The case for caring less: “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is actually great advice

Allie Volpe in Vox:

Caring less doesn’t mean negligence. To care less about inconsequential matters, you need to zero in on what is worth caring for. Consider taking stock of to-do list items and obligations and asking if these responsibilities make your day feel more spacious or more confined, Cohan suggests. Does it nourish your sense of creativity? Is it the best use of your time and talent? Does it make you feel exhausted? Do you want to spend your time and energy on this?

Eshaiker says to ask yourself, “Why do I care?” about various aspects of life. “Is this something that is aligned with my values?” she says. “Is this something that I believe is helpful for myself and for humanity?” If you feel compelled to care about something out of fear or wanting to be accepted by others, it may not be worth placing emphasis on it. Of course, there are nonnegotiable obligations — the basic functions of your job, caring for children, paying bills — which may not be life-affirming but require attention nonetheless. Once you define these true commitments, you can “divorce yourself from the concept of ‘I have to do it,’” Knight says, when it comes to other tasks you thought essential, like waking up at 5 am to do laundry when doing it after work will suffice.

More here.