Minimalist Hacks To Simplify Your Life
Tidy bed, tidy head. Clean place, clear headspace. Neat and tidy, good for the psyche. (Okay, I’ll admit, the last two are made up, but you get the idea). The main focus of minimalism is to discover the core features of your life that make you happy – and leave the rest behind. This principle also provides the foundation of any self-care journey. Here are some hacks on how to simplify your life so that you can live your best one.
When most people think of minimalism they picture a house and wardrobe that is practically empty. And white. While this is probably true, it’s not actually a prerequisite of being a minimalist. It’s more of a consequence than conclusion. By tidying and minimizing the space around us, we allow our minds the space they need to focus on what’s important. When we detox our wardrobes, we detox our minds. Scientifically the way this works is that the more visual stimuli we see in front of us, the more those stimuli are occupying our brains. Basically, this means that the clutter in front of us is distracting us.
For me this means not buying the dress I like in every shade that it comes in (don’t judge me, I know I’m not alone on this one). Or getting rid of those eight extra Tupperware containers in my kitchen. It’s overwhelming but it feels good. Top tip: if there’s something you’re not sure that you can let go of, give it six months and if you haven’t used it, lose it.
2. Time Commitments
Seeing as being a minimalist revolves around making space only for that which you value, managing your time commitments seems like an obvious place to start. There’re few things in life that are more precious than our time. The question we should constantly be asking ourselves is: what are you willing to spend your time on and what are you not?
This could either mean taking meaningful breaks at work, learning how to say no to things that don’t excite you, or to quit memberships you no longer use. Fun fact: the word ‘priority’ only existed in the singular until the past century when we came up with the plural version. We convinced ourselves we could – and should – handle multiple ‘priorities’. But I think our ancestors were onto something – by being ‘minimalistic’ with your time you’re able to accomplish more by doing less.
Be minimalistic in your goals. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you should give up on certain dreams because “I’ll never get there anyway”. It should be a natural product of cutting down on the ‘stuff’. Tidy bed, tidy head will kick right into gear once you’ve started on physically decluttering your life. You’ll be able to simplify your mind too.
The question to ask yourself is why. Understanding why you want to do something is a catalyst in focusing your goals. By clarifying the destination for yourself you’re then able to better reach those marks. Breaking down your goals helps you to tidy the mind. This concept is proved by the infamous Pareto Principle (known as the 80/20 rule). The idea is that 20% of your input is responsible for 80% of your outcomes. So, focus in on that 20% rather than trying to reach 100% off the bat. It’s not about achieving less as much as it’s about focusing more.
The idea of getting rid of all the ‘bad’, to reveal the ‘good’ is something that all of us could use in our lives. Whether it’s possessions, technology, or people, lose the negativity to make space for the positives around you. You want to toss out any toxicity. Just like you throw the trash out in your house, do the same for your life.
With this in mind, the removal of negativity isn’t limited to the things and people around us, but also to our inner selves. Learn to speak to yourself with positivity and kindness. Instead of saying “I can’t” replace it with “I don’t”; instead of saying “I’m not enough” tell yourself “I’m doing my best”. Put yourself in a position of choice rather than unfortunate consequence. Starting this journey of removing negativity is an essential step in self-care. You’ll be a minimalist externally, and internally.
5. Technology Hacks
Over-complication is the antithesis of minimalism. Our digital space is unfortunately a prime example of this over-complication. Digital clutter has the potential to obscure your life just as much as physical clutter if not more. A good, and relatively easy, place to start in terms of simplifying your life could be through your technology. Whether this is reorganizing your device and app layout or unsubscribing from valueless newsletters, take the necessary measurements to minimize and hack your digital space.
I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to cluttering my digital space. Every once in a while, I make the time to unsubscribe from those irrelevant emails clogging up my inbox, moving old photos to the cloud, and just generally taking a detox from my social media accounts. This reduces stress, alleviates depression, and gives me the mental space I need to focus on things more deserving of my attention.
The question to ask yourself at every stage of a minimalist journey is “Do I really need this in my life?” Whether this is in reference to things, people, commitments, or anything else, if the answer is no – let it go. There’re no right or wrong routes toward a minimal lifestyle, but these hacks will have you well on your way to true self-care and mental clarity.
“If it doesn’t matter, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, it matters” – Banksy