Read Time: 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
It’s Saturday morning and you wake up with a buzz, excited to make the most of the weekend ahead.
You’ve got a lot of social activities lined up, but you also have a lot of life admin to complete. The shopping and laundry isn’t going to take care of itself.
You also want to take some time to read, workout and more importantly refine your goals and learn new skills this weekend. You’ve been considering transitioning to a new career and upskilling is an important activity.
With 48hrs of absolute freedom, the world is your oyster.
Sunday night arrives and you shake your head in disbelief.
The weekend has melted into oblivion and you spent most of it out with your friends or watching Netflix. You barely got the shopping done and the laundry has to wait until next week.
And your personal development work? That will just have to wait until next weekend.
With frustration and a deep sense of dread, you set your alarm clock for Monday morning and get ready for the week ahead.
Are you surprised by this outcome?
In this edition of The Path Toward Purpose we’re going to explore The Art of Less: Discovering the Freedom and Clarity of Minimalism - and why we find ourselves struggling to keep up with all our lofty goals and ambitions.
Let’s get into it…
The Foundations of Minimalism
Minimalism is a major key to happiness.
When you have less to focus on, you can invest more of your energy into what truly matters. Where your focus goes, your energy flows.
The minimalism I’m describing, isn’t the same as the Minimalist Movement. You don’t have to sell everything you own, nor consume the bare minimum. Rather, this form of minimalism is about narrowing down your available choices.
When you invest more energy into fewer pathways, you start to build momentum. Divide and conquer never works when you’re trying to make progress in your life.
The Mental Framework
The more decisions you make, the more exhausted you’ll become.
Your brain finely balances a trifecta of energy, willpower and focus. When you have too much to choose from and too many tasks to complete, ultimately your brain will choose the easier option.
After all, if you’d have to pick between household chores, personal development or spending quality time with friends…it’s a no brainer which becomes the most attractive option.
Which is why, it helps to segregate daily choices, so you can focus on less and stick to your guns. This way, your brain knows where to divert your precious energy, to attain the outcomes you seek.
How-To Apply This
Here’s a method you can use immediately to develop a minimalist attitude in your life. It's called Subtract & Simplify.
Calculate how you spend every hour of your week. You don’t have to be exact, an approximation also works.
As a guideline, here is a breakdown I performed with one of my clients, Tom.
As you can see, Tom was focusing on so many objectives, that ultimately, he was left with very little free time.
In fact, he had so little time to himself, that he started to feel burned out, unfulfilled and most importantly upset at his life.
You don’t want to reach this point, it’s important to avoid burnout before it bites.
Following your calculations, decide upon which areas to subtract (eliminate completely) or simplify (reduce your time investment).
Here’s what Tom and I did next.
From subtracting and simplifying from his available options and focusing his efforts in fewer areas that were meaningful to Tom, he was able to regain 24hrs in his week, which he can now reinvest into other areas of his life.
If you’ve followed Step 1 and Step 2, you should now have more hours in your “Time Bank”. Meaning, that you’ve now got some time to wisely invest!
For Tom, he chose to reinvest his time into the development of his writing practice. Ultimately, he plans to author books and create blogs, so this only helped him refine his focus towards this overarching end goal.
Not only that, Tom also now has more free time, which he can choose to spend however he likes, to help recharge his energy levels.
It’s a Win-Win situation.
🚀 Next Steps
Burnout stems from feeling overwhelmed. It’s where you’ve got too much to handle and this occurs when your balance of energy, willpower and focus is run into the ground. Your "batteries" need to be recharged consistently to perform in an effective manner in your life.
Narrow your focus and buy back time for yourself. Then spend your free time however you like and recharge your energy levels. Minimalism is not just a tool that can be used to simplify your life, it can also help improve your life. Quality will always beat quantity.
Next time, I’ll be deconstructing how to creatively solve problems, regardless of the situation. Creativity is how the human race prospers and through unlocking your ability to tackle problems from all angles, you’ll find it harder to get stuck and easier to make progress towards your goals. I can’t wait to share this with you!