My 10 Quick Tips for a More Enjoyable Life

  1. Prioritize: Pick 4-6 things that you truly care about. That truly add value to your life. Make a conscious effort to prioritize those over all others.
     
  2. Say No: Stop overcommitting. This could entail projects at work, planned events with friends, and even goals you have set for yourself. It's okay to let some of those things go in order to help focus on what's most important to you.

    TIP: I know that saying 'no' to goals you have set is a bit counter-productive. I find that people have far too many goals set for themselves. I was horrible with this. I'd have 20 goals and accomplish none of them because it was just far too many. Prioritize the goals, pick 1-3, and focus on those. Once a goal is completed, set another goal and start working toward it.
     
  3. Rid yourself of clutter: Clutter = a busy mind, needless stress, and wasted time. At least that's what it meant for me. Start to eliminate the things you aren't using. Don't fall victim to the, 'I may need that one day' thinking. If you haven't used it in the past 9 months, you can most likely live without it.
     
  4. Let go of the 24/7: It's okay to relax. Your brain actually needs it. You cannot be actively engaged for all hours of the day. It's a fallacy that people who take time for themselves are lazy. It's the contrary. People that are able to shut down for 1-2 hours a day are usually more productive when they are active.
     
  5. Mental AND Physical: Meditate. Practice mindfulness. The brain is just as important (if not more) than your physical self. Make sure you are spending time with it.
     
  6. Consume Less: Buy less stuff. Eat less junk. When you buy, make sure the object brings value to your life. When you eat, make sure the food is portioned correctly and adds the proper nutrients your body needs to remain healthy.
     
  7. Unsubscribe: Information overload is never a good thing. Pick the newsletters and e-mails that bring you value and dump the rest. You can always go and opt-in again should you miss it.

    TIP: There are many services out there that can help with this, but make sure they actually unsubscribe you vs. just block those messages from entering your inbox.
     
  8. Turn Of Notifications: We live in a society that expects immediate action. This is digital clutter. Turn off your notifications. It's an unneeded distraction that gets in the way of everything else more important.

    TIP: I use Apple's 'Do Not Disturb' feature. I have a handful of people in my 'favorite contacts' list. I get notified when these people text and call. For all others, I am not notified. I have a cadence to check my phone's screen every hour or so to see if I have missed anything. (If a caller needs me immediately, [e.g. calls, hangs up, calls back immediately], 'Do Not Disturb' will push the call through and notify me.)
     
  9. Stop Multi-Tasking: I'm sick of hearing, 'I'm an amazing multi-tasker.' I'm guilty of stating this. Technically I was, but I am an even better single-tasker. I now prioritize my projects and work on them until finished. That way each project gets 100% of my attention. If something more pressing arises, I adjust my prioritization.
     
  10. Don't take yourself too seriously: It's okay to be silly. It's okay to crack a joke. Life it too short to be serious all of the time. Go with the flow. Don't waste your energy on trying to be something that you're not.

Well there you have it. My list of 10 things that have improved my life over the past 4 months. Did I miss anything? What do you do that helps improve your day-to-day, share in the comments below. 

5 Common Misconceptions About Minimalists & Minimalism

Over the past few years the idea of living a Minimalist lifestyle has been growing in popularity. Minimalist documentaries are popping up on Netflix, the tiny house movement is in full swing, #vanlife is a thing, and individuals are starting to leave social media in droves.

In our day-and-age, popularity is often accompanied with misinformation. Below are the 5 common misconceptions pertaining to Minimalists and Minimalism.

  1. Minimalists deprive themselves: Individuals do not adopt the minimalist lifestyle to suffer. It's quite the contrary. Minimalists identify which items add value to their lives and let go of all the others. This allows them to focus on what truly matters to them. 
     
  2. Minimalism is a weekend project: Minimalism is not a point-in-time event, it's an ongoing pursuit of doing more with less. It's the constant evaluation of your possessions and what is important to you.
     
  3. Minimalists never spend money: Sure, there are some minimalists that are frugal, but it's not a prerequisite for considering yourself a minimalist. Since adopting minimalism, I do save more, but I'm also not afraid to spend money on an item or trip that will spark joy.
     
  4. Minimalism is a form of religion: An individual does not need to be religious to adopt minimalistic values. Nor is minimalism, itself, a religion. However, if you look closely, most religions do bear minimalist values. I would argue that Buddha and Jesus both fit the minimalist description.
     
  5. Minimalism is about the number: Some minimalists are more extreme than others. There are individuals that own less than 100 items, but there are also minimalists that own a larger number of items. To me, it's about the balance, not the number. 

Have you heard of these misconceptions? Have you heard of any others worth mentioning? Let me know in the comments below! 

Improving Your Work / Life Balance By Taming Your Ego

Your Ego is a powerful personal driver. However, Ego often deludes us into thinking we are more important than we really are. When you begin to believe you are better, smarter, and more important than others, your work / life balance becomes threatened.

Below are 8 facts about Ego that everyone should know.

  1. You are not as important as you think you are. There are others that can do your job. When you begin to think that you're the only one that can do something, you block others from stepping in to help. You, in turn, work endless hours to ensure everything is done properly. This is a negative work / life balance.
     
  2. There are others who are smarter than you, and that's okay. You don't need to constantly have all the answers. It is perfectly acceptable to ask questions and be open to other's suggestions. Collaboration is part of the game.
     
  3. To that note, your boss doesn't always need to know the answer to your questions. Oftentimes I hear the argument, 'He/She doesn't even know how to do what I do.' In some scenarios that may be an issue, but in most, your boss doesn't need to know the intricacies of your day-to-day job. For instance, your CEO doesn't need to know every individual task associated with an internal process. She just needs to understand how the outputs of that process fit into the bigger business plan.
     
  4. Asking others for help is not weakness, it's a strength. It shows that you trust others to do great work. Proper work dissemination is a shared skill that you'll find in most respected leaders. 
     
  5. No one will remember or care how long you worked on something. It's the impact of the work that you did that will stick around. Stop bragging about working 60 hours per week. That's not something you should be proud of. I often notice myself telling people how long I have worked as a means of venting some frustration. But no one needs to hear it. 
     
  6. Busy ≠ Important. I run into a lot of people who are always TOO busy. At times, I feel I am too busy. When I start to feel that way, I start to look for things I can disseminate to others. Remember, a sign of a good employee is the ability to identify your own limitations.
     
  7. Stop telling others how busy you are. It's annoying and people don't care. Stop wasting your time talking about it and start spending your time on correcting it.
     
  8. Not taking time off ≠ a harder worker. Stop bragging about how you don't use your vacation time. Individuals who do not use the allotted vacation time often burn out more quickly. So in the long run, you're only hurting yourself and ultimately the company you work for. Take the time off. It's what it's there for. When you look back on life, you'll regret not taking it. You do not owe your company 100% of your time.

Remember, nobody's perfect. After writing this post I and can honestly say that I am guilty of doing at least 2-3 of these things in the past week. I am actively working on improving on the above list. It's tough, the Ego is a strong force to deal with, but over-time you will be able to overcome and take back some time for the more important things in life.

What do you think of the list? Do you agree? Are there things you find yourself doing? Let me know in the comments!