What if there was an approach you could take to get more of the important things done but also make life feel a little easier? Well, there is something out there that can help – it’s called minimalism. In this post, I will go over five key minimalist lifestyle tips to help you live a more effective life.
Why minimalist lifestyle tips are important
I adopted minimalism a few years ago. I was trying to do too many things at the same time, making no actual progress on any of them. My life felt really cluttered and I could see the negative effects that it was having on me; I felt overwhelmed and stuck in a rut.
It was at this time I came across the minimalist movement and the whole idea just really clicked. I adopted various practices and below I will outline the ones that really worked for me.
1. Remove Clutter
One of the most obvious ways that I applied it was when it came to my desk. This is where I do my most important thinking, and I would always make sure my desk was as clean as possible and free from distractions.
I believe this helped me to focus on the things that did matter i.e. my work and stop feeling distracted.
The practice of removing things also helped me build some momentum and trick myself into actually doing some work.
A different type of minimalism I adopt is with packing for travelling or even commuting, I always try to pack as little as possible as it just means I’m lugging around less literal baggage, which makes me feel freer.
People always like to pack for emergencies. I veer in the opposite direction and usually find that I have enough stuff that I can cope with any emergencies that may arise.
This makes me more able to accept when things happen that I could’ve prepared for such as if it rains and I have no umbrella. I still prefer not having to lug around the weight of the umbrella.
Clothing is another big area where there is usually a lot of excesses.
In more recent years I try to throw clothes out regularly – even if they aren’t worn out. I just check whether I’ve worn a particular item in a long time and realise that I probably won’t be wearing that item again anytime soon, and so throw it out. I know this would be very hard for some, but with practice, it gets easier.
I also throw out old gadgets or miscellaneous things that have accumulated in the garage.
I get a lot of pleasure from throwing things away, so it’s not that difficult. Throwing clothes and old possessions away also helps to focus the mind and stop you from buying things as quickly.
I’m reminded of previous times when I thought something would be useful but ends up just gathering dust on the shelf.
4. Don’t become a slave to your possessions
I have been fortunate to earn a good salary from my profession. There is a constant temptation to upgrade to better houses and cars. But this is a never-ending repeating cycle, and then you become a slave to your possessions.
I partly owe credit to Robert Kiyosaki the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad in terms of my thought process around this as the last thing you want to do is be stuck in that loop which means you have to work just to put a roof over your head.
5. Get rid of debt
This is one of the most important minimalist lifestyle tips. Getting to a point where you have no debt or at least minimal debt really lifts a load of weight off your shoulders.
I regularly go through times where I spend little or nothing to remind myself of the real value of a pound. When you earn little, you are acutely aware of the worth of every pound, but when you earn thousands of pounds, it’s easy to lose sight of the actual value of that pound. A sort of cognitive inflation happens. Doing a reset regularly can help to recalibrate your idea of value.
Don’t go overboard with minimalism
As a counterpoint, it’s still worthwhile to exercise moderation… even when applying minimalism.
There comes a point where you’re actually causing more pain to yourself rather than reaping any benefits. Eg sleeping in a cold hard bedroom eating gruel instead of staying somewhere better.
So as a rule of thumb, if the things you remove stop you from living optimally, its worth re-evaluating whether you should really cut them out.
In conclusion, we live in a world of distraction and excess which has a hidden negative effect on you and really weighs you down. You get into a cycle of constant distraction, chasing the next thing that will give you pleasure. But it’s just an illusion any pleasure you get is only temporary.
I think if more people adopted minimalism, they would back in touch with the essence of life. They would feel liberated and really get to grips with what really matters.
This liberation would help them focus on the present, appreciate what they have now and make them feel happier and content with life.
I hope my minimalist lifestyle tips will help you, let me know in the comments below of any other tips that you use!