Whenever I first tell someone I practice minimalism I think they automatically assume I have a perfect IKEA aesthetic in my home and also that I am incredibly boring. They might be right. To each their own. But, if I’m given the opportunity, I try to let them know that the real reason I started (and continue to) practice minimalism is due to the fact that you get so much time back in your life! How many of us are walking around complaining that we don’t have enough time in our days? Well, minimalism has been a way that has allowed me to do this. Let me tell you, a few extra hours in a day add up to a crap ton of extra time in a year in which to fully embrace this thing called life. How exactly does this work? Well, I’m here to break it down into 3 simple steps.
What is time hacking and why do we need it?
First of all, maybe you’re wondering what time hacking is? Fair enough.
Just like there are shopping hacks and savings hacks, there are ways you can begin to hack your time in order to get more back. The crazy thing is that in the 1950’s with the invention of things like automatic washer and dryers, there was this belief that people would have so much extra time on their hands and yet we are somehow busier than ever.
It was like we were granted all of this freedom and our immediate reaction was to fill it up as fast as possible. I have no doubt some people took this time freedom opportunity to relax, slow down, write poetry and begin the process of inventing even more things to make our lives easier. For some of us, however, we used these conveniences as a way to multi task even more, therefore exhausting ourselves more than ever.
Now that we have lives filled with automatic, well, everything, it’s kind of up to us to find ways to time hack our busy lives so that we can actually enjoy the freedom we were supposed to gain from these products.
Why time hacking is life-changing
There are 2 things I believe to be true when it comes to time hacking.
- We can time hack our way to becoming idol and bored
- We can time hack our way into beautiful, well designed lives that change the world (even if it’s just our own).
We all know someone or have been someone who has so much extra time we find ourselves lounging on the couch watching The Office for the 10th time (guilty) and sinking into a state of depression feeling less and less motivated with each passing unused moment.
This is why I believe, more than anything, we have to have a desire for our time hack. What things are we leaving undone that we truly want to do with our free time?
Write a book?
Take up cooking?
Time hacking can be truly life changing, but I think we first must have a clear plan for how we want our lives to change.
Once you do that, you can use these strategies to help you get more time back in your day.
Time hacking with minimalism
Here are some ideas for how to use the beautiful art of minimalism in order to get more time back into your life so that you might chase after the bigger pursuits of your life.
Spend less time cleaning & organizing
When you work to declutter your stuff, you will almost magically find yourself with less to clean and manage.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I felt chaos and cluttered in my house and my first instinct was to buy organizational bins in order to attempt to organize and contain the chaos. If you have ever fallen into the same trap I don’t need to tell you that all this did was take 3 hours or more out of my day and give me even more system to manage.
The key to cleaning and organizing less is to own less. There’s just really no way around it.
If you are fully committed to simplifying your entire life in order to get more time back in your day, grab my How to Simplify Everything eBook that walks you through everything you need to simplify your home, money, and schedule!
If you’re a scatter cleaner
I know the task of tidying and decluttering can be incredibly overwhelming. I am someone who used to get the motivation to clean only to become overwhelmed once I realized I had actually made a bigger mess. My method for making a bigger mess during the cleaning process was through what I call “scatter cleaning.”
Scatter cleaning is when you commit to cleaning one room, but as soon as you find an item that doesn’t belong in that room/area, you leave to put that item away only to find a new area of your home that needs cleaning.
Before you know it you have 17 semi-tidied spots and 36 piles of crap that haven’t been put away. If this sounds familiar, check out my 4 bin method for decluttering and cleaning.
Spend less time shopping
When you learn to effectively apply minimalism to your life, and release your attachment to stuff, you might also find that you are feeling the need to shop less.
If you are someone who is a shopaholic like I once was, you have to be willing to admit that a significant portion of our lives can be dedicated to something like shopping whether online or in person. After practicing minimalism, you’ll find that your urge to stroll the aisles at Target decreases. When you take the time to pursue bigger things for your life, the urge to satisfy boredom through an hour of filling up an online shopping cart can easily subside too.
I know we’re focused on the topic of time hacking today, but keep in mind that working to reduce your shopping habits can also be a huge money saver which just might afford you more opportunities with your new found free time!
Need more guidance on time and money hacking? Grab my How to Simplify Everything eBook that walks you through how to improve both of these areas of your life as well as your home.
Another thing that many people don’t think about when it comes to minimalism is the mindset shift that begins to take place. What starts with deciding you don’t need so many pairs of shoes can easily shift into realizing that you’ve been making time for people who drain your energy without ever giving back.
If you are a recovering people pleaser like me, you might know the gross temptation to say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything.
You agree to a coffee date even though you already feel overwhelmed with your schedule.
You agree to babysit a friend’s kid since you’re already home with yours.
You give your all to your job only to realize that by the time you get home you are snippy and distant with your loved ones.
There are so many ways we allow the wrong things to take top priority in our lives and the more you work to apply a minimalist mindset to your life, the more you’ll gain clarity on your real priorities.
By simply going the process of deciding who and what you will show up for, you can significantly decrease the amount of time you had previously spent trying to prioritize people and places that didn’t make the cut. Read: How to Create a Minimalist Schedule.
Your time is yours. Use it well.
I think a lot of us have been lead to believe that because we only have a limited amount of time on earth, it is our duty to fill up our days as much as possible.
What I would like to remind you is that you don’t need to fill your days simply to fill them. Instead, work to be intentional about how you spend your days and what you do with your extra time.
Challenge yourself to be the person you want to be, to go the places you’ve wanted to go and stop using a busy schedule as an excuse not to do them! Oh, and grab my How to Simplify Everything eBook if you need more advice on how to start.