By: Cheryl Chiew
The world we live in is obsessed with productivity and having more. If we’re not hustling, we’re perceived as wasting time. For a long time, I believed this and constantly kept myself occupied. Though my schedule was always full, I always felt like I didn’t do enough. It didn’t help that I was constantly anxious and on-edge.
But then, I discovered minimalism. Through mindfully doing and having less, I was able to redefine my indicators of success and focus on things that I found meaningful. If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed and ‘busy doing nothing’, here are 3 easy steps I took towards minimalism and how I found my life to improve afterward.
Wearing a ‘work uniform’
There’s a reason why successful businessmen such as Steve Jobs and the late Karl Lagerfeld had a signature outfit they wore every day. Not having to spend the mental energy on deciding what to wear allows you to avoid decision fatigue. You then can channel more brainpower towards the big decisions at work.
Personally, I only wear black or denim. Pairing black on black is an uncomplicated choice because everything matches and the color is easy to dress up or down. Getting ready is a lot simpler and spilling coffee on myself is no longer a worry. I don’t feel the need to buy more clothes to look good because I know I always look presentable when I leave the house.
Simplify your daily routine
Don’t try to add more to your day. Instead, see what you can take out. To make up for the lack of time, I was always multitasking—watching Netflix while studying, walking, and texting friends, looking at YouTube videos while I exercised.
That made me do things only half-heartedly and I’d have to go back and re-do things to fix them. Instead, focus on doing one thing at a time. Put your phone aside, be present, and do things well.
Now, at the start of my day, I’d write down the three big tasks I have to accomplish and schedule my day around that. If I have extra time, I use it to relax. Time-off is as important as work because you have to be rested if you want to be working at your best capabilities.
Eat the same breakfast everyday
For many of us, we spend long hours in office chairs, do little exercise and don’t eat very well. As a result, we feel fatigued and sluggish. Getting adequate nutrition is important as it fuels our brains and affects our energy levels.
So, if you can’t exercise more, create a routine where you eat your supplements and an easy, cheap morning meal every day. Be good to yourself and develop healthy eating habits. I have two slices of peanut butter and banana toast with my coffee every morning. It sets the tone of the morning right and eating breakfast signals to my brain that it’s time to switch into ‘productive work mode’.
Minimalism As A Productivity Hack
With these 3 steps, what you’re doing is building a solid foundation where you can have greater mental clarity to decide what you want to focus on. At the end of the day, it’s about choosing quality work over quantity and streamlining your processes.