How to Be a Minimalist: A Guide for Getting Started with Minimalism

(Image credit: @traf on Twitter)

Minimalism has taking modern culture by storm and it’s effects stretch far and wide in just about every artistic industry. People have made room for minimalism in their homes by tossing out all the nonessentials. Don’t think you have to throw out all your furniture to have a minimalist space. Over the course of this article I’ll be discussing minimalism and it’s benefits that will skyrocket your productivity.

What is Minimalism? 

Minimalism is essentially the style of having less. It is the breaking of the chains of the world and freeing yourself from the lust of possession. There has been a style epidemic breaking out all over the world of people humbling themselves by throwing out all their possessions. 

Many people choose minimalism for a variety of reasons but it’s nothing new. Historically the majority of people have adopted this style out of a lack of resources.

The idea of this by choice might sound odd but there are certain cultures that live by minimalism to bring a sound and calming lifestyle. People adopt this lifestyle by choice either for aesthetic reasons or simply for focus and productivity.

Because minimalists are buying less things they usually choose higher quality items that will serve them years to come. I prefer high quality items because I like the best of the best and I never enjoy replacing anything. I’d rather have quality over quantity.

Why Choose Minimalism? 

“If it no longer serves you, get rid of it.” If you’ve ever had to clear out a space you may have come across that phrase. The act of keeping only the essentials is the banner of minimalist culture.

Minimalism is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit and determination to live this lifestyle. A perfect example of this is from the bible.  

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Some people, such as myself, get to the point where they are finished with having a cluttered workspace that they adopt a new system. When I transformed my workspace I saw the value by noticing the difference it made in my work by giving me an accomplished peace of mind which allowed me to produce better content.

Work Benefits

If you’re going to be sitting at a desk all day creating a clean workspace is always more pleasing on the eye. In my experience my ability to generate ideas, while also having more consistent productivity is much easier when I’m not surrounded by clutter, but a workspace that is perfectly in order. It allows me to stay connected with what I’m working on free of distractions.

Highly creative people tend to have an organization to their process and most will admit their environment has a lot to do with their overall wellbeing and ability to create. Their business can be indirectly affected based on their workspace.

The desk setup is crucial to achieve greatness. It is the foundation upon which you build your empire. It can be a space that is either inviting or repelling to work in. To maximize focus, minimize distractions. Make sure your environment is giving you the best advantage to create works of art. Sometimes, all it takes to achieve more is to look to your surroundings.

Life Benefits

The world will tell you to keep accumulating but the problem with that is things will start owning you. Having a decluttered and organized home allows us to have a sense of peace by cutting out distractions and chaos.

I find that when I have less physical distractions I have less mental distractions which increase my energy and productivity.

Your business life suffers when your personal life suffers. Most productive people realize the importance of how their workspace l00ks and functions.

Minimalism as an Art 

Minimalism has had a presence in just about every art form lately from fashion to interior décor to graphic design to business design taking inspiration predominately from Scandinavian and Japanese culture. It is synonymous with a modern look because of the straight lines and neutral colors it can take on.

The look often features straight lines and neutral tones, that melds with modernism and most other art forms.

Those who create may like the minimalist look because it is usually very complimenting of anything they choose to add in their workspace.

Workspace Accessories You Should Consider Removing

With more to do and less time to do it our desks are piling up at the same rate as our calendars. Here is a list of some unnecessary desk items you should consider hauling away.

  1. DRINK – Hydration is not needed, especially not at the expense of the desk’s minimal style. 

  1. PHOTOS – Your family would much rather you have a clean desk than staring at their faces throughout the day. A good recommendation rather is to get a tattoo of their faces so you can clear off your desk.

  1. NOTEBOOK AND PENS – This is the digital age. You don’t still have those barbaric utensils do you? 

  1. LAMPS AND LIGHTING – Light is not needed when you’ve got a screen and backlit keyboard. 

  2. TECH – If you must use tech to work and create then I suggest using wireless devices in order to keep your workspace free from the tyrannical reign of wires.

Tips to Keep Your Space Clean

Most of us go through a cycle of deep cleaning and organization only to have to do it again and again. The reason for this is because we neglect to adopt a better system. From someone who has neglected clutter in the past to living organized and clutter free, here are some tips to keep your space clean.

  • Cut the fat. Start by getting rid of the things you can easily identify as trash and things that no longer serve you. By starting here you give yourself more room to organize later.

  • Group like items together. Anything that is similar in use, function, or look keep them together to give your room a sense of order, and so you will always know where everything is.

  • Give your items a home. Have a place for every single item and keep them there unless you are currently using that item. By putting your items in the right location you have completely conquered your space and won back your time of searching.

  • Put away your toys. The cliché parent line actually paid off. Put your things back where they belong when you’re finished with them. They were right, who would have thought? Certainly not us.

In Conclusion

Minimalism is as old as the day when humans first walked the earth and it will be here to stay. In our accumulation society there has been a large opposite reaction in the popularity of minimalism as a choice rather than by force.

The minimalist mantra of “less is more” has brought about increased focus and happiness in many of those who have tried it. We are more productive when we have less distractions. Keep your eye focused on your dreams and never give up.

Always remember, the joy is in the journey.

Thank you Traf for the use of your pristine desk setup. Go follow @traf on Twitter.

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