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This Is What Will Happen When You Become a Minimalist

This Is What Will Happen When You Become a Minimalist

I have a confession to make. I used to be an addict. Not to alcohol, drugs or any other substance; I was addicted to stuff.

However, after gradually adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, I’ve seen immense benefits in my life and the way I show up each day.

Despite what many people think, becoming minimalist doesn’t require you to sell all your stuff, abandon all technology and move to the mountains. Rather, the true essence of minimalism lies in having what you truly need and letting go of what you don’t. It’s about surrounding yourself with the people and things that serve you; nothing more and nothing less.

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Many people may wonder why someone would want to start reducing their “stuff,” especially when there’s always the latest and greatest thing to be had, but the benefits of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle and simplifying our environment go far beyond simplify owning less.

Check out the list below of what will start to happen when you become more minimalist.

1. You will become more happy & grateful.

With fewer distractions around you, the little things in life are given some room to be noticed. Whereas before you were fixated on your stuff, suddenly things like sunsets, birds singing or simply a blue sky become far more appreciated. You also become more grateful for the things you do still have after simplifying your environment, realizing that you have everything you need to be happy.

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2. You will be able to travel more.

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. By owning less, there’s less tying you down should you decide to change locations. This could be a permanent change in residence or even a holiday. Either way, fewer possessions means fewer things to worry about moving or storing.

3. You will become more flexible.

Not being tied down by possessions or distractions also means you have more time for last-minute adventures. There’s not as much to consider when a fun opportunity emerges, which usually leads to greater life experiences and stories.

4. You will become a better friend/partner.

Another aspect of minimalism is removing the negative relationships in our lives that aren’t serving us. In this way, you are left only with friends and loved ones who make you feel good, which allows your best self to emerge.

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5. You will develop an eye for quality.

As I mentioned in the intro, becoming minimalist doesn’t meaning owning as little as possible or living as cheaply as possible. It’s about living only with that which you truly need. That being said, when you do decide to purchase something, you’ll learn to appreciate quality items. It’s as if you pass every potential purchase through a sieve in order to determine if it’s worth including in your life.

6. You will save money.

It amazes me how so many people complain about not having enough money, yet they become almost oblivious to their spending. With fewer recurring expenses and/or items purchased, you will end up with more money each month to put towards more worthwhile causes. This may be in the form of savings, your own business, a travel fund or investing in more quality items. The choice is yours (and it’s a nice one to have).

7. You will start liking every outfit you wear.

One of the biggest areas where many of us can declutter is our wardrobe. When I started to remove the clothing I hardly ever wore, I was left with only my favorite items. In this way, I save loads of time getting dressed and always feel good about what I’m wearing, no matter what the occasion.

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8. You will be more productive with your time.

Becoming minimalist will not give you more time (which nothing can do), but it will allow you to make better use of your time. This is due to having fewer things to clean and organize, spending less time searching for missing items and creating a more productive working space. This also allows you to spend your time doing things you enjoy, such as your hobbies or relaxing with friends or loved ones.

9. You will become less stressed.

Our external environment plays a big role in our internal world. When we start allowing things to pile up, it creates a stressful response and we can easily become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done or taken care of. By adopting a minimalist approach, we become more in control of the things in our lives.

10. You will become more creative.

By eliminating clutter from our lives, we create space for brilliant ideas to emerge. How often have you had a brilliant idea pop in your head while simply going for a walk or sitting outside (without your phone)? This is no coincidence.

From the examples above, it’s clear that all of us could benefit from a little decluttering, no matter what that may look like personally. Do you live a minimalist life? What benefits have you noticed since simplifying your environment?

Featured photo credit: Family on the Beach by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater via flickr.com

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Bryan Teare

Coach and Podcast Host

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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