When I first learned a few simple HTML codes in school (I was 15 that time), the web was far different from how it is today. Somewhere around 2011 and 2012, I stumbled across the flat design and minimal trend and got obsessed with it.
In fact, the trend took on not just on the Internet but onto the everyday products in our lives. If you’ve read my work for some time (or you’re checking out my website now), you could consider me as a minimalist too.
The truth is, I don’t buy the minimal phone and owe any minimal bag pack. Getting to show off my minimal taste is never the reason I opt to become a minimalist. It’s an added feature but never the core benefits of being one.
So why become a minimalist? Here are three major benefits if you’re considering to adopt minimalism in your own life.
Minimalism Saves You Money and Time
The first most important resource we all have is time, and the most commonly used resource that connects us together is money. Being a minimalist means to spend your resources only on things that are necessary; thus saving you tons of time and money.
That’s also why I’m against products that use minimalism as a marketing pitch instead of its design principle. There are countless of them in the market today:
- Overpriced minimal notebooks that are exactly the same with the $1 notebooks you can get in any bookstore.
- Minimal dumb phones that cost the same with smartphones in the market — also, make your life less convenient.
- Bag packs that make you look like a minimalist but then, you need to buy eight of them because they only serve one single purpose or occasion.
Other than time and money, your energy and attention are also valuable resources. Don’t just think about the monetary value when you’re buying something or committing to a new project. Think about the energy and the attention you need to invest in those things after the decision to purchase and to get involved.
Instead of making their lives easier and better, people often ended up spending more time to take care of what they own.
Being Mindful by Focusing on Fewer Things
It’s easy just to buy stuff when you see them or commit to projects when they come to you. By making an effort to utilize your resources effectively, you get to spend fewer of them on the things that truly matter; you train yourself to think harder and be mindful with your decisions.
The same applies when you’re trying to remove and eliminate things that you don’t need. Subtracting things from your life is often harder but it could be the very thing that adds more — results and positive outcomes, not things — to your life.
Having fewer things in life means you have fewer things to worry about. The idea works the same way on projects and priorities you’re committed to.
- I don’t own a car personally because I don’t need it. But what’s more is that I don’t need to worry about insurance, maintenance, and parking.
- I don’t commit to seven different jobs and businesses so I could focus all my time and energy on making meaningful progress on work that matters to me.
- I create a simple style guide based on occasion, so I don’t need to think about what to wear all the time.
We all have limited energy and time and money; it’s important to maximize the ROI of them. Being a minimalist mean I get to first, decide what I want to focus on that gives me the greatest output, then invest 100% to each one of them to get more in returns — money, time, happiness.
You could use the 25/5 rule by Warren Buffett to find the focus for your top priorities.
Simplify Your Life so You Can Attack the Complex
There is a notion where being a minimalist means to make things simpler. In fact, it’s true but only half-true. I used to naively think that if I find a proven process or system or hack for life, I could steer through life easily. This idea is never further from the truth.
You see, life is never simple. The goal of minimalism is not to make life simpler because it’s impossible. Instead, being a minimalist simplifies areas of life that you care less so you could spend time in areas that are more complex. For example:
- In startup. Eliminate the hacks and tactics so that you could dive deeper into the complexity of finding product/market fit, positioning, and developing your offer.
- In health and fitness. Stop doing bicep curls in 20 different variations so you could spend more time on not just building your physique but your strength, endurance, flexibility, mobility, and more.
- In relationships. Quit giving business cards to as many strangers as possible at events so you could engage in conversations and build deeper relationships with people you like.
Final Thoughts on Minimalism
There are certainly more benefits to be a minimalist but there are the few that stood out to me personally. Again, the goal of being a minimalist is never about to look or pretend like one.
Instead, it’s a lifestyle that you choose to be mindful of what you own and do.