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Adventures in Minimalism: Do One Thing

Do Just One Thing

Doing just one thing in a day alleviates the pressure that comes with trying to accomplish too much, which makes us procrastinate the whole day, doing nothing at all. One feels a sense of accomplishment and success. The one thing needn’t be too broad or too narrow, but can be stuff like:

  • Clean the room.
  • Declutter the cabinet.
  • Wash the car.
  • Give away useless stuff.

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Adventures in Minimalism: Do One Thing

Adventures in Minimalism: Do One Thing

https://medium.com/live-your-life-on-purpose/adventures-in-minimalism-do-one-thing-ac0a88c4a98e

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Key Ideas

Productivity Or Procrastination

We try to make a list of stuff we have to do in the morning only to feel pressurized or paralyzed.

The to-do list isn’t our enemy, but we become ambitious and put a lot more than possible in it. Big goals can be daunting and counterproductive.

Do Just One Thing

Doing just one thing in a day alleviates the pressure that comes with trying to accomplish too much, which makes us procrastinate the whole day, doing nothing at all. One feels a sense of accomplishment and success. The one thing needn’t be too broad or too narrow, but can be stuff like:

  • Clean the room.
  • Declutter the cabinet.
  • Wash the car.
  • Give away useless stuff.

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Step Away from the Spreadsheet
Shut off your brain and stop working. The tasks will still be there tomorrow—plus some more, because work can, and should, wait.
Look Back, Look Ahead
Review what you accomplished today, then make a to-do list for tomorrow. 

Don’t make these lists too close to bedtime.

Cool It

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees. 

The cooler you are, the sleepier you become, so turn down the thermostat.

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The Perfect Day

Life is always more out of our control than we would prefer it to be. Even with the most meticulous planning, the perfect day only shows up now and then.

If we were to have a perfect day ever...

The Quest for Uniformity

Similar to the desire for the perfect day, an ideal life can mean enforcing a rigid uniformity that does more harm than good.

Chasing utopian dreams never takes us exactly where we want to go, because ideas change, people change, and new technologies develop.

Chasing A Perfect Paradise

Dictators from history had an ideal world in mind that would last. But their dreams were never realized, and instead left catastrophic destruction behind.

We are unable to plan a perfect life without also fully understanding the complexity of life. Things we think we want now might be different from what we want in the near future.

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To-Do Lists

Your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy.

If the instructions are c...

The two modes
At any point during the workday, you are in one of these modes:
  • When a project or task comes up, the steps you need to take start to form in your mind. Now you're in thinking/Boss mode. 
  • Your to-do list is a collection of those orders, which your Assistant personality will later pick up and do.
Write down the instructions in such a way that your Assistant self can just do them without having to think - or stress. 
Put Items That You're Definitely Doing

Instead of letting tasks you're not quite committed to loiter on your to-do list until you're sick of looking at them, move them off to a separate list, a holding area for Someday/Maybe items. 

Only concrete actions you're committed to completing should live on your to-do list.

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The new minimalism

In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way ...

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

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Clean Out Your Closet
Clean Out Your Closet
  • Sort and organize your apparel, separating items into three distinct piles: Donations, Disposal, and Clothes to Keep.
  • Keep only the garments you love dearly and plan to wear often.
Discover Your Style 

It’s essential to feel confident and comfortable in the clothing you wear. Ditch the seasonal trends and style labels, discover your style and create unique looks you love.

An authentic and timeless wardrobe should reflect your personality and make you feel most like yourself. Ask yourself what your clothing conveys and what fabrics, colors, patterns and fits are you most comfortable wearing.

Save For Staple Items

Quality apparel has a higher price than fast fashion clothing because they use sustainable, lasting fabrics and pay workers fair benefits and wages. Despite the initial cost, over time, you might save money and time as you won’t have to replace clothes too often.

To lessen the financial impact you can shop secondhand (thrift stores also have quality clothing), start small, shop deals and save for the expensive items, such as a winter coat or high-end denim, months in advance.

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“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann
Remove decorations

... that no longer inspire you. Just because something made you happy in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.

Your life has moved on—maybe it’s time for the decoration to do the same. Keeping just the items that mean the most to you will help them to shine.

Reject the convenience fallacy

There are certain places in our homes we tend to leave items out for convenience. By leaving these things out, we think we’re saving time and simplifying our lives. That’s the convenience fallacy. 

W might save a couple of seconds, but the other 99.9 percent of the time, those items just sit there creating a visual distraction. 

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Feeling less productive

Many people feel unable to find time in the day to do their most important work. Re...

Drains and Incompletions
  • Drains are the tasks you have to do (commuting, personal admin, email correspondence, meetings, calls). These tasks drain your time and energy that you want to spend on priority work.
  • Incompletions are the items on your to-do list that you have not yet completed. They are related to work and personal items (responding to a simple email, or it can be a dream you keep putting off).
Identify drains and incompletions

If you are spending your time, energy, and attention on tasks that don't support your overall goal or priorities, it's time to re-evaluate.

  • Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and minimize distractions.
  • List all of your drains and incompletions. Write every last item you can think of, including the light bulb that needs replacing, and the conversation you need to have with a co-worker.

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Stay Near Organized People

They’re really helpful resources.

Maybe your super organized co-worker will share the rules she sets up in her inbox. Or maybe try setting up a calendar with a neat co-worker that you ...

Everything You Own Has its Place

Every single item that you own should have a place, wether is a business card, a snack or an email.

This will reduce significantly the clutter of your life.

Turn it Into a Challenge

If you turn cleaning up into a game, you can make the process fun.

It may sound ridiculous, but this strategy really works, especially if you're a competitive person.

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Reducing Mental Clutter At Work

Multitasking and being interrupted are big sources of clutter in our minds. Switching between tasks, we have to keep details of both tasks in mind, which harms focus, patience and enjoyab...

Reducing Mental Clutter At Home

Physical clutter affects your brain, too. If your home is a mess, clearing your space can be the first step to clearing your mind. We can take a step further, though, and clean out mental clutter just like we clear our physical clutter.

To have a happy home life, a thorough mind dump is an essential skill to practice. The thoughts you have are taking the place of the thoughts you could have, so consider which thoughts you dwell on and how they may be impacting you and those around you.

Reducing Mental Clutter In Your Soul

We take in so much information every day, we need a regular practice for decluttering our spirits. Distractions are a form of clutter that you can easily remove by being aware of and avoiding them. 

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Benefits of an evening routine

Haphazard evening routines can have serious effects on our sleep. 

The right evening routine helps us wind down, relax, and get into a deep, restorative sleep—making us refreshed and ...

The science of sleep

When we close our eyes for the night, our mind cycles through different stages of sleep:

  • Light sleep: Which is most similar to being awake
  • REM (or Rapid-Eye-Movement): Where our minds are asleep but active and where dreams are most likely to happen
  • Deep sleep: Where our mind is in “regeneration” mode

So many things can get in the way of us reaching deep sleep, from stress and burnout to late-night screen usage, eating late, and physical issues. To make sure we reach our deep, restorative sleep, we need a proper evening routine.

Create a “closing ritual”

For most of us it is the mind, rather than the body, that disrupts restorative sleep.

To cleanse our mind of the leftover responsibilities of the day, we need to bring a mental wind down into our evening routine.

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