2020 Theme: Slow – Preferred, Not Required

A couple months ago I wrote about the possibility of having my job eliminated. It is a bit stressful but at the end of the day “what happens if you just took the summer off” statement from Mr. BMM helped. I have been applying to a couple jobs a week. It is interesting when job descriptions state that a degree, skill set, or certification is “preferred, not required.” I asked a person in the compensation department about this statement. They explained that the compensation reflects what is required. Never what is preferred. Hmmm. So I asked, “If a job description says a high school diploma is required but a PhD is preferred, then the company will only pay me based upon the high school diploma?” There answer was yes!

Beyond job descriptions and companies not paying for the “preferred” stuff, I think this idea of preferred, not required has a better place in our personal lives. I hear the phrase “I’m too busy,” “My to-do list is a mile long,” or some variation of those phrases way too often. How much stuff on that to-do list is preferred, not required? Give that to-do list the side eye and really look to see what is actually preferred, not required.

Here is a list of things I find are required:

  1. Grocery shopping/meal prepping – I could go out for meals but my priority is to eat healthy on a budget. It is much easier to grocery shop and meal prep to achieve my priorities. As a result, grocery shopping/meal prepping makes the required list.
  2. Clean the bathroom/kitchen – These are two rooms need a daily touch up and weekly cleaning.
  3. Running/Strength 3 times each a week – Health is a priority. Both running and strength workouts are a priority.
  4. Clean clothes – This isn’t Naked and Afraid goes Real World Style. It’s the “real world” and we need clean clothes. Don’t confuse this requirement with clean vs. dry clean/iron/labor intensive. Our wardrobes are simple and require little effort to keep clean and looking good.
  5. Run the robotic vacuum – We have a Rottweiler that sheds a Chihuahua every day and my allergies required an almost daily run of the vacuum.

What is Preferred:

  1. Dust weekly – The requirement happens ever two weeks.
  2. Mop weekly – The requirement happens once a month. We don’t wear shoes in the house so simply running the robotic vacuum keeps the floors clean.
  3. Go to three different grocery stores – Not going to happen right now. I’m good with paying an average price for our groceries with either a grocery store pick up at a single location and popping into the periodic farmer’s market.
  4. Buying new seasonal decorations – Gave up decorating for the seasons and most holidays. I only find enjoyment in decorating a Christmas tree so two years ago I gave up decorating for all other holidays.
think outside the box

What has helped me the most with determining the difference between preferred and required happened when I had to outline my shopping rules for 2019 and 2020. Making those shopping lists really helped me focus on what really matters.

Try sifting through your to-do list to see what really matters. Call it an experiment. Just because today you find cleaning the bathroom a daily requirement does not mean that it always has to be a daily requirement. Experiment with doing it every other day.

If something is preferred, that means to me that it is not a priority at the moment. If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.

4 thoughts on “2020 Theme: Slow – Preferred, Not Required

  1. This is very insightful. I think it helps to reduce our stress if we differentiate between preferred and required. It’s almost like the difference between needs and wants when it comes to spending.

    Liked by 1 person

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