This time of year, and Christmas Day in particular, makes me think of my favorite style, minimalism. I love capitalism and, to an extent, consumerism. Life is all about maximizing things — compassion, experiences, giving, love, passion and plenty of other things. Material possessions can sometimes help us maximize what we love the most.

Minimalism is all about using the minimum effective dose of something to maximize the results. Minimalism is about reducing waste, not things.

I often ask myself during the holidays, what am I wasting? Time? Money? Resources? Relationships. Being mindful of waste can turn to being mindful of purpose.

I apply this same practice in business, too. When dealing with customers, how am I being wasteful? When leading a team, what activities actually drive value and what activities provide no value? How can I remove work activities or clients that aren’t essential?

The ideal company has no waste. There is no wasted money, every penny spent is spent on purpse. There is no wasted time, work is completed in the fasted way possible. There are no wasted people, all employees at all level are satisfied, growing and producing.

In Six Sigma terms, every activity should be value-add to end customers and internal customers. There should be no non-value-add activities in the values stream.

Is this possible? Absolutely. Is this probably? Unlikely.

At this time of year focused on abundance, it is important to remember in our personal and work lives this one question: what am I wasting? Identify and then correct. If something does not provide value it must be removed