Sometimes I don’t think that people believe that minimalism is a concept greater then just having white furniture and not owning a lot of belongings. Minimalism often goes beyond the concept of physical applications and is grounded more in the unique way that successful minimalists think. They different way they think about life is often why you see so many minimalists achieving great success.
Minimalists view their belongings differently (thats why they have so few of them). Normally, people view belongings as a sign of success; because you have had the money and time to go and buy them. Minimalists view items by time. More things, means more time cleaning, doing laundry and money wasted in unnecessary bills to sustain items. Ultimately viewing too many belongings as distracting you from experiencing life and making the most of all your time available.
Trying to have experiences without owning items is a fundamental part of my view of minimalism. Instead of buying work out equipment minimalists will go to outside gyms or join a gym. They will go out to places to enjoy themselves and spend their recreational time engaging in experiences or learning new skills. They spend less money on stuff and more money on experiences. In short, minimalists do more and have less debt.
It’s not restricting what you own, but about removing the items that restrict you.
The ability to remove the burdens something I really resonate with. My life is busy, with medical school and working two jobs I really don’t want to have to worry about what clothes to wear in the morning or the laundry and excessive cleaning. I don’t like worrying about what to make for dinner when I can plan it all out for a week and just eat my meals without thought.
Below are a few of the different ways I try to think as a minimalist and a few ways I am trying to learn to live my life (hint: the morning one is not something I have been gelling with!)
Focus on what’s important
The one thing you will notice about minimalists is that they don’t multi-task. Minimalists are intentional with their time. They say no to commitments that don’t align with what they want to achieve and if it takes away from what they want to do. They never do two things at the same time, because then they aren’t giving it their all. It is a mindset that breeds success.
Think about the now as much as the future
There is nothing wrong with planning ahead. I’ve said it in many blog posts that i am a planner. I like to know whats coming and get as much preparation as possible in. When i had some issues last year and my life plan was falling apart i started reading a lot of minimalist blogs and learnt that a lot of minimalists focus on the present just as much as the past.
I read another minimalist blogger (can’t find the link to credit, but if i find it will add it here!) who suggested recording how many times a day you complain about things in one day. Taking a look at how many times complaining solved these problems? I gave it a quick go, and realised that complaining really wasn’t worth my time, i was wasting valuable time and brain-space on complaints that weren’t changing anything. So now, i either try to be the change, or let it go. I am certainly better for it.
Enjoy the mornings
Now this one I am definitely struggling with, but something I am trying to learn to make a habit in my life. I read a lot about minimalism and successful minimalists, plenty of those who view minimalism as a mindset talk about how important the morning are to being successful.
It makes sense, it’s the first part of the day so having a good attitude toward it can set your mod for the rest of the day. Embracing a morning routine can help you enjoy waking up early. Take some time to do something you like before 9am and it will put you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day. See how productive you will be if you do this.
I find that I am more productive when I do this in the morning, my issue has been that I struggle to get to sleep at night and so I have been waking up incredibly tired in the morning and being productive when you are so tired is really hard!
Be intentional about what you keep in your life
A lot of people get on the minimalist craze, I know especially during lockdown people have had massive clearouts. However, the issue is that after all the purging and decluttering people always seem to start filling their homes and lives back up with belongings. Paying more attention to what enters your home and being more intentional about what you want in your house, wardrobe and even commitments will see you bring in less and shifting your focus to achieving what you want in life. You’ll be more productive and more focused on how to be successful.
Minimalists do not want to live with nothing, because it would be A, miserable and B, not be productive in any way shape or form. It’s about enabling you to focus on the important things and not procrastinate or waste time. Clutter does this, I can’t be productive unless my desk is clean because I get easily distracted by things on my desk. You start making deliberate decisions about what you want in your life, and I’ve honestly starts trusting my judgment more since starting to live life this way. It honestly does become a habit; easier with practise and over time gets easier and easier.