Saturday, 28 April 2018

The minimalist approach to getting extra things done

Is your to-do list overflowing? Do you have no leeway to squeeze in extra things that, albeit not urgent, are somehow important to you? Would you like to have a go at something such as a new hobby or learning a language, but simply cannot find the time for it?

If you’re itching for it, but your life is already filled to the brim with work tasks, family commitments and social duties, then you might want to try out my minimalist approach to getting extra things done. It has worked for me, so chances are it might work for you, too.

Taking minimal steps is better than taking no steps at all

My minimalist approach to getting extra things done involves building up short, bite-sized habits and incorporating them into your daily routine. Even if you focus on them for just a few minutes per day, commit to repeating these habits every day. They may seem insignificant, but can have immense effects on what you’re aiming to achieve!

I, for example, took to learning some basic computer programming (Visual Basic, Android and PHP) at a time when I was already spending crazily long hours at my computer in my translation job. More screen time was certainly the last thing in the world I was in the mood for. However, I realised that computer programming was relevant to my line of work, so I started reading books on programming and having a go at it on my computer in small but regular steps.

The minimalist approach to getting extra things done by bite-sized, daily habits is easily manageable and won’t take big chunks out of your day. Taking minimal steps is better than taking no steps at all!

If you liked this post, the following posts on this blog may also be relevant to you:
- Super-easy decluttering for busy people
- The minimal to-do list
- 8 Proven ways of minimising screen time

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

How to feel great instantly

Research suggests our brains are hardwired to automatically focus on the negative (as described in the article "Your Brain is Built for Negativity"). It seems to be our brains’ default mode, and it’s neither pleasant nor good for our well-being. But there is a simple technique to combat such negative thinking. It is effective and easy to apply: think back over the last 24 hours and call up in your mind what’s been positive for you.

This can be anything. For example, what happened in the last 24 hours that you can be grateful for? Your children? Was there something that went well? Did you bump into a good friend? Did a client drop you a nice comment, or is there something else about your clients that you appreciate?

There is a simple technique to combat negative thinking

The mind has a natural tendency to dwell on the negative, which is why it takes a conscious effort to turn our thoughts to the positive. And once we set off this thought-process, there will definitely be a couple of things that we can think of and feel good about.

On a minimalism-related note, there is also a danger that, once we stop appreciating the good things in life, we become prone to turning to an excess of physical objects. Minimalism teaches us that physical objects will not make us feel content. Instead, it is always better to turn inward.

Negative thinking can be instantly offset if we consciously replay in our minds what we enjoyed in the last 24 hours – what made us smile or what we can be grateful for.

You may also want to check out my blog post "The baffling solution to clearing mental clutter".

Note: You can find a German translation of this blog post here.