Although the idea of minimalism has been with us for a long time, only recently it’s getting yet another huge wave of the attention. Minimalists are proudly free of anything that is useless in their lives, whether we’re talking about a pile of clothes, too many monthly subscriptions or too many colors in their interior. And today I’m here to chat about minimalism in business!
Everyone has a different understanding of what minimalism really is. If we follow an explanation that is provided by The Minimalists, ”Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” Therefore, you can find your own minimalism by understanding what are the things you’d like to get rid of in favor to make your life easier and happier.
Let me introduce you to minimalism in business!
How being an online entrepreneur looks like… (clue: not that pretty)
These days the essence of an online business is very time-consuming. You’re not only a boss of your own business, setting your own goals, building plans and following your ideas but you’re also your own business face. You’re the one talking with customers, finding new clients, answering questions and building an online presence.
Let’s stop here for a moment. Online presence. Do you already feel how your teeth are hurting after hearing this? Online presence is the best friend and the worst enemy for most of the online business owners out there.
Basically, you have to be online to get noticed, to show your expertise, to get work, to find new clients and do literally anything else.
Normally, here’s how the life of an online business owner goes:
- You create your website and maintain it
- Most likely, you write occasional blog posts and send out several newsletters
- You chat with your audience on Twitter and share some updates on Facebook
- You create graphics for your Instagram or Pinterest and check newest job offers on LinkedIn
- Your morning is done and it’s time to check your e-mail, answer several way-too-long messages that will lead you nowhere and send out updates to your clients.
- It’s lunchtime that’s spent checking Twitter and Facebook notifications and creating some new blog post graphics along the way.
- The day has almost passed and at that point, you remember that you’re actually a designer, you actually have some clients and you should do something actually useful.
Where all the “must’s” of the online presence ends? Nowhere. There’s always more to do, more to check and more to be present with.
Even if you’re not social media obsessed but you have built your own online business, you’re still trying to balance online-work time and online-leisure or online-almost-work time. Let’s be honest – you just feel like you need to be everywhere.
Finding your way to minimalism in business can help you to deal with this overwhelm!
How to pursue minimalism in business?
STEP #1: Get on top of your ideas
I don’t know how this works out for you but I come up with new ideas for my business EVERY-FREAKIN-DAY. Literally every day I woke up with a new idea. It’s always somewhere.
I’m not one of those who can just think about it and leave it to rest. I always need to invest some time in any new idea to feel peaceful afterward. Whether it’s just writing things down, creating some initial layout or working on specific details right away. It’s always something. And that’s literally where the rest of my day goes until after dinnertime when I realize that I still have those clients piled up and waiting for some actual designs to be made.
Therefore, the first step to take is to actually capture all of your ideas. Create a special place (or several of those) where you can write down what’s on top of your head as fast and easy as possible.
It can be your planner, Evernote or Google Keep. But you have to make sure that your ideas are safe there and you can put your mind to ease and get back to them later.
STEP #2: Understand what you actually have to get done
When I had a wonderful vacation some good time ago, it made me realize – I don’t spend enough time actually working.
Here’s the thing. You should have several clear goals. Either they’re written on your inspiration board, saved in a document on your desktop or are in front of you on a post-it note – you should have this clarification about what exactly you’re aiming for in your business.
Then, start eliminating things from your to-do list, one by one. What is standing in your way, instead of getting you closer to your goals? What are the things you do just because you think you should be doing this?
I’m still online. You can see tweets I’m interested in, I will answer your e-mails and, hey, I’m even sending out my newsletter! I still manage to catch up with all the cat videos on Facebook (just an expression, I hate cats), answer my friend messages and create something for myself.
But my trick to minimalism in business is simple: I do the job first. And get rid of the rest.
I mean, we still have some minor tasks we need to do even tho they might not give us an instant satisfaction of getting closer to our goals. That’s just life. But currently, most of us surely have WAY too many things on our to-do lists that are NOT relevant to our actual goals.
STEP #3: Minimize and give yourself the chance of being organized
Once you have eliminated things from your to-do list and clarified your goals, you actually have the chance to get really organized.
- if you had 10 various folders on your desktop, how about keeping only one or two of the most important ones right in front of you?
- if your browser was overwhelmed with add-ons and bookmarks, give it a try and eliminate the ones that are not relevant
- instead of having 3 places to schedule & write down your to-do list, pick one
- and so on!
When you’re not overwhelmed by the amount of the work you have to get done or how (way too many) tasks you’ve taken on, you can actually declutter your working space and make work easier for you.
We all have something that’s nagging us on a daily basis. Something that’s quietly shouting at you to pay the attention. Now you can get rid of this thing and FOCUS.
STEP #4: Go beyond business when it comes to minimalism
Getting to minimalism in business is not as hard: you just have to stick with your goals and keep the focus straight. But how about taking it one step further and at least considering being a minimalist in other fields of your life too? This would help you to have a clear state of mind both while working and in your free time.
Have you ever thought about decluttering your closet from the things you don’t wear or don’t like anymore? How about getting rid of those just-in-case items in your house? And maybe that grandma’s porcelain isn’t as important in your life either…
I’m a passionate minimalist and have managed to read tons of books on the topic. They all say the same: once we declutter and minimize, we find more happiness within ourselves, within our surroundings, our friends and family.
Along with minimalism in business and in life comes easier and faster decisions, stress-free life and more smooth daily lifestyle. It’s worth taking a look at!
Here are a few inspirational reads for you:
- Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism
- Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
What minimalism in business will change for me?!
Living clutter free is equivalent to happiness. Whether it’s your desktop, your table or your room.
And having the chance to actually clearly see and follow your goals with a clear action plan can bring your business to the next level! It’s way more impactful to put your attention on one goal and one task, instead of five at a time. It’s incredibly powerful to actually focus on what you want to get done and really – GET IT DONE.
I’d like to take a wild guess that minimalism in business can change your whole life. Maybe it will be a start to your path into minimalism. Or maybe you’ll just start reaching your own goals way faster. Doesn’t that sound like an absolute win-win situation in any case?!