5 Minimalists Principles to Simplify Work and Prevent Burnout
The definition of minimalism is: “as simple as possible but no simpler.” Being a Minimalist is about getting rid of the superfluous.
This lifestyle of living with less has been catching on over the past several years. Many of us are searching for a way to slow down and be more deliberate. Westerners are realising that an abundance of material possessions doesn’t lead to happiness. Our rampant consumerism has distorted our values and deteriorated our well-being.
Omit needless things.
Start every day with a mindfulness practice, awakening your senses and emptying yourself of discursive thoughts. Invite colleagues to join you and set a time during the day to sit together in meditation.
Declutter your workspace, including your computer. Organise those files into folders for a minimalist desktop. Open fewer browser tabs at a time.
Allow unstructured time in your day and buffer time on your calendar. Plan for meetings to end five minutes before the next. The desire to add more to your life dissipates when you can see what you already have.
Identify the essential.
Simplify your schedule by saying no to unnecessary requests. Set and honour your boundaries. Have fewer meetings and more conversations.
Minimise the number of times you check email per day. Ask teammates to call or text you if something urgent comes up at night or over the weekend. Set an email auto-reply to remind them of your intention.
If you have a long commute, move closer to your office to reduce the time you spend on the road.
Learn what is important to you because it — not what you’re told to want — will have the greatest impact on your career.
Make everything count.
Before starting work, write down the three most important tasks to accomplish that day. Commit to completing them before you leave the office.
Use different spaces for different intentions. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Find quiet nooks to do work that requires uninterrupted thinking.
Take meaningful breaks to renew yourself. Walk deliberately from your desk to get water, coffee, a snack, etc. Find your most productive rhythm.
Whatever you do, make it worthwhile.
Make everything count.
Connect with your colleagues. Set a reminder to pause once a day and spend a few minutes with a friend at work for the pure sake of socialising.
Indulge richer communication. Tell stories. Use pictures. Meet in person instead of Skype. Skype instead of call. Call instead of email.
Try different routes to your office or desk. Slip outside for a walk in nature. Wander through a park on your way back from lunch. Decorate the office with art.
Unplug on vacation. Be more productive when you return. Consciously choose what you want your career to consist of.
At the end of the workday, reflect on what you accomplished and consider what you could improve.
Close that period of the day with a ritual, signalling the transition away from work to a focus on your personal life.
Remember that incorporating these principles is a continual process of improvement.
Being a Minimalist should enrich your life. Let’s make 2020 the year of simplifying your work life and finding a great balance.
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich via pexels