Minimalism Challenge: 3rd Update
The storage room. The room that I was dreading the most to clean out. Partly because its full of things that I don’t want to sort though but mostly because its in a dark and drafty part of the house that I’m afraid of being in alone.
We moved into our house this summer and since then we’ve acquired all sorts of odds and ends that go into maintaining a house. We’re also using the room as a holding place for anything that we don’t know where to put or aren’t sure of what to do. It’s actually started to overflow outside of the room itself, so this purge is definitely needed.
My goal at the end of this is to know what is actually in that room, throw away the things we won’t use, and bring some organization to the area.
Stepping into the room I see the work before me. There are boxes of things I’ve forgotten, spare blankets and comforters, plastic bins of electronics, paint cans and paint brushes, roller blades, and so many other things.
First thing I do is get rid of the empty boxes that I thought I would use one day but probably never will, which frees up a lot of space. The bins of tools and painting equipment are set against on side of the room. Since I’m not quite sure what tools we will or will not be using in the future, I decide to keep them all since they are already organized into a plastic bin and don’t take up much space. I examine the plastic bin full of electronics and wires and I’m glad to see that I can actually discard most of them. The bins are mainly filled with random computer cables and headphones which I know we don’t use. The comforters and blankets I will keep. They were given to me by my grandmother and now that I have 2 spare bedrooms they will be used once the rooms are set up. The paint and equipment I will keep because we are actively painting and touching up various areas. The suitcases I will keep as well, since they will be used in the future.
…and with that, the storage room is done. Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much that I could get rid of. Maybe because I avoid going into this room, I don’t really put that much in it. I mainly reorganized what was inside and at least I now know what there is if I need it.
The last area that is left to purge is my closet. This is where I keep my clothes, my shoes and my beloved purses. It’s my favorite part of the whole house and its going to be tough to part with my purses, but I just have to keep asking myself if it is something that I use, value or love and all that remains will be a space that I adore even more.
Stop Working On All of Your Goals
If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of projects and a lot of goals that you’re trying to achieve all at once. And if you find yourself in a cycle of starting, losing steam a few days in, stopping, feeling bad for stopping and then vowing you’ll finally see a project through this time, let’s do both of ourselves a favor and end this circus.
I have discovered a more effective way of finishing my goals sans the self-doubt and discouragement. It’s so simple, yet easy to overlook in a world that demands us to be bigger, faster, stronger. Here it is:
Begin only one goal at a time and focus on mastering your process
How I used to operate is, I would have a burst of enthusiasm that was probably inspired by my procrastination and start to work on a list of things that I wanted to achieve. I would start a blog, exercise everyday, learn Arabic, create a meal plan, read a book a week, and start writing a book all at once. I would have a lot of fun planning all of this out, but the longest I’ve ever gone on this sort of regime was probably 2 weeks. Not exactly a sufficient time frame to even begin to make a small dent in that list.
The reason I would inevitably give up on everything is that I had not yet mastered the different processes for each item on that list. I was being pulled in too many directions at once without firmly establishing the rhythm of even one project into my life.
What must be done instead is start with one. For example, if I was learning Arabic at the beginning of the month I would start my process by committing to study at least 10 pages from a self-guided language learning book, or 1 exercise a day, or whatever method of measurement is the right fit for me.
After I giving myself enough time to form the habit of learning Arabic, let’s say 1 month, I can add on starting a blog. I will commit myself to that new process of posting twice a week for a month before adding on another project. If at any point, I have begun to slip in my processes, I will need to remove the very last project that was added and wait another month before re-assimilating it.
It could be that I reached my mental or physical capacity for learning and working on new things, so instead of stopping all of my projects, I can sacrifice delaying one. This way I will strengthen my capability to learn and my other projects will continue moving along.
With this method of incrementally adding goals or projects to your list, I believe you will find yourself finishing them quicker. This method is really a system that helps you learn how to learn, which is an absolute necessity for success. It’s been a game changer for me and I you should try it too — I am asking you to do less after all!
Let me know what you guys think,
Are you a planner or…?
Are you someone who plans their day out? Or do you prefer allowing the day’s events to unfold and seeing where they take you?
For me, I cannot be truly happy about a day without a plan.
It probably has to do with my hectic, extra-curricular activity filled upbringing, but it is difficult for me to feel content with a day’s events without having made progress in the majority of the following categories: work, studies, fitness, and my various pastimes. When I was a child and I hated summer vacation because I loved the structured day that a normal school day and after school activities created for me. As a working adult, I don’t have summer vacations, but I don’t like the weekends. For me, it’s just a really long stretch of time that I try my best to fill with my activities just so that I can go back to the structure that the work week gives me. To avoid feeling like the weekend was a waste of 48 hours, I need to plan out what I will be studying, reading, and writing. Needless to say, I get a lot done. However, my husband and other family members comment on my incessant need to be doing something, that I find myself wondering if I’m missing out on something that the rest of the human race seems to look forward to.
I tried not planning to do anything on a weekend once. No studying, no writing, no educational reading, no exercising, no errands, just doing whatever my husband did whenever he did it. Throughout the day I felt anxious and slightly irritated that nothing was getting done. I found myself overcome by the deep feeling of stagnation that I found stifling. I ended the day feeling unaccomplished and thoroughly un-relaxed. And that was the last time I tried to out the “no plan is the plan” approach to my day.
Perhaps there’s some sort of deep-seated psychological reason to why I feel the need to always be working on something, whether its my schooling, learning a skill, writing something, or whatever, but if it makes me feel happy and fulfilled at the end of the day then it must be fine.
What about you? Do you plan your days out like me? Or no?