Minimalism at Work

We’ve all heard about the Minimalism trend and how it involves rules, such as living with less than 100 items, capsule wardrobes and stark interiors. However, there is a lot more to Minimalism and in fact, less rules than one might think. This article is about how to bring minimalism to your working life, freeing up your time to do the important things, not just the urgent.

Ways to simplify your day to day 9 to 5:

  1. Clear your desk – get rid of unnecessary paperwork, books, cups and general clutter. Keep only what you need and are actively working on, to hand. It might sound like a cliché, but a clear desk really can help bring clarity to the mind
  2. Work on one thing at a time – this draws on the ‘if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly’ maxim. If you are going to dedicate your working hours to a task, make sure you complete it to the best of your abilities and this can be done so much more quickly and effectively by giving it your whole focus, for the time it needs. Decide firstly how long you need to get it done and set a timer. Turn off your email notifications if you can and focus solely on that particular task
  3. Handle things once; deal with your paperwork and then either shred it or file it, don’t keep it in a pile on your desk
  4. Workwear – plan ahead and don’t overcomplicate it. There is a reason why many successful business people wear the same thing, or a variation on the same outfit every day. It simplifies things and reduces ‘decision fatigue’. Project 333 looks at downsizing your wardrobe to 33 pieces per season and mixing and matching it to create a variety of outfits. It’s not compulsory to downsize to a particular number, but it can be useful to have some fail-safe outfits for important meetings and pick out a selection of clothing that you like to wear to work and which is comfortable, smart and functional. Ditch the rest if you can! If you know you’re not going have the necessary repairs done, or you know that a particular jacket will spend most of its time in the laundry basket because you won’t take it to the drycleaners, get rid of it. By editing your workwear, you will need a lot less time to make clothing decisions in the morning.
  5. Food – by eating the same thing every day, you are reducing and simplifying another aspect of your working life, freeing up your decision making capacity to deal with the important things in your working hours. That’s not to say that you need to eat the same lunch 365 days of the year, but by keeping your choice simple you can eat and then take the time to go for a walk, or do something else you actively enjoy during your break, such as reading, catching up on calls to friends or simply sitting mindfully outside and taking that time to recharge your batteries for the second half of the day

There is a lot more to minimalism of course, but these could be an easy way to kick-start your minimalist movement and bring some of the advantages to your working life. Minimalism is not really about less, it’s about more, freeing up more time and energy, in order to use these resources in a more productive and fulfilling way.