If you ask someone the definition of minimalism they will most likely define it as a practice that requires you to have as less stuff as possible. But, minimalism isn’t simply about owning fewer material things. It also regards the clutter that we as professional workers like to hoard in our minds. Minimalism is about the value attached to things and feelings. Whenever an object, a task, or a feeling is distracting you or holding you back, you have to let it go.
Practicing minimalism is known to improve focus and attention. Owning less means you have lesser things distracting you. Having a sharp focus and attention improves your work quality and productivity. Being a minimalist, you also have to eliminate your mental clutter. This means getting rid of your mental notes and avoiding keeping complaints about other people. Instead practice writing things down, forgiving, and letting go. Similar to the tips we have just mentioned, here are a few ways that will guide you through your journey towards minimalism at work:
1. Have A Minimalist Working Space
The step is to focus on your material things. It can be hard to let certain things go because we tend to attach our memories to objects. And Humans are creatures of habit and breaking bad habits is much more difficult than forming them. So, you don’t have to do all of it at once. Take one step at a time. Here’s what you need to do to have a minimalist working space:
- Keep Your Desk Top Clear
Your desktop should only hold things that you use all the time. For instance, it should have your computer, your computer, and your most-used pen and notepad. The rest of the stationery that is not used too often like a stapler, hole puncher, colored pencils and pens, and paper should be kept out of sight, tucked away in drawers.
- Have Minimalist Walls
Don’t have cluttered walls. Avoid putting on posters and frames. It only adds to your visual clutter. A single piece of artwork in the room is enough. And having none at all is even better.
- Minimize Your Need For Paper
The paper you use, the more you add to the clutter in your workspace. Having mounds of paper here and there around your workspace makes it look untidy and disorganized. Only print out things when you have to. Opt digital as much as you can.
- Avoid Unnecessary Furniture
Don’t congest your workspace by having unnecessary furniture lying around. The only pair of furniture you need for a workspace is a comfortable chair and a good-sized desk. Getting rid of useless furniture will increase your floor space which improves the working environment.
2. Create A Minimalistic But Realistic Routine
Having a routine straightens things out in your mind. You can avoid mind clutter by creating a routine that is simple but maximizes your productivity. Having a routine means that you won’t have to think about what to do next. You’ll simply know it.
3. Make Decision-Making Simpler
As professionals, we have to make hundreds of decisions every single day. Decision-making is a draining process that takes a lot of mental space. Self-awareness is the key to a simpler process of decision-making. Knowing yourself provides you with clarity and focus that improve your decision-making skills.
4. Organize, Organize, Organize
Even after you have gotten rid of every unnecessary object out of your workspace, it can look cluttered. Why? You’d ask, it’s because you haven’t organized your essentials properly. Your essentials may include your work bag, your desk, your wallet, the documents on your computer, or even the apps on your phone. All it takes is a few minutes of your week to organize and maintain your essentials.
5. Try Automation For Repetitive Tasks
Most of the repetitive tasks don’t take much of your mental capacity but they do take a lot of your time. You can simply automate such tasks by using software called RPAs (Robotic Process Automation) which will automate rule-based repetitive tasks.
6. Always Plan Ahead
If you don’t already plan your day the night before, you are missing out on a level of productivity. Planning gives you a sense of control which relieves the stress of deciding “what to do next” off your mind.
7. Live In The Moment
Worrying about your future and dwelling upon your past won’t do you any good. It’ll only put unnecessary pressure on your mind. Instead, try to be mindful and live in the moment. Only focus on the moment you have right now. Appreciate what you have instead of focusing on the things you don’t.
Minimalism can be defined as simple living. As professionals, we tend to make our entire life about our work. But life is so much more than that. It is about enjoying and appreciating the moment you have right now. And minimalism helps you do that.
Holding on to unnecessary material things and feelings will only distract you from your true goals. Incorporating minimalism in your work life will help make the most out of it. Minimalism helps you focus on tasks and decisions that matter and helps remove anything that may cause distractions.
The principle of minimalism can be incorporated into all aspects of life. And it helps you conserve your precious time and energy by simplifying things that surround you.