Minimalism is the buzz word people are throwing around these days when talking about simplification. To some it means losing all their toys and things they have grown attached to, and that’s terrifying! To others, it means getting rid of the unnecessary stuff and putting more value on what really matters to them.
Here are 7 ways to simply make things more simple, and give you more freedom:
1. Stop trying to force reality to be something different than what it is. It’s a simple, yet hard to implement concept. Trying to change reality is what causes stress. When reality doesn’t conform with your wants, needs, and demands, it’s no fun! Steve Jobs had what people called his “reality distortion field” and through sheer will and figurative force, he was able to get many things done. But at what cost? Great to dream big and want a better world, but objective reality can be pretty harsh if it is not given its due.
2. You don’t have to get back to everyone immediately. Monday I had a ton of emails to deal with from Friday and the weekend. But I had other things on my schedule that were not work. Some emails didn’t get returned until Tuesday. Everyone survived. Nothing bad happened. Relax and free yourself from the chains of email whenever possible.
3. Batch. I’m living without a dishwasher for the first time in a while. I personally hate doing dishes after every meal. It’s too much starting and stopping. My solution is to batch dishes. There’s usually time at the end of the day and I can flip on a podcast or some music while scrubbing away, and actually enjoy it instead of hurrying and needing to get to “the next thing”. Other examples of batching are: Getting everything you need at the mall in one trip, designate a “meetings” day or two per week, make your phone calls for the day back to back, or educate yourself by listening to audiobooks or podcasts in the car (like The Freedom Lovin Podcast!).
4. Hire a maid. I now have a monthly cleaning service for my apartment, which allows me to not worry about the small stuff (the dusting, scrubbing, etc.). This saves me a few hours each month. The cost is $70, well worth it (my last lady charged $60 but I’m paying the extra $10 for the non-chemical one!). While they are cleaning my apartment, I’m down the street working at a coffee shop. Most people can afford this. If you’re reading this saying “not me! I have kids, bills, mortgages…” then go read my post on the Jars System of money management. You too will get there.
5. Pay someone to do your laundry. I don’t HATE laundry like I hate dishes, but I do hate using time on it when I could be doing other things (like napping). Yesterday, I had an unusual amount of laundry to do, and REALLY didn’t feel like doing it. Not to mention, I had work to do, a nap to take, and a yoga class to attend. I found someone online that comes to your home to pick up laundry and returns it that day. Perfect. She picked it up at 2:30 and returned it at 7- everything folded, shirts on hangars. $23. Since it would have cost me $10 to do myself, I paid $13 for the service. Even if laundry only took me an hour (it never does!), I’m happy to pay someone $13 for that hour. The last time I was making $13 an hour I was a driver for a real estate brokerage, and getting yelled at for taking too long to deliver some signs across town! No thanks.
6. Trust people. I had 2 guys from Germany rent my apartment through AirBnB last week. They were leaving Sunday at 6am and asked how we would work that out. I said “Just drop the key in the mailbox when you leave.” The one guy looked surprised and said “You don’t want to check it? What if we trash the place?” Haha, I knew they wouldn’t. If they did, their reputation on AirBnB would tank, and besides, there’s no incentive to trash the place! Sure enough, I came back on Sunday to a place immaculately clean and everything in order. Trusting makes your life easier, and makes other people more likely please you.
7. Use a microwave. Despite the fear mongering, studies are showing no link between the use of a microwave and cancer. It’s safe and fast and the best crispy bacon believe it or not is from microwave cooking rather than a pan. (I also use it to heat up veggies and cook eggs and my beloved sweet potatoes!). When it comes to cooking, I’m a minimalist anyway, but the microwave allows me much more time to do things I’d like to do and still eat healthy rather than slave over a hot stove night in and night out!
There’s a few ideas. I’ve got more up my sleeve. What are your favorite ways to simplify and free yourself from BS?