I Wore The Same Tie To Work Every day For One Year
I’m not kidding.
And I have my reasons.
I recently had my first anniversary at my current job and I’m grateful. I’m content where I am. Aside from the tie requirement, the company is great. People are professionals. Work is manageable. And the pay is more than enough.
I’ve never been this financially secured in my life. I have a few purchases on credit that I have yet to pay completely but those are planned. There’s nothing to be worried about. I can afford a few nice things for myself if I wanted to.
I can definitely afford a new tie or two.
Minimalism Taking Over
I’ve been gradually adopting a minimalist lifestyle for over a year now. Although I’m not necessarily lavish, to begin with, I know there’s always room for improvement. And for me, there are all sorts of improvement to be had.
To be honest, wearing the same tie to work every day for one year was lame. And that’s fine with me. I wasn’t trying to look cool or hippie. I wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone either. But I ended up proving some things to myself.
The two most important of those are as follows.
First, I have proven that the benefits of minimalism I’ve been reading about two years prior are not just empty promises by bloggers and authors. They are instantly felt. And that you just got to try it for yourself if you’re so curious.
Which I was.
Second, I have proven that this minimalist shit that took over my lifestyle is here to stay. And having only one tie for one whole year is just the beginning. I’ll probably be passing up on more purchases and de-owning a lot more stuff in the years to come.
And I’m f***ing looking forward to it.
All of that said, this article is just my version of a minimalist blogger’s listicle of the benefits of minimalism. And it’s all about my tie.
Minimalism Doesn’t Just Save You Money, It Earns You More
Look at it this way. The average person owns at least five ties in any span of one year. At 250 Pesos each, I already saved 1,000 by having only one. And it doesn’t stop there. If I invested that 1,000 in the Philippine Stock Market (which I did, figuratively speaking), at my current portfolio,oneone-yearreturn of 25%, I would have earned 250.
Voila. That’s worth a new tie already. But I’m not buying a new one yet. I’m gonna wear this one until it chokes me on its own and begs me to let it loose. *wink*
Not gonna happen.
Minimalism Saves You The Most Important Resource, Time
It may seem trivial at first. But if you are doing it every day, it’s not. On average, a person spends 5 minutes deciding which tie to wear on a daily basis. It sounds counter-intuitive, but guys care about matching their ties to their shirts too.
Five minutes every morning sums up to twenty-five minutes per week. That’s almost two hours per month. I don’t know about you but if I had two more hours per month I’d be thrilled. That’s a few more TED talks to watch or a few more chapters of a great book to read. Or a game to play. Or time to spend with family.
Time is the most important resource. Imagine if you have fewer clothes and stuff to worry about. How many hours can you save? Two hours extra each month from having just one tie is plenty. That’s not even counting time saved on laundry. Or figuring out how to do different kinds of ties properly.
I just zip mine up and I’m ready to go. None of that reverse double Windsor knot bullshit.
Minimalism Helps You Make Better Decisions
“That’s the thing about decisions, even the small ones add up.”
Minimalism taught me the concept of decision fatigue. It’s quite cool to think that the reason some of the most successful people in the world like, Barrack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Christopher Nolan wears the same or very similar clothes every day, is to save their decision making power for the decisions that actually matter. And I believe that now.
Not that I make decisions with significant and sweeping consequences. I don’t.
Thank God I don’t.
But still, without a doubt, I can say that fewer decisions lead to better ones. For example, since I kepdecision-making making power intact this morning, I had the audacity to decide to write this on my commute to work instead of sleeping.
Minimalism Ups Your Consistency
“Only consistency ever brought lasting results, either greatness or mediocrity.”
This one’s my favorite because I’m one inconsistent fool.
A few months ago I was really into working out. At one point I was working out every day for two weeks. Then I stopped for no reason. Around the same time, I went vegetarian for a week. And then burgers happened.
Even my writing was so inconsistent. One day I got so excited about blogging that I wrote a lengthy sarcastic article in just a couple of days. But couldn’t follow it up for a few months.
Inconsistent fool, indeed.
But little by little, I’m changing that. I started by strangling my own neck with the same tie every morning at 7 AM from July 2015 to July 2016.
Well, it can’t get any more consistent than that.
In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explained that there are habits that start a chain of effect in the development of other good and more pervasive habits. He calls these “keystone habits”.
For most people, “keystone habits” relate to good health, like working out or eating healthy. They can also relate to a healthy mind, like reading or writing. Once they get a hold of these habits (or these habits get a hold of them), every aspect of their lives — relationships, career, finances — tend to trend positively upward.
For me it’s a little different. Actually, it’s the other way around.
Because I managed to strangle myself with the same tie every day at the same time, I get reminded to write at least one paragraph of anything (like this) on my commute to work. I’m also reminded to eat a little less during lunch, or eat a little healthier.
During the period that I wore the same tie, I also did not have even a drop of alcohol enter my system. Or a hint of cigarette smoke in and out of it. And I have a strong feeling that’s not gonna change in a long time, if not ever.
There has been a significant improvement in the consistency of quality work that I do too. And as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m in great shape financially.
And it feels great.
Just be consistent enough at one simple thing, then it sticks. Afterwards, move on to more important ones.
I admit, everything I’ve written is a bit of a stretch, if not downright unconvincing, to associate the benefits of minimalism to my laziness to buy a new tie (or anything really). But that’s just my own story. There are already a lot of minimalist bloggers out there that write about this lifestyle more seriously. I owe a lot to some of them.
If you read through the whole thing, you can’t deny that there’s something to minimalism that you just ought to give it a shot. And I hope you pull the trigger.
I did. And here’s what I can tell you.
Less is more is real. Very real.
And you don’t need new things. I wore the same sleek black tie zipping it up every single day for one year. Here’s the thing. The tie wasn’t even new. I had it since 2012.
And it still has a few months left in it.