National Simplify Your Life week: Exploring the Benefits of Minimalism
National Simplify Your Life week is celebrated during the first week of August each year. It serves as a reminder that less truly is more. The practice of simplicity is ancient, and it has been praised for its many benefits. Proverbs 14 mentions that “the simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” This means that an effective person removes the unnecessary elements in their life to create a better path. In Islam, humility and simplicity are considered virtues that can enable individuals to find grace and dignity.
In our modern world, people have a variety of choices available to them. While choice is generally considered good, having too many options can make our lives complex and stressful. Many of us have experienced going to the grocery store to purchase a few items and ending up with a cart full of things we don’t need. The average supermarket carries over 42,000 products, according to the Food Marketing Institute, making it difficult for people to make decisions. Psychologist Barry Schwartz explains in his TED Talk, “The Paradox of Choice,” that too many options can lead to nonparticipation or delay in taking action. It can also make us feel overwhelmed.
To simplify our lives, we need to prioritize and focus on what matters most. Here are some key considerations for simplifying your life:
1. Decide What Matters to You and Eliminate the Rest
Clutter can prevent us from getting organized and being efficient. Simplifying is an exercise in prioritization, which means that as you focus on what’s important, you will have to ignore what doesn’t matter as much. It can be helpful to be specific about what you’re trying to accomplish each day and remove all items and activities that serve as distractions. Here are some examples of things you can do to simplify your life:
– Cancel irrelevant magazine subscriptions
– Delete apps that waste your time
– Consolidate your accounts
– Unfollow people on social media who flood your feed
– Limit your technology to ones that are actually useful
– Use all-in-one applications that present most or all of your personal information
– Donate or sell items that don’t add value
– Eliminate clutter and organize useful belongings
Apps can be helpful tools to prioritize your goals and to-do lists. For instance, the Priority Matrix app lets you prioritize your tasks in a matrix, while the Prioritize Me! app lets you select which of your goals are most important.
2. Focus on the 20 Percent
The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. This means that 20 percent of your activities lead to 80 percent of your effectiveness. If you’re a homeowner, 20 percent of your possessions are associated with 80 percent of your activities. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, we wear just 20 percent of our clothing. It may be a good idea to donate or sell the rest.
Apps like Tody can be helpful in organizing and prioritizing your tasks. The app will prompt you when a chore is due, keeping you on track.
3. Be Practical
The two most challenging areas of life to simplify are personal finances and love life, according to the July 2016 Simplify Your Life survey by Capital One. A majority (60 percent) of over a thousand respondents said that a practical approach is the best way to simplify their finances.
According to the same survey, 41 percent of respondents had a mobile app as their must-have tool. A tool like Capital One Wallet, which lets you keep track of all your purchases in real-time, can help you consolidate your account information. It’s essential to know which apps boost your productivity, as most smartphones are littered with random apps.
The paradigm of simplicity requires attention to important matters and treats the rest as noise. When it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers often succumb to buyer’s remorse because of unmet expectations. They may believe that better alternatives exist, even if their original selection was great.
Only 6 percent of Americans surveyed in the Simplify Your Life survey believed that creativity was the best approach to simplifying their financial lives. Rather than using fancy methods, it’s best to do the important stuff and get rid of what is not essential.
In conclusion, National Simplify Your Life week encourages us to focus on what truly matters and discard the rest. It is not only good for our physical and emotional well-being, but it can also enhance our productivity and help us achieve our goals. So take some time to evaluate your life and eliminate the unnecessary elements that do not serve you.