Once Jane Austine said that life has turned into a “succession of busy nothings” and unfortunately I have found a lot of truth in her words. We often forget what really matters and get caught in petty, trivial things that deplete our time and energy. About 2 years ago, I took a radically different approach to my life – mostly provoked by my health issues. I began to simplify and minimalise everything I could – from physical stuff, what and how I eat, my everyday habits, what kind of thoughts and conversations I “consume” and interesting – beside the momentary benefits like feeling more free, relaxed and lighter (in every sense!) a need for poetry was born again. And I truly believe in the saying “Less is more”, where minimalism and poetry enriched my life on so many levels.
Today I will not speak much of a poetry, but rather I will try to share my tips and views on simplification, which can help in your writing, work or business; to find what really matters, prioritize and do more of the things you love. In the long run, you will feel more content and accomplished.
1.Learn to say no and cut down on meetings
I know we usually want to please everybody, but try to analyze your obligations more clearly and think: are all those meetings, tasks and chores really necessary? Today? What can’t wait? What can you delegate? What requires your personal, undivided attention? Once you manage to clear your schedule (just a little bit :-)) you will be more productive on the things that really do matter.
2.Take digital sabbatical when ever you can
According to International Association of Business Organizing a typical U.S. worker is interrupted by communications technology every 10 minutes. It’s a productivity killer and developing habits of focusing at a priority task is of vital importance in gaining time –which is your most valuable asset.
3.Find business processes you can automate
This is especially important in our business culture – everything requires approval, signature ext. Sharing files and templates among coworkers can help reduce incoming e-mail and paper jams.
4. Lean is the new black
Once you set your priorities, try to find any gaps where you can develop your own shortcuts to make processes lean as possible. Focus your resources on the things that matter the most.
5. Go paperless
Don’t get me wrong: I know, for the writer this one can be really hard.
I personally love the smell and the sound of lisp paper.
I love having blisters on my fingers from extensive handwriting.
I like to taint my fingers with blue ink – nevertheless there are possibilities for us to cut down the paper work and therefore the clutter accumulating on our desk and in our drawers. I’ve included here this simple info-graphic with tips and tricks to help you along the way:
6.Adopt the Zen productivity mindset.
This idea is from Leo Babauta’s phenomenal blog Zen habits, where he proposes for us actually to put limits and strict rules on everything:
Besides forcing you to focus on essential tasks that have a large Return on Investment (ROI), it forces you to eliminate the non-essential tasks. No other system forces you to do that. It forces you to make the best use of your time. It forces you to limit the time you spend on things, which means you have more time for other things that are important to you, and you are able to focus on what you want to focus on, instead of everything coming at you. It simplifies your life and makes you less stressed out.
In a nutshell, limit yourself how many tasks a day you are going to execute; do one task at a time – and put rules on repetitive tasks – like, you will check your e-mail only twice a day. It’s an edgy idea but worth a try. In my post What writing haiku taught me about business the notion of simplicity also came forth, but we can always challenge ourselves even further.
7.Cut the the weeds at their root.
It’s so easy to go back to the old habits. Once you realize you are starting to overcomplicate things again, go back to the rules. Adopting minimalism as an entrepreneurial mindset takes time and effort. Once you see the benefits, “busy nothings” will dissolve by themselves.
But I say unto you,
Take this stuff just as a stuff;
Movement is movement;
Sitting is sitting,
but don’t wobble
under any circumstances!
My stuff has turned into a dragon
and swallowed up the whole world.
Where are the poor mountains and rivers and great earth now?
Yun-men Wen-yen, (Ummon), 864-949