Even if your head and heart have good intentions, you may run around tirelessly trying to meet all of life's demands. When you take a second to catch your breath, you may find that you have not been intentionally living. Instead, your life has been filled with unimportant items and activities that take up space in your life, otherwise known as clutter. Clutter keeps us from living the life of our dreams. It gets in our way and slows us down. The cost of clutter is that it keeps us from doing the things we most value. To live the life you want, exert your time, energy, and money on the things you value most. With a minimalist lifestyle approach, you focus only on those things that add value to your life.
What Is a Minimalist Lifestyle?
A minimalist lifestyle is about more than having a clean, neat living space free of distractions. More than anything, it is about intentionally making time for things we value and living a life we desire. Here are some important aspects of living a minimalist lifestyle.
People are unproductive, anxious, and ruminative in crowded and messy environments and work better in minimalist environments. The removal of unnecessary items from living and work areas frees up space for more important things to take their place.
A minimalists lifestyle approach does not stop at decluttering the environment; it expands to all areas of your life, including your diet and thoughts. To declutter your life, you may clean out that "junk" drawer or closet in your house so you can more easily find the things you need. You could also delete unused icons on your desktop so you won't get distracted when you're trying to work on a task.
Having a clutter-free environment will help, but it won't do much if our brains are cluttered with unnecessary thoughts. When your environment is cluttered, you may not focus on anything but about how you need to clean it up. An uncluttered environment provides you with the ability to think with clarity and focus more clearly. You will not be living reactively, but instead will think about what you want and focus solely on that.
By clearing room in your mind and space, you are free to create the life you want. You can pursue your passions and do things you've wanted to explore for a while now but haven't gotten around to. You can go to a coffee shop on a weekday afternoon without worrying about what you need to do or what you should do instead. The possibilities are endless.
Relationships Of Value
Taking a minimalist lifestyle approach can help create stronger relationships and friendships. When you spend your time intentionally, you connect with people on a deeper level than just hanging out and passing the time. Spending time with people who encourage and inspire you will bring great value to your life.
Applying It to Your Schedule
Since everyone's life is different, everyone's approach to tackling their clutter will look different. Here are general tips on how to use a minimalist lifestyle approach to help you live the life you want.
Accept That You Can’t Do Everything
As much as we all want to be Superwoman or Superman, there is only so much we can do with our given time. There are countless ways to spend our time, but we have limited resources to do so. So, we must make crucial decisions about how to spend our time. We have to eliminate the clutter. We can't do everything, but we can do a few things of value intentionally.
Find What Makes You Feel Alive
Our lives are too short to be spent doing things that do not help us feel alive. Dedicate your time to the things that breathe life into you and pull at your heartstrings. These things could be anything you love to do, like painting, running, dancing, or playing guitar. Even if it is random and seems silly, if it has your heart, do it. It does not have to have a greater purpose.
Define What Is Important To You
Ideally, your time should be spent on things that are important to you. When you are not sure what those things are, you are not directing your time toward a valued path. You won't be able to plan how you spend your time if you don't know what you what to spend your time on and why. Ask yourself the following questions to become clear about what is important to you:
Once you have defined your what, ask yourself how you can spend your time on what's important. Without a plan, your life will not be filled with things important to you, but instead, you will be a victim of time and circumstance. Remember, you decide how your time is spent. Figure out what actions are required to reach your goals and live your values and what tools you will need to accomplish that. Then, plan accordingly.
Learn To Say No
We may engage in unhealthy behaviors or spend our time with people who try to sabotage our efforts. Even good things that are not the best things for us can be a hindrance. We have limited time, and we have to make firm choices about how we spend our precious time Saying yes to our dreams means we have to say no to many more things to bring our dreams into reality. Get comfortable saying no. As uncomfortable as it may feel while doing it, the overall impact of doing so is positive.
A Minimalist Family Schedule
As parents, we want our children to have as many opportunities as they can. Unfortunately, this often leads to an over-packed schedule that leaves kids feeling stressed out, less productive, and in need of more free time. Extended free time is essential for kids to explore their imaginations and develop awareness, self-regulation, and empathy skills. Here are tips to tackle your family schedule with a minimalist lifestyle approach.
Determine The Source Of The Motivation
Take an honest look at the activities, clubs, or whatever else is taking up your child's schedule. Is the motivation for your child or your child's best interests? Perhaps there are personal motivations, like trying to impress other parents or relive your childhood through your kid. Just because it was best for you as a child does not mean it is best for your child now.
Determine The Ideal Number Of Hours For A Planned Activity
Without looking at your calendar, ask yourself the ideal number of hours your child should spend in out-of-school activities. Individual needs, age, and personality are all factors to consider. Once you have determined a number, look at your current calendar. If the number is not about the same, consider what adjustments may need to be made to the schedule.
Plan For Family Dinner Time
Having dinner together as a family is a positive experience that will continue to shape the lives of kids well into adulthood. Eating dinner as a family encourages the growth of love and understanding. Even if you are not able to eat together every night, perhaps you could do it three times a week or maybe just on the weekends. Find a baseline number that works for you and plan your other activities around that.
Schedule Quality Time
Spending quality time with your child is crucial since you are the biggest influence on their life. Determine how much quality time you would like to share with your child. Raising children is a big commitment, so it is important to make room in your schedule for it by removing less important commitments.
When you create space in your schedule, you allow time for relaxation and reflection. This may mean waking up early to relax before work or rearranging the scheduling of an errand so you can enjoy more time having coffee with a friend. By creating space in your calendar, you are also leaving room to add new opportunities or emergencies that pop up.
Develop A Weekly Routine
Start with school, sports, and other activities that cannot be worked around. Then, schedule things like bathing, chores, and family time. Intentionally make a routine that your family can rely on from week to week.
Children, like adults, need space to be with themselves and explore the world on their own. The more you own and commit to, the more time you have to spend taking care of those things. In this busy, on-the-go world, adopting a minimalist lifestyle approach to your schedule can change your life and help you achieve your goals by removing the clutter. By decluttering your environment and schedule, you free up space and time for the things that add value to your life.