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Practical Minimalism: When Less is More

Considering Practical Minimalism

‘There’s nothing wrong with possessions; it’s just that they add value to us only when we use them, engage them, enjoy them. They’re nouns that mean something only in conjunction with verbs…If you’re not careful you can end up with a garage full of nouns’. -Rob Bell

Stop for a moment and stand in your work space — the space you spend most of your work day. As you turn in a circle, look at all the stuff surrounding you. How do you feel? Are you content and motivated, or do you feel overwhelmed and distracted? Look closer. Are there things that you use often, that add value to your life, that make you smile? Or are there things you don’t use that may be taking up valuable space in your home, office, or life? Are these things potentially getting in the way of your ability to find what you need when you need it?

Are the things in your life supporting you and contributing to the life you want? We need to think about the “stuff” we own. The more we have, the more we need to maintain and take care of. These “things” have an initial cost (think “purchase or acquisition price”), but they have an ongoing cost as well. We pay to store, maintain, and manage the things in our life. Sometimes our things, when we have an excess, can get in the way of our hopes, dreams, relationships, time for what matters most and peace of mind.

What is Practical Minimalism?

You may have heard of people drastically changing their lives by adhering to a minimalist lifestyle, essentially paring back possessions and owning only what is absolutely necessary. While that can work for some, it may be a bit extreme for most. We’d like to investigate what minimalism can look like in a more practical sense – by helping you evaluate your environment and relationship to ‘stuff’ at home and work.  While extreme minimalism (i.e.: paring your worldly possessions down to fewer than 100 items) may be a turn-off for you, “practical minimalism” is something anyone could work towards.

A great description of minimalism, at least in the direction we’re speaking about, is found on The Minimalists website:  ‘What is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom’.  We’d like to help you focus on those more important things!

Questions to Ask

You can embrace the “Less is More” idea of Practical Minimalism simply by periodically asking yourself about the items in your work space. Which of those items are essential or important to the life you want to live, the relationships you have, the activities in which you engage, or hold a value beyond the price you paid for the item at one point in time? Reduce clutter and free up space by letting go of items that no longer serve you well, or don’t support the goals you have or values you hold.

What now?

Do you have an office full of nouns?  Are you up for a month-long minimalism challenge? Our “May Minimalism Challenge” is quickly approaching! It’s an easy and fun way to release 465 items you no longer want or need in a month’s time. You’ll release one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, three items on Day 3 and so forth through the month. These items can be as small as a single file or as large as a filing cabinet. Our blog post next week will include more information and tips for the challenge!

How Simply Placed Can Help

Do you need help minimizing clutter in your work space?  Do you need help prioritizing which items to keep and which to get rid of? Our individual “It’s About Time” productivity coaching sessions help our clients take control over their work space so they can be more productive and have more time for things that really matter.  Set up a Discovery Call today to learn more about how Simply Placed can help!

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