I often meet other entrepreneurs who struggle with their daily routines, perceived messes and lack of systems. When we get lost in the disorder of things, we lose potential revenue. However, there is much we can do to clear our heads, let the ideas flow and give ourselves the structure to grow our businesses. In other words, a minimalist office that can help us set the stage for our “show.”
The minimalist office space is not built on the aesthetic of a small, clear, white desk with a sleek laptop. That may be a part of it but should not alone be the goal.
Having a minimalist attitude is about looking for simplicity everywhere and determining what is essential. To do this correctly, you must follow the first step:
1. Know yourself
You have a unique personality and habits. Thinking you will miraculously become someone else is how we get ourselves into a mess in the first place.
It’s time to become the designer of your own solutions. The world is awash with apps, technology gadgets and other organizing products that tend to take the lead in decision-making. Instead, be clear on your priorities, your end game, purpose and intentions. Sometimes it only takes one honest conversation with ourselves to get there.
Minimalism is about knowing yourself and catering to your specific needs. Don’t do anything because you think you should…except your taxes, of course.
Within this framework, you can move on to the next step:
2. Invest in efficiencies
Efficiencies and the systems they are built upon create simplicity without much sacrifice. Invest time and effort to streamline all business processes. For example, create an email plan. Email is not a “to do” in and of itself; it should hold a specific purpose as a tool that spans multiple projects. If you receive too many emails, consider responding with phone calls, meetings or texts.
Develop an information management system. Remember: more information isn’t always better! Base the system on how you tend to behave, deciding what is best suited for electronic or hard copy.
Tracking money, information and projects is a business necessity. Spec your trackers first: what is your goal and what functionality must it provide? Then, investigate what systems already exist that meet these specifications. This clarity will help with the third step:
3. Not too much
Establish a morning routine, but not too much of one. This will allow you to be flexible and ensure your morning routine goal is achievable. Be clean and organized, but not too much. You still need a space to be creative and messy. Too much restriction stifles creativity. Whatever you do, no matter how positive it is, don’t let it then become its own distraction.
It’s easy to delay these steps in favor of completing “real” work, even though they can save time and reduce stress. Nagging items tend to take up more mental and emotional space than we acknowledge, while a minimalist office can help set the stage for your business to grow.
About the author
Dara Zycherman, owner of Less Equals More, is a professional organizer and minimalist consultant. She is also a speaker, blogger and podcaster. To access her free e-book, How to Simplify: the Less Equals More Introductory Guide, sign up for her newsletter at whylessequalsmore.com. To set up a free consultation for her organizing services, schedule a workshop or invite her to speak, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.