What is Essentialism and How Can It Help You In The New Year?
This is the time of year when we have received lots of new things and are also putting away our Christmas decorations. Lots of things need a home in your house. I think it’s a great time to also clean out some of the older things that you may not be using in your closets, garage, or attics. You don’t have to be a minimalist, but learning how essentialism can help you organize your life may help you in the new year.
Greg McKeown wrote Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and was interviewed on the topic to cover the basics from the book. The concept of essentialism is to take away the mentality that you can have it all and you have to do everything and replace it with:
The right thing
In the right way
At the right time
To live your best life
Essentialist say no a lot more. It is that time of year when most of us are coming up with resolutions, bucket lists or ways to improve our lives in some way. Investing in the right activities is so important. Our plates are so full with activities. Many are trivial leaving only a few that are vital. “Learning to filter through all those options and selecting only those that are truly essential,” Says Greg McKeown. Have you ever looked at a menu in a new restaurant and there are 4 pages of entrees and you are so overwhelmed because there are too many choices? This is the same concept. Pare down the activities that you include in your weekly schedule so you can focus on the essential acitvities. We are of the mentality that the busier we are the more successful we are.
So how do you choose what to say yes to? Have you ever tried to do multiple things at the same time and it didn’t go so well? Juggling 5 balls at the same time only leaves you frustrated that you’re not giving anyone 100%. Either your family suffers because you’re trying to work while spending time with your family or work stuff isn’t complete because you’re at the beach trying to finish a presentation while trying to spend time with the family.
Essentialism is not getting rid of everything like minimalism, but choosing what is most essential to you. Reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was helpful to understanding this concept as well. I read that last year and cleaned out so much stuff. That allowed me to reorganize my Chrismtas décor in a brand new attic configuration. This is a way to clear out your physical and mental clutter. It can also help you balance your work and home life which for some people is very difficult.
Ask yourself so you’re not regretting your decisions, Does your schedule each week, month, year represent what you’re wanting to uphold? (spending time with your family) Actually break your schedule up and write it out. Build a weekly routine that matches your ideal week that balances your work and family time. Seeing it in writing will help you see how much time you actually spend on stuff that is not essential to your goals. It may be eye opening to see how much time you spend at work and how much time you actually spend with your family.
If you want to make a slight shift in the new year work through your schedule and put it in writing. You don’t have to make drastic changes. Small steps in the right direction is still progress. Making changes that are too big too soon may leave you feeling burned out and falling back into your old ways and not making any changes.