it’s not all about hating everything, it’s about allocating your time to the things you love) and then don’t give the negative things another thought. However, it’s important not to be a dick when you stop caring about the situation, especially when someone’s feelings are involved.
Some things will be easier to get rid of than others. Easy Example: I don’t care about the X Factor. I don’t watch it, I don’t read about it, it does not interest me at all. If someone asks me about it, I will politely say that I don’t watch it and move on. I don’t say it’s rubbish, or that I hate it, or anything like that. I’m not a dick, but I don’t expend any time thinking about it – and I have more time to watch Gilmore Girls. Difficult Example: A close friend invites you on a night out for their birthday and you really don’t want to go (because you hate nights out so much!). You know that the friend really wants you to go, and the easy thing to do would be to say ‘yes I’ll go’ then either a) go and be uncomfortable or b) worry about it until the night then be ‘ill’. Following ‘not sorry’ you should think about being honest with the friend, saying something like “Thanks for the invitation. I’m really not a fan of nights out. Why don’t we have a night in next week, just you and me.” And don’t forget the nice present.
“You know that the friend really wants you to go, and the easy thing to do would be to say ‘yes I’ll go’ then either a) go and be uncomfortable or b) worry about it until the night then be ‘ill’.”
The rewards you’ll reap are time, energy and money. Some things you stop caring about will save you: time – such as not attending events you don’t want to; energy – worrying about stuff that you can’t change or that annoys you is draining; and money – think of all the cash you’ll save if you don’t buy things because you feel you ‘have’ to. This in turn will give you more time, energy and money to spend on the things you enjoy.
I really enjoyed this book. The ideas were very sensible, and the delivery was funny and engaging. As you can guess from the title, the language is a bit colourful, so the first thing you have to ‘not give a f*ck about’ is swearing, otherwise you won’t get on with it at all! I’ve made a start already – I told someone at work the other that I’ve given up caring about the things I have no control over – and I’m doing my best to stick to it. Someone hasn’t hit their deadline? Too bad, I hit mine! Someone sends a stupid reply because they didn’t read my email properly? We all make mistakes, so politely look at how I can resolve the situation without the phrase ‘as you can see in my email’. Didn’t get picked to guest post on someone else’s blog? I’m sure whoever they picked is great, and I can’t wait to read their piece. And not a care was given by me. I feel richer already!
‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Sarah Knight is available from Amazon.