This guest post is by Jessica Barrett.
Could adopting a minimalist mindset really improve the quality of your life? A lot of people seem to think so. In fact, many minimalist converts are raving about how this simple shift is helping them lead happier, less stressed lives. Sounds good, right?
The minimalist lifestyle was first brought into the mainstream when Marie Konda published her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Konda explained the many benefits of a streamlined lifestyle and people around the globe became hooked. In fact, the trend even spawned a brisk business in closet organizers and space-saving furniture, as well as a swell in interest for tiny houses.
Minimalism is often misunderstood
Minimalism is not just about getting rid of your stuff. Decluttering and downsizing material possessions is just the first step to making room in your life for the more important things, such as health, family, and relationships. Minimalism is more about a mindset, where you realize that you don’t need to have a lot of money or things to be happy. Here is how minimalism can improve your life within 10 days.
Less work …
Many people spend all their life working hard to make more money so they can buy stuff. Even then, they get into debt because the urge to keep buying more is irresistible. Minimalism compels you to be selective about the things you acquire and keep because you have limited space. Because this restricts your buying behavior, you suddenly find yourself with more money or at least less debt. You can now afford to work less and enjoy life more. Instant work-life balance!
Actionable tip: Make a list of your basic needs, wants, and likes. Rank each item on the list according to importance, and get them in turn, starting with your needs list first. Strike out anything in the wants and likes list for which you have no room, or which is more than you can afford. You will find that as you get used to the minimalist mindset, your wants and likes lists will progressively become much shorter, if not entirely disappear.
More control …
Just like with possessions, the minimalist mindset demands that you treat time as your most precious resource. You are encouraged to say “no” to requests and demands on your time from people that ultimately have no role in your life. It can be uncomfortable to be less accommodating than before, but this will help you maximize the time you have with people that matter.
Not allowing other people to dictate how you will spend your time is your right. Saying “no” means you are taking control of your life, and it will ultimately give you a sense of empowerment.
Actionable tip: Start saying “no” right away to any unnecessary request, be it an unplanned trip to the mall or a research proposal better delegated to someone else. You have to practice so you become more comfortable with the idea of taking control of your time. When you feel you have a handle on saying “no,” you can be more selective. Meetings are notorious time wasters, so only attend those where your presence is necessary.
Deeper relationships …
The minimalist mindset demands you focus on important relationships. When you spend less time at work and more time at home, you can attend to personal relationships with greater care.
The minimalist mindset encourages you to think about your relationships and decide whether you are maintaining them because they are familiar or because they come from a sense of obligation, and not because you want them. It’s probably time to walk away from some relationships in your life. Being selective about your relationships means you can pay more attention to those that matter.
Actionable tip: Make a list of all your friends, and think seriously about which ones are your true friends. Just because you’ve been friends a long time is not a good reason to continue a friendship. There may be some so-called “friends” in your life that you don’t even really like anymore (if you ever did!).
Once you have struck out all but those you really like, you should have just a few people on your list. You don’t have to announce you’re no longer friends with these people (that would be mean, and that’s not you); just stop feeding the relationship by withdrawing your time and attention from it. Block all those who aren’t in your inner circle from your social networks so you don’t get notifications from them, and simply fade out of their lives.
Better physical health …
In line with putting a premium on time, minimalism favors an efficient exercise regimen you can do anywhere. Going to a gym to do a workout can easily eat up two hours of your time every day, which is why many people put it off. Since you can do exercises anywhere whenever convenient, you are more likely to stick to it, hence better physical health.
Actionable tip: Find a short exercise regimen you can do anywhere, and have a regular schedule for doing it. First thing in the morning is ideal, but any time at all will do as long as you do it regularly.
(Not sure where to start? Here’s a suggestion: 100 No-Equipment Workouts Vol. 1: Fitness Routines you can do anywhere)
Less stress …
Social media is a boon for many people, but it can also make life more stressful if you are unable to filter out the noise. Much of what is posted online contributes little or no value to your life, and yet many people read, react and respond to them anyway. Before you know it, you have just spent an hour fuming over Facebook messages or tweets that are ultimately meaningless to you.
Actionable tip: Adjust your social media settings so you only get notifications to important news, messages, and tweets. Respond only to posts that will add value to your life, and set a time limit for checking your social networks.
The takeaway: it’s all about the mindset!
Minimalism works for many people because the simple life is often the most rewarding. How you apply it to your own life is entirely up to you. The important thing is to acquire the mindset that can help you declutter and improve your life in 10 days or less.
About the Author: A vastly experienced and accomplished editor and writer, Jessica Barrett is one of the most dedicated professionals on staff at www.wizessay.com. With a background in academic editing and writing, Jessica can provide assistance to customers looking for help with research papers, coursework and dissertation proposals.