Simplicity and minimalism are becoming hot topics in today's society. People feel the need to downsize in order to feel less frazzled. That's a good thing! Personally, I'm beginning the journey to minimalism–using baby steps. I find it difficult to jump headfirst into a new lifestyle. If you're like me, here are a few small steps you can take to begin to simplify your life.
If you feel the need to begin simplifying your life, eliminating the amount of things you own is a great place to start. Choose a finite number of items to get rid of (perhaps 20, 50, or 100—it’s easier than you may think), or choose to purge 10 items from each room in your house. A few places to consider:
- Your closet (creating a capsule wardrobe is a great idea!)
- Your desk (do you really need another set of pens?)
- Your beauty items (find a hair and makeup routine and keep only items that you use, no extras)
- Your "collections" (throw away old nail polish and consider donating any movies of books you don't need to watch anymore)
- Paper items (trash any old coupons/flyers and cut out the pages you want to keep from magazines)
Sometimes we give priority to less important tasks and people over those we really should care about. Try this exercise:
First, make a list of everything you need to do in one day. My list looks something like: school, homework, work, blogging, time with Caleb, time with friends, cooking, cleaning, relaxation.
Second, prioritize that list. For me, spending time with Caleb is number one, then important things like school, homework, and work come next.
Next, honestly decide if you can fit all those events into a normal day. I realized at the beginning of this year that I tried to fit too much into my days. How did I fix that? I began to say no to things.
Then, schedule out your ideal day, giving more time to things more important and less time to tasks that aren't.
In a world where multi-tasking is considered normal, even admired, people still aren’t getting stuff done as efficiently as they could. Simplify your to-do list by learning to single-task.
- Focus on having only one tab open at a time so you can truly engage with what you’re reading and learning. (This is hard for me. I currently have 22 tabs open…)
- Keep your desktop clean, clear, and organized so that you aren’t distracted or stressed out throughout the day.
- Avoid distractions by turning off the TV, putting your phone away from sight, and closing the door.
- Prioritize by focusing on what is most important first and moving to the next task as you complete them.
Nature naturally makes you feel good :) If you feel overwhelmed, spend some time outdoors. Take a walk, ride on a bike trail, eat dinner on the deck/patio, let nature inspire you!
Sometimes it feels like technology complicates our lives rather than simplifying it. But it doesn't have to be that way! Monitor the amount of time per day that you're on your phone, tablet, or computer (not counting work) and decide how much you can reduce your usage and still be satisfied. Even simple tasks like deleting emails can take up a lot of useful time. Take the time to unenroll yourself from campaigns or sign up for a service such as Unroll.me to clear out any unnessary email clutter.
What about you? Have you considered living a more minimalistic lifestyle?