Today’s guest post is by Dan Erickson. You can connect with Dan on his website Hip Diggs where he gives you strategies to give you a more simple and peaceful life.
People who get things done are busy. Right? They have full schedules and balance multiple projects. They schedule and use every single second of their time productively. Wait. If that’s how you envision the path to productivity, you’re on the wrong path.
If you spend all your time being productive, you’ll likely fail in the end. My name is Dan Erickson, and I embrace a concept called minimalism. You might have heard of it. And you might be thinking, “Oh, you’re one of those weird people who live in a tiny apartment with exactly 101 material items.” You’d be wrong. You also might be surprised to find out that living simply is one of the best ways to create a clear path to productivity.
Here are five ways minimalism makes you more productive.
1. Living with less gives you more physical space to work.
You might envision the most productive people in the world in messy offices. They have a dozen projects going and stuff stacked everywhere. As a moderate minimalist, I keep my home and my work space simple and neat. I’m never buried in clutter even though I do juggle several creative projects. This spacious environment is not only physical but mental. It’s easier to produce new work on a blank page than on a page filled with clutter.
2. Minimalism frees up your financial resources.
When you choose to live simply, the path to productivity is an automatic benefit. Minimalism means less of everything: less house, less car, less stuff, and less bills. This frees up resources for your business. If you take your monthly outgoing bills down from $4000 to $2000 a month by living simply, you just created $2000 a month to use for your productive projects. That’s not bad. You could use that money to put back into your business, save for your kid’s education, or even go on vacation.
3. Less mess promotes thought and creativity.
Let’s talk about clutter. Clutter is not only physical. Clutter is also mental. And you’re much more likely to have a head full of mental clutter when your physical environment is cluttered. I recently attended a creativity workshop in NYC. One concept that was reinforced there was that sometimes the path to productivity is empty. A clear mind and a blank page are two of your best friends when it comes to starting a project. They allow you the freedom to choose to be productive and creative.
4. The minimalist lifestyle frees your schedule.
Minimalism is not only about having less stuff. It’s also about being less busy. You might think that being less busy runs contrary to being productive. You’d be mistaken. When you get rid of the non-essential busyness, things like TV, social media, and unnecessary meetings, you free up more time to be productive. But don’t get the wrong idea. Just because you have more time to be productive doesn’t mean you should squeeze work into every waking moment. Take purposeful breaks. Relax. Drink tea. Take walks. These things give you time and space to meditate on your work. In the end, spending less time working will make you more productive.
5. Minimalism leads to a less stressful life.
On top of all the other benefits that minimalism can bestow upon your productivity, it’s also good for your health. Having more space, more financial freedom, and an open schedule all help to reduce stress. Less stress can lead to more productivity. See how that works? By keeping things focused and simple, you get more done in the end.
There’s more to less than you might first think:
It’s funny, but when we really take the time to look at all the benefits of living with less, we find that we actually wind up with more. I’ve spent the last several years exploring the concepts of simple living and minimalism on my blog, Hip Diggs. I offer several resources that can help you understand how living simply puts you firmly on the path to productivity. Just go to the Hip Diggs’ start page for links to my ebooks: The Happiness of Simple, Get Back To Where You Are, and Finding Our Way Back Home.
Productivity is not a race. It’s a long slow process that works best when we keep things simple.