It’s safe to say that the global pandemic changed our lives – probably forever. For me, Covid-19 didn’t only change my social & work life but it also had a big impact on my consuming habits. I discovered the concept of minimalism and the strange feeling of freedom I got when I channeled my focus onto the more important things. Here is how you can free yourself and live a more intentional life too.
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”
1. minimalism at work
One of the areas, where I started applying minimalism, is my work life. We all know that overwhelming feeling when we see a full inbox and a calendar with back to back meetings. So it’s important to learn how to prioritize and to work efficiently without distractions. One helpful tip is to block “focus time“ in your calendar, where you don’t allow any meetings or other distractions. For one hour (or two) focus purely on your To Do’s for the day and try to get as much done as possible. When you intentionally block this time, you are much more productive and focused. What’s also important is the workplace itself. Is your desk full of folders and office material, you don’t even need? Tidy up and get rid of distractions.
2. minimalism in your closet
Let’s be honest – do you really need that many clothes in your closet? When was the last time you wore that sparkly crop top you bought 5 years ago? Exactly. Start with decluttering your clothes and creating a capsule wardrobe. I had a very simple rule while doing this – if I didn’t wear a clothing piece in the past 2-3 years it had to go. After making space in your closet, you will have a better overview of what you own and it’s easier to decide what to wear every day. There is a reason why Steve Jobs was wearing the same black turtle neck sweater every day. He eliminated trivial decisions like “what to wear“ from his daily life to focus on more important things. Of course you don’t have to wear the same shirt everyday but it can help to have a collection of classic basics you can combine easily. A black blazer or well fitted jeans go with everything, right?
3. minimalism while consuming
You’re done with decluttering your closet? Good! But the real challenge is to maintain that and not to fill it up with new stuff. So it’s time to have a closer look at your consuming habits. Do you really need the newest iPhone and three pairs of new shoes? Before buying something try to always ask yourself: does this item really add value and will I use it frequently? Often we buy stuff not because we need it but because we think it will make us feel better. It’s important to ask yourself WHY you are buying something. Is it because you feel sad and think that a new dress will make you feel better about yourself? Or do you want to buy the newest luxury car, so that other people envy you? When you step out of this consumerism bubble, you can find other ways to be genuinely happy. Maybe you spend the money you saved for a bag on a trip to Barcelona with friends to make great memories. I bet that will give you a better feeling than any material item.
“We exist in a society that creates false value on owning more stuff and having no time to use them much. The constant pursuit of bigger and better is an endless cycle.“
Anthony Ongaro, Break the Twitch
4. minimalism on your phone
Smartphones are undoubtedly one of the biggest distractions of our time, keeping us hooked on our phones for hours with endless app and notification alerts. Instead you can spend this valuable time on things that are more important to you such as working towards your goals, reading that book you’ve been meaning to or simply going for a walk to get some fresh air. Start by deleting the apps you are not using and put time restrictions on the rest. Next, turn off all notifications and ban them from the main display. This enables you to check apps when you want to and stops your phone from constantly lighting up. Then practice avoiding the temptation to use your phone first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. Instead when you wake up, take at least one hour for yourself to start your day and do the same thing in the evening. Instead of scrolling through Instagram until you fall asleep, put your phone aside and read a good book or meditate. This helps you to start and end your day on your own terms without that stressful overload of digital information.
5. minimalism while traveling
Are you the type of person who packs way too much when going on a trip? With a little bit of planning, you can avoid excess baggage and travel light. Before every trip, plan your outfits in advance and try to pack basic pieces that can be combined in multiple ways. Personally, I always pack a pair of black shoes, a neutral jacket, a good pair of jeans and some classic tees that go with everything. I even have a packing list with essentials I always use, which helps me speed up my packing process and focus on what I really need. When you travel with less, you are more flexible and you feel free.
As you can see there are many ways in which you can implement minimalism into your life. You don’t have to get rid of everything you own and live like a nomad– just start with small steps and see where it leads you. In the end you decide where and what you want to minimize. Minimalism means eliminating distractions in any area of your life to focus more on what really matters to you.
benefits of minimalism
Eliminating distractions in all areas of your life will help you reduce stress and will also give you more time, space & energy to do what really matters to you. At least this is what I experienced when I started being more minimalistic. Instead of spending time on social media, I read a good book or I exercise. Instead of focusing on what I want to buy next, I save money for my next trip. And don’t get me wrong – I still like shopping and I still use social media but I am much more conscious while doing these things. For me, minimalism is a great way to direct my focus and to live a more intentional life.
If you’re interested to know more about minimalism and the benefits of it, check out the following blogs and YouTube channels: