There’s a common misconception that minimalism refers to the number of items you own. Minimalism is about prioritizing things of value and importance. Items that create unnecessary clutter are removed. This principle can be applied to your work.
These 6 tricks will show you how to add minimalism to your life to become more focussed and productive.
First and foremost, remove anything that is not needed for your current task. Research emerging from Harvard in 2015 discovered the power of reducing distractions. Those with a clean work area could carry out a challenging task for 1.5 times longer than those exposed to a disorganised workspace.
Distractions also include work related to a different task. A loose file from a past project may cause your mind to wander. Rid your workspace of clutter. Only have everything visible that you need for the task at hand.
Have a morning routine
In today’s busy world, it can be hard to allocate time to yourself. Get into the habit of a morning routine to relax your mind before you start work.
Shift your sleep schedule slightly, so you have time in the morning to yourself. Choose activities that ease your mind. Many people now practice yoga and meditation to start off the day. Perhaps you’d enjoy a morning stroll down the road or even just a coffee and reading the paper without the usual morning rush.
Create your workspace
Do you work from home? If so, is your home office a space where you can feel productive and focussed? Your work environment will affect your productivity greatly. Choose a location with minimal distractions and background noise.
It’s also important to separate your work life from your personal life. Separating these areas can be difficult if your home office is in your bedroom, so consider sectioning off the room with a divider or large rug.
There are many creative ways to create a home office. Converting a shipping container into a home office is an up-and-coming innovation. They make for a cheaper alternative to building an office from scratch.
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Plan your day
Taking five minutes out of your day to prioritise your work will make a world of difference to your focus.
Prioritise tasks with closer deadlines and use a checklist to tick off completed tasks. This is especially helpful for those with many small tasks to complete.
This way there will be a clear path of what you need to complete for the day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with your workload and wondering which task to complete first, your mind will be focussed at the task at hand.
Multitasking may negatively affect your productivity. Switching between tasks forces you to re-orientate yourself. First, you must shift your goal from one task to the other. Then, you need to activate the cognitive rules required to complete the task. With a scattered mind from constant task switching, you could end up with sub-par tasks that require revision.
Batch tasking is a great alternative to multitasking. This is where a series of repetitive or similar tasks are completed one after the other. This reduces the extra time required to re-orientate yourself between tasks. This could include batch emails, phone calls, social media post scheduling and report writing.
The best time to start putting these minimalism tricks into practice is now. Remove anything at your desk that could stop you from doing your job efficiently and effectively. Start applying these changes to your life and reap the benefits of increased focus and productivity.
Maia Fletcher is a Gisborne based writer. She has written articles for various local New Zealand based sites such as Poynters. She loves to inspire people to be less busy and more productive. Check out her blog for more inspiring reads.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.