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How To Tell If You’re A Minimalist or a Maximalist

How To Tell If You’re A Minimalist or a Maximalist

These days it’s all about personal style. We are living in an age that allows us to capture and share our identities, through digital photography and social media, among people we know and even people we don’t.  We can embrace our individual personalities and refine not only how we dress and groom ourselves, but also how we organize and decorate our living environment.

Styling our homes and creating a sanctuary where we dwell and evolve is a privilege. Whether we live alone, with a significant other, with a group of people or whether or not we have children; all these factors can contribute to what our home looks like and how it functions.

It is unrealistic to succumb to the pressure to live in a home that looks like a magazine spread; it just isn’t functional or practical. However we can understand what our taste is, what it says about our personality and how we can enhance the comfort of our living environment to create desirable surroundings. By understanding ourselves, we can also understand others and find a balance to suit everyone.

Are you a Minimalist?

wooden-wall-minimalist-bedroom

    Photo credit: via homedit.com

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    Minimalism is all about clean lines, empty spaces, plain colors and patterns, the ridding of clutter, the clearing of surfaces and the simplicity of having only what is necessary. It is about minimizing visual noise so that the focus is drawn to only a handful of items that are useful and practical. Minimalist decor embraces storage. It doesn’t mean you don’t have things; it just means they are organized and put away so that they are not constantly accessible and seen.

    A minimalist room may feature light colored or naturally toned empty walls, with perhaps only one simple wall hanging or picture. It will include only the basic furniture for that room, which doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or coarse, just plain.

    A bedroom may have only a simply dressed bed, perhaps one bed side table. An unadorned rug on the floor or no rug at all. Clothes, books, jewellery, shoes, blankets and other clutter are stored in a closed wardrobe or closet. Color schemes tend to be pale and minimalists opt for organic finishes. Embracing a minimalist style is quite simply living with less.

    A person who prefers the minimalist style or philosophy of life tends to have a need for singularity and clarity. Joshua Becker from becomingminimalist.com says that it is about intentionality.

    “(Minimalism) is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality.”

    Being minimalist isn’t just about owning less, it’s about shedding the need to focus on material possessions that easily become disposable to make way for the things that have true value and meaning. It is ridding oneself of the urge to acquire and accumulate and instead move away from the modern obsession with consumerism.

    Are you a Maximalist?

    bedroom-bohemian-home-decor

      Photo credit: via decor.clarkssurfarthawaii.com

      Maximalism, while being completely the opposite to the minimalist style, isn’t necessarily about clutter or excess. It is however visually and spatially busier. Maximalist style is about bold colors, patterns and creativity. It fills a room with interest and variety. A space is brimming with life and history; it tells a story and gives priority to diversity of  functionality.

      Comfort is key in the maximalist style and allows for objects of convenience and practicality to be easily accessible and ever present. It is also ever changing and while it can be highly styled, a maximalist room can be dynamic and flexible.

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      A maximalist room will mix bright color with intricate and daring patterns flawlessly. There will be an abundance of options for seating and lying. Surfaces are plentiful and covered with both decorative and useful objects. Depending on the movement and activities of its inhabitants, a maximalist styled room may look different from one day to the next. If a person wants to read, it can look like a library – paint, an artist’s studio.

      Plants feature heavily and one can bring the outdoors inside in a maximalist room. Every inch of space is utilized and there is no set equation or theme. Things don’t have to match. Maximalism is often accidental and can be the antithesis to having a set intention or deliberate design. Knowing the signs of a maximalist style can be the difference between a room just happening to being organized in this way.

      A person who has maximalist tendencies values the gradual evolution of a space. They are often collectors and will display groups of objects that are not only beautifully created works of art that are valuable, but also represent some sort of meaning. Perhaps they have been collected from their travels or have been passed down through their family. Maximalists often indulge in the extreme and can transcend the need for order. They experience order within chaos and find it exciting and motivating; even inspiring.

      Or are you both?

      While having a tendency to be either minimalist or maximalist, most people will fall somewhere in between.

      For most people living day to day, it is impossible to maintain a sanitary and completely clean minimalist environment, particularly if you have small children or pets or if you don’t live alone. Most people surrender control over their living environment and prefer to have a home as opposed to feeling like they live in a sanitary hotel room.

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      They enjoy having things that are sentimental to them and are too busy living their life to be concerned about maintaining a certain look. However, to maintain a calm and relaxed environment that is not only practical, but comfortable, some sort of organization and order is necessary. It is possible therefore to blend these styles and take advantage of the benefits of both a minimalist and maximalist style.

      Ukranian interior designer Pavel Vetrov has managed to achieve this in its most extreme and has literally split rooms in half to represent both styles. While this may not be practical for an ordinary home, here are some ways in which to embrace both aspects of minimalism and maximalism in your home and optimize the positive aspects of both styles.

      • start with a blank palate. Opt for light colored walls and flooring to create space and provide a canvas to fill with interest and sentimentality
      • a feature wall with bold color may balance this perfectly. Paint one wall a bold color or fill it with pictures and paintings in interesting frames
      • storage is important, but so are surfaces so that you can have a place to put things that you use daily or want to display. Find a balance between reducing clutter whilst maintaining warmth and personalizing your space
      • don’t be afraid of color and patterns and while a thread of your favorite colors may occur organically, remember things don’t have to match
      • the golden rule is buy things that you love. Whether it’s a piece of furniture or an interesting statue, a plant that attracts you or objects that have significance in your life, when you focus on what you love as opposed to what is trendy, you are sure to succeed in achieving a balance and creating a beautiful home

      Featured photo credit: Pavel Vetrov via Design Taxi via elledecor.com

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      Diane Koopman

      Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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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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