Minimalist Living for Real
Minimalism is everywhere, to the point that it has become a trend. But in reality, minimalist living is not about living a so-called curated-edited lifestyle. It's not about being influential on Instagram (though people have really capitalized on this). True minimalist living is about living intentionally and eliminating the things that don't matter. Here are some ways we can live truly minimalist lives.
Ask yourself where you are spending your money. Try this: Collect all your receipts in a span of one week or one month and really track where your income is going. Are there things you are paying for that are essentially a waste of your money? Take for example a gadget that you need to keep on repairing. If you've spent X amount of money just to keep repairing it, have you considered that your life would be filled with less expense, stress and concerns if you just sell it? Think about it.
Eliminate your stressors. Think of the nuances and habits that make you stressed, outside of your work, of course. Have you ever thought if your quality of life could be better, without those stressors? How about the relationships you keep, whether professional or personal? Which of these cause you stress? Often people create stress for us, so assess the quality of your relationships and decide which ones are truly making your a better person (or if worse, well... you know what to do).
Jail your productivity thieves. We millennials pride ourselves in being "multi-hyphenates," but honestly, this "quality" makes for almost zero productivity. If you want to "minimalist your job or work", then focus on the actions that will actually yield the results you want. By eliminating tasks that take up too much of your time; by delegating tasks or outsource specific aspects of your job that don't deliver, you can cut your workload and get things done more efficiently.
Edit your digital notifications. When you have a smartphone or mobile device, you are likely to be enslaved by notifications. Decide which of these alerts really matter, and edit. Decide what you are using your devices for and religiously keep yourself accountable. Limit your notifications to urgent alerts, like e-mails and text messages. Honestly, you don't have to know everytime your friends post a new Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Spotify selection, Pinterest pin — sto-o-o-o-p!!!!!
Learn the art of saying "no". Get skilled in saying "yes" to things (situations, activities) that will contribute to your personal success. That means being able to consider things carefully according to what you believe truly matters and saying "no" firmly. For example: You really don't want to go to an event, even though all your friends want to go and you just don't feel like it. Guess what: It's OK to say "no". Why? Because you'll save hours on, say, deciding what to wear, how to allot your budget, the conversations you'll need to have, etc., etc., etc.... and you will actually have time to spend on something you actually care about.
Develop a taste for the functionally beautiful. This is all about going back to good quality design and basics. For example: Have a really good, solid, anything-goes shirt that goes with anything (e.g. the really good classic white shirt). Invest in high-quality, because you'll eliminate the need to replace that shirt. Another thing: Have one wristwatch that you can wear with everything. Have a good pair of shoes for each particular activity genre: a good pair of black heels; a reliable pair of sneakers; a casual sandal that goes with almost everything you have in your edited wardrobe. You will spend less overall on your clothing, your furniture, your accessories.
Finally, things that are a given: Declutter, donate useful things to people who really need them.