When I talk to clients about minimalism and simple living, their panic is indicative of something they can’t hide under the rug: mind clutter and endless mind chatter. While typically under the purview of mindfulness practitioners and meditation teachers, these tricks our minds play to distract, delay, and create indecisiveness are directly related to our home and office space environments. Not to mention our productivity.
Minimalism and mindfulness create a positive feedback loop: a minimalist lifestyle encourages clearheadedness and awareness in the present moment, and mindfulness allows for clarity in choosing just the most important and enriching items, eschewing the rest.
When you begin your work day, whether you have your own business or at the beginning stages of creating one, consider these steps:
1) Set an intention. Intentions, unlike goals, can be incredibly minute or specific or even be a general sense of purpose. More like guiding principles than tasks. Your intention can be to laugh every time you find yourself getting frustrated, focus on being focused, or find ways to be more helpful to others in your communication. You can keep the same one for a week or month or switch each day.
2) Set your space. Keep it simple but cater to your style. If you need pops of inspiration, include them as long as they don’t distract.
3) Create a breath practice. A breathing practice doesn’t need to be complicated. Basic breath awareness counts. You can include this at the beginning or close of your day or use periodically as needed. Consider yogic breathing (pranayama) for additional breathing exercises.
4) Define a moment of closing. As the day turns into night, we seldom create a clear cut off. Instead, select a way to thoughtfully close your work time (ex. write your to do list for tomorrow, review today’s accomplishments, or thank your computer for surviving another day). Remove anything you don’t want waiting for you tomorrow. Make sure you reserve time for this practice.
All days look different. Incorporating only one or two of these components will still integrate mindfulness into your work day. Rather than making these additional tasks on your unwieldy to do list, slowly roll them in over the course of the month in a way that feels natural to you.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.