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How to Live a Simplistic Lifestyle

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How to Live a Simplistic Lifestyle

Many people long for a simple life away from all the chaos that seems self-inflicted. The first step to embracing this new form of lifestyle is to understand what simplicity means to you and then live by that definition. Here are eight suggestions on how to live a simplistic lifestyle.

1. Limit your information intake

Your world is awash with information. The traditional forms of media are ever-increasing in number, and each of them has content that fills 24 hours of every day. The internet is another information whale. Your contacts will also have a lot to share with you at any particular time. Today, its easy to bury yourself with information. You can follow thousands of people on their social profiles. You can also follow thousands of websites, blogs, and even companies. For many people, the need to keep up with all this incoming information is unbearable. A simplistic life for you needs no information overload. You have to accept the fact that you can never exhaust all of the information that is available in the world today. Just dedicate some time, and when that elapses, stop consuming until the next day.

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2. Savor each moment

You should think more in a less-hurried way. Drink or eat slowly so that you actually feel the taste of the food in your mouth. If you are doing a task such as driving or reading, then try not to rush to finish the task and jump to another one. You have to stay in the moment for some time before you are able to make it memorable. Do not ruin the experience by rushing through it. The good news with savoring experiences is that the people who follow the simple suggestion become relaxed and happy, even if they change nothing else in their lives. Savoring each moment brings a feeling of contentment in you.

3. Create a list, but only work at one item at a time

Without a plan that leads you to simplicity, you will not be able to live the simplistic life. Come up with a list of all the things that you need to do to have the life you want. Lists rarely make people change their behaviors, and that is why for this particular list, you will only have to deal with one item at a time, then cross it off the list. Do not create timelines or goals other than the resolve to finish doing the item on the list. Come up with another list when you are done with the present one.

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4. Spend more time with the people who matter in your life

The Pareto principle states that eighty percent of our successes and results come from twenty percent of the things you do and the people you deal with on a daily basis. Let this 80/20 rule work to your advantage. Identify the people who matter in your life, such as your family and close friends, and then spend most of your time with them at all costs. Soon, you will discover that you are peaceful and feel no obligation to do unnecessary things just to impress strangers.

5. Make big cuts

When you are transitioning from a chaotic life to a simplistic life, it will be hard for you to notice any change. Absence of change evidence can cause you to slump back into your chaotic life. The best way to get past this resistance problem is by undertaking big transition steps. Make a big cut. For example, you can get rid of your car and that will take care of parking expenses, cleaning expenses, insurance, and a host of other duties related to owning a car. You will feel like someone just took away a burden from your life. This experience will give you the strength to keep adopting a simplistic life.

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6. Learn to stay idle and alone

You will only be contented with your life if you can be comfortable in your own company. Materials and people do not necessarily make you a better or worse person; it is your attitude and view of life that makes you good or bad. Take time off and just do nothing. Stay off of your phone, do not listen to anything, and do nothing. This time off can last for at least five minutes to as much as a day, but do not use it an excuse to avoid doing your duties. Take time off regularly and you will understand yourself better. In addition, you will make better decisions and be comfortable with changes that are ongoing in your life.

7. Embrace a filling and storage system

Order is an essential thing in life. A simplistic life is full of order. Come up with a filling system for all your physical and electronic files. Store them under clear labels so that you will not spend much time and effort when you need to retrieve them. Use a search program for your electronic documents and embrace services that allow you to sync files from one device to another. In your offline world, buy baskets, bins, and anything that can hold your items when they are not in use. Store everything in appropriate places every time you are through with them.

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8. Embrace minimalism and frugality

Many people avoid talk about minimalism and frugality because to them, these words imply that they have to let go everything that they love. Just like simplicity, the concept of being frugal or minimal varies with every individual. This does not mean that it is necessarily a bad thing. To have a simple life, you need the power to manage your desires and intentions. One way to do that is by taming the materialistic urge inside you. Accept that there will always be newer, shinier, better-looking things that appeal to you. Most of these things are merely complimentary or substitute goods and services. The key to staying frugal and embracing a minimalist lifestyle is to know what you need and then avoid the urge to take up its additions. Think of the whole concept as a way to live an efficient life; your first step would definitely be to eliminate wasteful purchases and desires that lead to those purchases.

You may choose many other things to make your life simpler but the eight suggestions highlighted above will have the most impact in your life.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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