Practical Minimalism

Practicing minimalism is not easy, but the rewards are well worth it. The modern world is a paragon of consumption, and we consume more than ever before. Our senses are overloaded with information, noise, and material possessions. But it’s not too late to fight back and regain focus on what matters

Today I’ll share with you a few practical tips I’ve used to effect a change in my own life. Minimalism really can change your life for the better.

1. Reduce Daily Decisions

I think most people know about decision fatigue, and throughout our days we are faced with many decisions. Most of them are irrelevant to our lives – they won’t change it in any significant way. What blazer am I going to wear to work? Do I eat eggs or oats for breakfast? Which shoes to choose today? 

Every decision we make costs us willpower and burns vast amounts of energy. Energy and willpower that can be used for creative outlets, changing lives, and the world. 

By practicing minimalism, we can eliminate a lot of these non-value-added decisions. Right shoes won’t change the world, nor will the color of the blazer we chose to wear today. Just look at Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and Christopher Nolan. They certainly have to make a lot of important decisions during the day, and what to wear is not one of them. Eating decisions may affect our productivity later (if we eat shit, we will feel like shit), but in the end, nothing substantial. 

Reduction of our daily decisions/choices can help us be more focused when we need to be. Minimalism is like a sharp razor cutting through the distractions of the modern world. When we narrow our focus on value-adding decisions, a natural consequence is that we confront fewer choices and make better decisions. It’s possible to do more with less.

2. Clarity is Key

Less is more in many situations in life, but when we speak, write, send e-mails or communicate, less is way more than we think. There is an old saying that God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Therefore, we should listen twice as much as we speak. Being concise is important, but it’s also difficult. Delivering our message, by stripping all the noise, distractions, and non-important details is more important now than it was a hundred years ago.

Between notifications, emails, social media, advertisement, etc. is hard to focus only on what is important. Let’s take an example of emails. We all know that no one likes to read long emails. They just take time and are a pain in the ass in most cases. Often, they leave us scrolling through dozens of words just to find the answer we actually need.

I know this because I was the person who wrote long emails. Entire stories. Somewhere within my long email, I would provide an answer. I thought I was doing a good job by giving explanations, examples, and so on. In reality, I was only wasting my time and time of others. Less is more. Today I try to write as short as I can and still provide the point. 

But don’t limit yourself only to emails. Be succinct with your language too. Wherever you can. When talking to someone, when presenting, when responding, and when giving directions. Clarity is found in less words.

3. Distractions are Productivity Killers

Do you want to be more productive and do more things in a day? Then stop procrastinating and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Notifications, calls, emails, likes, and comments on social media, talking to coworkers, etc., can break our flow of concentration. These distractions can ruin our productivity.

Minimalism can help reduce noise and thus improve our focus and productivity. Unplug, turn off, unsubscribe, unfollow. These simple, yet hard actions can do wonders for our energy levels throughout the day. Returning home to an uncluttered space, free of visual distractions and noise of the modern world, can have a profound impact on our mental being, happiness, and an increased sense of gratitude.

4. Declutter

If you don’t use it or like it, eliminate it. You don’t need things that don’t add value to your life. Closets full of clothes you haven’t worn in 5 years? Worn shoes with holes in them? Pictures on the wall that you hate? Garage full of useless knick-knacks? Get rid of them. Sell. Donate. Trash.

Removing stuff from your life can increase focus, limit distractions, and help you better appreciate the space you have. If you’re scared that you will lose something valuable, put it in a box, label it, and give yourself X number of weeks/months and after that time, if you don’t need anything from it, remove it forever. Check on the previous post on 15 decluttering tips for more inspiration about decluttering.

5. Stop Buying

The whole purpose of minimalism is to have only things that add value or bring us joy. Once we declutter, if we want to continue reaping the benefits of minimalism, we need to stop buying things we don’t really need. Spending intentionally, asking the right questions before each purchase, and focusing on things that can truly bring us value is critical.

When we stop buying, not only will we stop spending, but we will also save substantial amounts of money. That way will be easier to reach financial independence.

 

 

Get clear on what matters by getting rid of everything that doesn’t.

 

Cheers!

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