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What Minimalism Really Means and How It Changes Everyone of Us

What Minimalism Really Means and How It Changes Everyone of Us
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What is minimalism? If you think it’s only about having fewer stuff, you don’t really understand the real meaning of minimalism.

Minimalism is the idea of having the chance to pursue happiness. To live our lives fully, it’s not about acquiring more things, but following our passions and do what truly matters.

The True Meaning of Minimalism

Why the Less You Have, the More You Appreciate Yourself

Instead of focusing on whether or not an individual is fulfilling their goals, we focus too much on how much money they make and whether they catch the latest trend. But those things don’t get us more peace and happiness.

Why Minimalism Encourages Fewer Stuff and What It Really Means

When you have too many things, it’s difficult to process information and what truly matters properly.

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How We Are Recognizing the Worth of Material Things More than Their Own Worth

It doesn’t have to be giving up on all your favorite things. What minimalist living really means is recognizing your worth more than the worth of material stuff.

How Minimalism Changes Our Lives

Top 8 Benefits of Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

Minimalism creates more room for what’s important and grants us freedom to live in peace.

8 Ways Minimalism Boosts Your Work Productivity

If you can perform a task in as simple a way as possible, you become more productive and effective in problem solving.

How Good Decisions Are Made in a Minimalist Way

By streamlining your decision making, you reduce (or even eliminate) decision fatigue, and free your mind to work on the important objectives.

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How a Minimalist Style Helps You to Save More Money

Minimalist attitude is that you don’t use more than what you need. This can also help you to minimize your spending and save more.

The Contradiction Between Minimalism and Maximalism

Which One Is Better: A Minimalist Lifestyle or a Maximalist Lifestyle?

There are differences between minimalism and maximalism. But there’s no winner among these two.

How to Tell If Someone Is a Minimalist or Maximalist

Minimalism is marked by clarity and intentionality. A maximalist tend to value the gradual evolution of a space.

How to Live a Minimalist Style

How to Put Minimalism Into Action

Making small shifts is a better way to sustain a long-term perspective on being a minimalist.

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How to Think Like a Minimalist

Minimalism is a mindset and an attitude toward life. It means stopping wondering about things which aren’t necessary for you.

Go Minimalist: 6 Easy Tips for Living With 100 Items or Less

Some useful tips to help you keep less than 100 items to live a minimalist style.

Extreme Minimalism: Andrew Hyde and the 15-Item Lifestyle

If you aren’t familiar with Andrew Hyde, he’s a technology mogul and consultant, and he only owns 15 things.

Challenges Minimalists Face These Days

7 Common Struggles of Minimalist Beginners and How to Overcome Them

The struggle of wanting it, needing it, or trashing it is real.

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Getting Rid of Stuff Is Just the First Step, Understanding Your Identity Is the Hard Part

Deciding to be a minimalist is a massive change. It’s about more than just getting rid of stuff, but identifying who you are.

Minimalist Role Models for Everyone

10 Wealthy and Successful People Who Choose Less Over More

Following the philosophy “less is more”, these minimalists succeed both in their business and personal life.

Highly Productive and Successful People Who Are Also Minimalists

By going minimalist, these successful people successfully reduce decision fatigue and achieve more out of less.

Featured photo credit: Stock Snap via stocksnap.io

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More by this author

Anna Chui

Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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