I’m subscribing to a new kind of minimalism: One that’s fun and focused on creating more time and space, to use it for stuff that’s really important.
One of the things that inspired this was MARIE KONDO'S MINIMALISM THAT SPARKS JOY. For those who haven’t read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo advocates a rigorous method of getting rid of all the clutter we store in boxes, wardrobes, shelves and basements. Her methodic approach leaves you with a minimal selection of all those items you actually love, in a delightful and easily retrievable order. Clutter removed, your heart is filled with joy and your mind can think freely. Reading the book put into words for me what I had intuitively been working on. Splitting time between London and the US throughout 2014/15 without yet having a home in the US, taught us how to live out of suitcases. I found that I didn’t really need much of the stuff I had left in my wardrobe in London even after all the stuff I had given away over the past few years. At ADAY, we’ve put a huge focus on creating staples that work in any situation, so you don’t need a ton of stuff.
We don’t want to clutter our spaces to free our mind, so equally we then don’t want to clutter our mind. A book that’s influenced me here was The Organized Mind by neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin which taught me that we are actually hopelessly bad in multitasking and instead ought to pay our fully focused attention. It also encourages outsourcing a lot of decision for better focus on what’s really important. Now I try to think less and more effectively, it’s a journey I’m telling you. The book also inspired me to apply the OBAMA APPROACH TO DRESSING, and for four weeks I rotated a total of 5-6 garments. The author - like our friend Stacy Tarver who ran the 'wearing the same thing every day' experiment during her MBA at Columbia - advocates that wearing the same thing every day is a recipe of successful people to eliminate the stressful morning decision ‘what to wear’, leaving space in your head for more interesting decisions. Whilst granted I will never fully adopt the method because I love more than 5-6 pieces in my wardrobe (and I don’t find the decision that stressful), it did give me an extra 20 minutes every morning. This has been wonderful because I find time is the most valuable resource.
In 2015 I’ve done a couple of other habit tweaks reinforcing this minimalism: I’ve deleted Facebook from my phone (huge time saver), I've become pescetarian (easily halves every menu), I kicked #fomo out of my life, I started to (irregularly) journal, and I have a majorly improved my (still imperfect) meditation habits.
Now I finally feel like I have headspace. To start the year I want to keep things minimal, and work on reinforcing the new habits I started creating. The one thing I will focus on, it is to dedicate this newly won headspace and time to add positively to the life of others.