The world is rife with so much clutter by way of reverberation of voices and endless amounts of information. The practice of simplicity is an art. I will share with you a few ways to simplify your life by practical models of minimalism and other approaches that promote clarity.
Being able to simplify is important as it can spell your success or your failure.
When you are encumbered with so much “mind stuff” you can barely hear yourself think. Simplicity allows for clear thinking which allows for you to get what you need done.
If you can’t hear yourself think then what can you create?
What Is Simplicity?
Simplicity as we will describe it in this article is the way you do things.
When you can simplify your processes, you can put your production on auto pilot.
Writing an article, creating a podcast or video and any other piece of content requires a pre-production ritual. This pre-production ritual should promote clear thinking through simplicity. We want to be sure to simplify the whole process in order to streamline the development of our projects.
I was speaking with a peer of mine who wants to start a podcast. We reviewed how to engage the process in order for her to produce content that promotes simplicity.
Creating any piece of content or doing practically anything at all requires making a plan.
This plan should simplify the process of creation as much as possible because you may need to share it with a team or an employee.
Outlining your plan by way of simplicity is a process that pays dividends in the long run. You have to know how you want to execute your goal as well as the results you want to produce, in this case a piece of content, and be able to take actionable steps towards it.
Once you can simplify this process of outlining or pre-production, you can automate the entire thing.
Setting up scaffolding for a building or making a mold then pouring in the molten material is similar to making a plan that is simple and easy to use.
You edify a framework then pour the raw material inside of it.
I’ll share with you a process I use and have shared in another article that embodies the art of simplicity.
The Kaizen 5S Framework
Practical application of Kaizen and the 5S framework is a great way to increase contentiousness and reduce neurosis so that you can get out of your own way when you want to create.
This model allows for organization through simplifying the objectives around you.
This is essential to becoming a more productive individual, especially if you want to simplify your approach to work.
The 5s framework consists of these 5 aspects:
- Seiri (sort)
- Seiton (straighten)
- Seiso (scrub)
- Seiketsu (systematize)
- Shitsuke (standardize)
When you can effectively: sort, which is getting rid of distractions, mentally and physically, you can commence work efficiently by simplifying your mental space.
Getting rid of social media, TV, phone calls, etc allows for you to actually sit and engage your work when it’s time.
Straighten or orderliness is the ability organize any remaining components necessary to complete your work. You’ll make sure that the things you need to complete your work is accessible.
Scrubbing is the ability to keep your work area clean. Having a messy work area can lead to a cluttered mind state.
Systematize is the edifying of the process used to approach your work. Earlier I used the example of setting up outlines and doing research in order to provide a solid body of work in writing. This portion is key when it actually comes down to the production of any work you choose to engage.
Systematizing is also akin to promoting simplicity throughout the process because there is a clear concise unfoldment in each step of the system.
The last piece of the 5S framework is to standardize the process. This automates and is a way to simplify your approach to your given work. It will become second nature for you to engage in your process while auditing your process to avoid any hiccups. This is the piece that allows for you to run like a “well oiled machine.”
Once you standardize the whole process you take the guess work out of it and you know exactly what it is you need to do without giving too much emotional energy to it.
Minimalism is similar to simplicity but in this context it is a way of life via aesthetics.
When you are practicing minimalism you want to keep things as decluttered and empty as possible without it actually being empty.
You want to emphasize the space not the things in it. Minimalism promotes the space by letting the objects in the space merge into the background of your field of view.
This emphasis on space allows for more mental breathing room. This is the lifestyle of potentiality. It allows for all possible outcomes to present itself via emptiness.
I’ll put it like this. Nature abhors a vacuum. By practicing minimalism as much as possible you allow nature to present many manifestations of creation.
Minimalism is about intentionally owning as few possessions as possible.
You can start with your furniture. Emptying your space of furniture is emptying your mind of clutter, especially in your “living area.”
Minimalism serves to bring the void of your mind to the fore, extending your capabilities to educe your best self.
Coming to a space where you can just sit, think and live is underrated.
The aesthetic of minimalism is characteristic of clarity and being purpose driven.
Minimalism allows for you to be free of a society that wants you to consume maniacally.
Consumption is the opposite of production.
Minimalism allows for you to become a better producer by integrating your mental space with your physical space.
As above so below. You are free from the duplicitous conundrum of objective and subjective. Simplicity via minimalism allows for you to seamlessly exist within multiple modes.
You ever wonder why some creators go to coffee shops to “write.”
It’s not that they want people to see them writing. The fact is the coffee shop is minimal. It’s a liminal space for creativity and purpose.
Another example is the library. You can easily get into the mode to learn when the space is created for that purpose.
It’s the same with creating a minimalist space. Creating this type of space is merging the consistency of the above simplification with purpose driven reductionism.
If you want a practical way to apply minimalism, look into Feng Shui.
The philosophy of Feng Shui is the practice of merging our objective reality with that of principles of nature in order to love harmoniously.
“Feng” means “wind” and “Shui” means “water” in Chinese. Coming from an ancient poem, this philosophy is an emphasis on how human life can be ideal once we learn how to live in harmony with the environment around us.
When speaking of harmony we can also refer to “Tao” which is all about going with the flow. The Tao is the ultimate minimalist philosophy because all you need to do is be aware of the flow and flow with it.
If you are someone who suffered from sub-clinical anxiety, depression and anger problems, the art of simplicity is a powerful way to get control in your life.
Notice I didn’t say “-get control OF your life.” Getting control in your life means that you will be more in tuned therefore flowing while living in harmony with nature.