If you’re feeling ‘maxed-out’ (overwhelmed, stressed, can’t think clearly…) it may be a hint that you could use some minimalism in your workplace.
Many people find that decluttering, organizing, and letting go of things creates more calm, more clarity, more focus and more time for the things we love.
The idea is that when we become acutely and intentionally aware of the meaning (or ‘value’) we give things, then we can discern whether or not we’re giving those things greater priority than our health, our relationships, or overall wellbeing.
To start with ask yourself these two questions:
What do you value the most?
What distracts you from this?
If the thing distracting you from what you value most is actually your “work,” then it may be time to consider different work OR maybe working in a different way!
For most of us, leaving our job is not an option. Therefore we need to find a different way of working.
So let’s look at how minimalism can help us do this. Minimalism is a fabulous philosophy but it can be hard to bring it to the office. Practically everyone you know is living a maximalist life. They don’t want to suddenly cut down and change everything they’re doing.
The good news is that minimalism is actually quite easy to sell. Once they see how simple everything is, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting your point of view across.
Here are 5 ways to bring minimalism into your work so that you can feel more ease, calm, freedom, and fulfillment in your life.
Cut Down On Unnecessary Apps
So many people fill their lives with apps, believing everything that Steve Jobs said. “There’s an app for that” soon turns into “there might be an app for that, but unless I use it every day and rely on it, I’m going to uninstall it.”
Cutting down on unnecessary apps saves you a lot of time and energy. Plus, you’re not having to constantly check notifications all the time. You’re free to just get on with doing business.
Get All The Documents Out Of Your Office
There was no getting away from work documents in the past. Folders were 100 percent essential for record-keeping and personal organisation.
But today, that’s not true. New technologies, such as the cloud and online document storage mean that keeping physical files on your premises is a thing of the past. Everything can be done digitally. And even if you have files in storage, you can now pay people to scan them all, upload them to a computer, and then keep them on a hard drive, avoiding the cost of a traditional archiving solution.
Remove The Clutter From Your Desk
Im sure its not a surprise to hear this but our work space can have a huge effect on our mood and ability to focus. It doesnt matter if you work out of your spare bedroom or in a large open plan corporate office, it’s important to think about inspiration and workflow.
Minimalism recommends we remove the things that distract us – therefore the next step fos us is to get rid of all the clutter on your desk. You simply don’t need it. So ask yourself what do you really need and what is just distracting you?
Remember- the goal is to remove distractions, not to leave you uninspired. Consider how you might declutter your space in a way that supports your work flow and invites pleasure and creativity.
Keep To Darwin’s Schedule
Charles Darwin didn’t just educate the world on matters of evolution. He also talked extensively about the need to work just a few hours a day to maximise productivity.
He said that people should divide their days in two. In the first four hours, they should work all out at maximum speed, getting as much done as possible. Then, for the remainder of the day, they should do marginal tasks that don’t require as much concentration.
There’s a lot of logic in what he said, and modern science backs him up. We now know that hunter-gatherers worked for around six hours a day and then took the rest of the time off to socialise and generally enjoy themselves.
Be More Restful
Lastly, you can focus on being more restful. In today’s work culture, we have a dramatically underdeveloped rest ethic. We don’t give ourselves time to wander freely. We feel like we always have to be doing something productive with our time. If we’re not, we feel guilty.
This sort of approach to life, though, isn’t a good one. Sure, it makes you focused, but it takes away an element of the human spirit: the desire to simply enjoy life for what it is.
When we develop a strong ‘rest ethic’ we prioritize time to think subconsciously.
To work out problems.
To let creative ideas emerge.
To process information and complicated concepts on a deeper level.
Minimalism emphasizes the importance of taking time for inward focus and contemplation. Not only are we able to think more clearly and find solutions to challenges, we also experience the many wellbeing benefits of being alone with our thoughts.
If you are embracing minimalism then remember that its an opportunity to step away from daily unnecessary distractions and to explore what really matters, what you value, how you work and how to blend the these elements in a way that best suits and sustains you.
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Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.