I decided to write this blog after observing friends and family struggle day in and day out with the miscellaneous distractions found in today’s modern life. Many of these distractions I have now taken for granted, as I have slowly learned ways to overcome them. I hope to share some of the ways I have overcome these distractions to live a more minimal, simple, and focused lifestyle, and to gain some new knowledge along the way.
Many people believe that minimalism involves getting rid of everything until you have eliminated everything that isn’t strictly necessary, but if everyone did that there would be little art or joy in the world. The world might become a monochromatic, cold, empty landscape. I believe just like Marie Kondo that to live a happy minimalistic lifestyle one must try to simplify their life to revolve around the the things that bring one the most joy, the most inspiration, or that allow a person more time in their other pursuits in life. Strive to eliminate the things in life that do not bring you joy — the clutter, the mess, the unnecessary, the troublesome, the unnerving, etc. until you are able to find focus and clarity in living the lifestyle you desire.
Organizing your thoughts, ideas, tasks, possessions, etc. into different categories or modules can help you focus better. For example, separating your professional life from your personal life (using different accounts, phones, applications, etc.) will allow you to excel at work without distraction while also allowing you to enjoy every moment of your recreation. Writing your ideas or tasks into lists can help you visualize and retain your thoughts more clearly than the complicated, unstructured stream of consciousness. Categorizing allows you to quickly understand more information, memorize it, and put it into perspective. Why do you think the world has recently become app-ified?
One of the best things you can do to simplify your mindset is to observe the similarities and patterns in life. While categorizing can be used as a helpful tool to create more focused environments or mindsets, it can sometimes block the free-flowing behavior of thought. Some people treat everything in the world as if it needs to be categorized or modularized to be understood better. These people have difficulty in practicing open-mindedness, learning new skills, and understanding broader truths. In your day-to-day life, strive to see the similarities between everything you do. Learn by branching new knowledge off of existing knowledge and past experiences. When being taught something, use metaphors as a guidance. Ask questions like “Does X do X like X? or more like X?” Viewing the world in this way will even help you in reducing the number of physical possessions you own, as you will be able to realize you own multiple objects that provide the same functionality and value in your life. The more similarities you find in the world, the more holistic and simple the world around you will become.