Minimalism Made Easy: Six ways to become less ‘busy’
Part two of my six week minimalism made easy blog series!
If I was given a pound coin for each time someone had asked me how I was doing and I said ‘busy’ I would probably be a millionaire by now.
Okay, perhaps not a millionaire, but I would be able to afford to travel the world out of a backpack for a least a couple of months.
Being busy, and leading a hectic life that is filled to the brim, has become the new normal. Our society seems to measure people more and more on their productivity and output. We are expected to manage hundreds of emails, whilst making time to exercise, pampering and pruning ourselves and yet still preparing for several meetings a day, and then be sociable in the evenings, oh and don’t forget you need to tweet all about this throughout the day so everyone is aware of how much you are really doing. Even typing all of that was exhausting.
Oh and if you’re not busy multitasking the many unnecessary demands of the day, then you are perceived as lazy or unproductive, and that’s just not fair at all.
I am on a personal mission to banish the word busy from my vocabulary. Why? Because I have learnt that being busy is a lifestyle choice, and I don’t want to subscribe to it anymore.
That does not mean I am going to do ‘less’, I am just going to focus more on what really matters and clear out the ‘clutter of my day’. I mean do I honestly need to spend an hour mindlessly browsing the web every single evening whilst watching a TV show I am half interested in? I think not.
So how am I going about this?
- Reviewing my priorities
I take part in the 30 day minimalist challenge every time I feel life is getting a little too cluttered and that I am prioritising things and ideas over experiences and my passions.
One of the challenges within the first week is to reassess your main priorities and write down the five things that matter most to you.
- Spending quality time and sharing memories with my husband, family and friends.
- Buying less, experiencing more.
- Putting my health first.
- Seeing more of the world.
- Helping and supporting people who may not have a voice or chance to help themselves.
You should try this now, and then think about how much time you have spent today on things that matter to your main priorities.
I now only take on tasks and projects that I personally feel invested in and that I can give 100% to. I might be doing less overall, but what I am producing is of a much higher quality and I feel excited to be working on it, rather than dreading the tasks and hours ahead.
I know that within the workplace it is hard to often choose what you want to focus your attention on, however I will soon be writing a post about the importance of working in a role you cherish, so more on that later!
- Living with less
The first part of this six week series, that I published last week, focused in detail on how living with less has allowed me to do so much more.
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you are so busy and how all the hours in a day just seem to disappear? I used to be exactly the same, and then I actually started to document what I did on a daily basis and the time it took.
I used to waste so much time sorting out ‘stuff’ like old towels and bedding. I used to spend at least two to three hours an evening watching television that I wasn’t even that interested in, and that meant at least twenty minutes aimlessly scrolling through Netflix first to find something. Even worse, I had a lot more stuff, so that meant a lot more cleaning.
I now use the old cleaning time to read, I write blogs and study for my life coaching diploma instead of watching as much TV (I still love series such as Narcos and Louis Theroux documentaries!). Each morning, I get up a little earlier to try and fit in some yoga. Overall, by reducing my stuff, I have found so much more time to do more.
Oh, and the benefits of a reduced wardrobe? Less time wasted worrying what to wear!
- Focusing on less but producing ‘more’
This one ties in a little with making sure what I do each day is aligned with my priorities.
It is a very simple concept. I only do things each day that matter, and I give them my full and undivided attention.
This means I produce things with more.
More meaning, more impact and more important to me.
- Ticking off the bucket list, today
I have a large bucket list of things I would love to have achieved by 30. I wrote this years’ ago, and although I try to not set myself strict goals anymore, I would love to have ticked it all off.
I don’t want to have spent my life wishing I had done more that mattered to me, so I stopped spending money and time (I was always too busy to be doing these dream things) on materialistic gains (bigger house, newer car, designer dresses) and started to spend it on experiences I would remember and cherish.
I have ticked more off my bucket list in the last twelve months than I did in four years. And it feels great.
Write down 10 things you want to achieve, and start doing them. Today.
- Taking time for myself
I used to feel bad if I declined an invitation because I actually wanted some ‘me’ time. It was hard for me to just take five hours out of a day to do something totally selfish which would let me relax and retreat from the hectic lifestyle that is so normal these days.
These days I listen a lot more to my body and my mind. If I am feeling tired or a little overwhelmed I dedicate some time to do something I know will relax me. Whether this is reading, lighting a candle and listening to music, going on a long walk or taking a weekend away and turning off my phone.
Find time for you today, and embrace a calmer and less busy life. It is your choice. Say goodbye to the busy lifestyle today, and say hello to lovely selfish you time.
- Realising that overall, being busy is a choice, not a requirement
That last sentence really leads me on to my final step for simplifying your life. You can choose whether you want a busy life or not, and you know what, it is totally okay to not want to be busy.