The Power of Minimalism: 7 Ways To Simplify Your Life
“Minimalism is more than a buzzword or popular trend. It’s a way to gain more control over your life. By identifying different areas where you can simplify and downsize, you eliminate unnecessary clutter. The following are 7 ways to simplify your life and increase your sense of well-being.
1. Learn to Make Decisions Quickly
Indecisiveness is a sneaky kind of cutter that leaves you feeling confused about the direction you’re taking. When you spend months on every decision, you waste time and expend valuable energy. Be careful about doing too much “”research”” on an issue. After a certain point, researching becomes procrastination.
When it comes to minor decisions, such as what you’re doing to have for dinner, what to wear, or what to watch on TV, just decide. The consequences are not severe and if you don’t like the results, you can make a different choice next time. This may sound trivial but people really do spend lots of time on small, everyday decisions without even realizing it.
Of course, for major decisions such as moving, traveling, changing careers, or starting (or ending) a serious relationship you need more time to contemplate the possibilities. A good principle for making an important decision is to give yourself a firm deadline to decide. Even with the most significant decisions, in most cases, it’s better to choose a path and make adjustments as you go along. Staying in one place considering alternatives leads to stagnation.
2. Outsource Everyday Tasks
Businesses often increase efficiency by outsourcing everyday tasks. However, you can also use this principle in your daily life. Everyone’s needs are different but have you ever thought of hiring someone to clean your home, run errands for you, create your resume, or mow your lawn?
Some people feel that it’s lazy to hire people to perform simple tasks. However, it can make you more productive. Outsourcing is a whole mindset that you can apply to many areas of your life. Browse websites such as Task Rabbit to find out what kind of services people in your area are offering. Fiver is useful for digital services such as graphics, writing, web design, and much more.
3. Think Before You Commit
One of the biggest reasons that people feel stressed and never have enough time is that they spread themselves too thin. You can only fit so much into a day, weekend, or month. Be selective about what you commit yourself to, both in your personal and professional life. If you have a job, you may not feel you have much choice when it comes to accepting or declining tasks. However, even employees with set job descriptions can get overburdened by co-workers and managers who are skilled at delegation. Be careful about volunteering to take on extra assignments at work. Before you accept an invitation for a social engagement, consider how it fits your schedule. It’s not always easy to say “”no”” but it’s essential if you want to gain more control over your life.
4. Declutter Your Home
Decluttering doesn’t mean depriving yourself and turning yourself into a saint (unless you want to take it to that extreme). Most people have lots of possessions they never use. Objects on your desk, in your dosets, piled up in your garage and elsewhere aren’t adding to your well-being. On the contrary, they contribute to a sense that you aren’t in control.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Target one area at a time and put items into piles such as throw out, donate, relocate, and keep where it is.
Throw out anything that’s broken or that you haven’t lised in the last six months.
If you have items that are in excellent condition but that you don’t need or are duplicates, then donate or sell them.
Upgrade your organizing system. Shelves, doset organizers, filing cabinets, and furniture with efficient storage capacity make it easier to store your belongings. However, also be sure to discard what you don’t need. If you keep accumulating and never dump, you’ll never have enough storage space!
Resist impulse buying. Think before you buy something. Ask yourself if you really need it or if it’s just going to gather dust in your doset.
5. Simplify Your Digital Life
Your electronic devices can help you get organized and cut down on paper. However, your smartphone, tablet, and computer can also clutter your life in whole new ways.
Turn off any notifications that aren’t necessary. Do you need to hear a beep every time you get an email or Facebook message?
Limit the amount of time you devote to reading email and checking social media. Create a schedule and resist the temptation to check back throughout the day.
Manage your contacts. Unsubscribe from email lists that send you lots of unread content. Go through your social media contact lists. If you don’t want to unfriend or unfollow people who post constantly, you can put them on mute (Twitter) or stop seeing their posts on Facebook
Clean up your devices. Delete files, programs, and apps you aren’t using
6. Reduce Your Spending
Saving money is an essential aspect of simplifying your life. Unless you’re independently wealthy, the more you spend, the more money you need, and the harder you have to work. Cutting down on accumulating new possessions is one way to reduce spending. Here are a few others:
Shop in bulk. When you shop for groceries more efficiently, you save time as well as money as you don’t have to buy as often.
Cut down on subscription services and eliminate any you don’t use. All of the movie, music, and other streaming services, for example, start to add up. Check your credit card statements for recurring payments. You may find some you completely forgot about, such as a gym membership you haven’t used in years.
Plan meals for the week and schedule a time to do cooking and preparation. Planning meals can help you reduce eating out on impulse because you have nothing to eat at home.
Periodically review your credit cards and insurance policies and see if you can get better deals
Consider downsizing significant expenses such as your home or car. Moving into a smaller house or a city with a lower cost of living can take a great deal of pressure off
7. Practice Mental Simplicity
Simplifying your thoughts, emotions, and relationships is harder than sorting through your possessions and expenses. However, it’s at least as important to declutter your mind as your home.
Reduce your exposure to negative people. If you have a friend or co-worker who constantly complains and gossips, keep your distance. If it’s someone you can’t avoid (such as a close family member), make a point not to get emotionally invested in this person’s drama.
Disconnect from electronics regularly. Constant connection to your devices can contribute to stress while promoting a sedentary, indoor lifestyle. Take breaks from the phone, computer, tablet, and TV. Take a walk outdoors, exercise, go to a yoga class, play with the dog, meditate. or find another activity that engages your body and senses.
Let go of the past. If you have conflicts, events, and conversations playing out in your head, remind yourself that you can only control the present and the future. If you have serious issues preventing you from moving forward, ask for help.
Write down your thoughts in a journal. Combining words with doodles and illustrations can be even more therapeutic. Don’t censor yourself or worry about quality as this is only for you. Just jot down whatever’s on your mind.
Read, watch, and listen to material that educates and uplifts you. There’s lots of great content out there, whether in the form of live events in your area, books, TED Talks, audiobooks, or free online courses. Seek out ideas that promote optimism.
Simplifying your life isn’t something you can do in a day or two. Living a more minimal lifestyle is a long-term goal that requires you to change your habits and mindset. In addition to the above tips, take inventory and look for areas of your life that are stressful or cluttered. Even small changes can make a real difference and help you gain more control of your space and time.”