I've talked several times about minimalism and getting rid of things, but I have to admit that there are several things I cannot live without; things that my life easier and much more enjoyable. Luckily, minimalism does not have any hard and fast rules. Most important is that whatever you own, you need and want. If you don't need or want it, don't keep it. It is just important to be mindful, so that you are aware of why you even have the things you have
1.) A Delay Brew Coffee-Maker
There was a time period that we did not have one of these, and as much as I love the quality of French press coffee, the joy of waking up to coffee cannot be explained. It really makes the morning easier and removes several steps from my morning. The trick is to remember to load it the night before.
2.) My Kindle
Specifically, with a library app downloaded. I love the ease of just quickly checking out and downloading whatever I want to read next at 2 am while feeding the kiddo. I think this is an option of several different kinds of tablet-style devices. I've been able to even check out certain required texts for classes.
3.) A Water Bottle (with a straw)
Somehow putting a straw in the water helps me to drink is so much faster. Which means I drink more. This also helps avoid unnecessary waste from disposable cups or bottles. I couldn't stay as hydrated as needed to breastfeed or just stay healthy if I didn't carry a water bottle throughout the day.
4.) Ball caps
Ah. Baseball caps. Not only do they decorate the back of my bedroom door, but they also prevent bad hair days, rough mornings becoming more rough, and sunburns. They are my go-tos for a day's accessories, especially on a day where my hair may need to washed...
I am a professional at staying busy. I love seeing a big, fat to do list staring me in the face, and I love it even more when everything has been crossed off and I can enjoy my rest with a feeling of accomplishment. What's my secret? Good time management! With classes returning and life speeding up now that summer is concluding, there's no time like the present to share my top seven tips for time management.
1. Start your day off right
If you need a slow start in the mornings, let yourself sip your coffee enjoy the sunrise. If you need sleep, try to do as much as possible the night before so that you can catch a few extra minutes of sleep. Pre-pack your lunch, set delay on the coffee maker, and pick your clothes out for the next day before you snuggle up for the night.
2. Take a little extra time to plan
If you are list maker or planner keeper, take the time to make the lists and plans that help you succeed. Write down the big tasks for the day, make note of the short or long term goals you have for yourself. This gives you an opportunity to check in and use your time mindfully to achieve what you're hoping for this week.
3. "Do it today, or later you'll pay."
If it takes a five minutes or less, do it immediately rather than putting it off for later. This will help you avoid having work piled up later. Pre-rinsed dishes are much easier to do than the ones that have set for a day or two. Freshly dried laundry won't need to be ironed if you hop on it and homework is easier when the information is fresh.
4. Don't turn it on until you're done
Save your entertainment for when you are done so that you can actually enjoy your new show! Once your to do's are done for the day, the list won't be looming in the back of your mind. You can take comfort in time well spent and free time well earned.
5. One thing at a time
Don't multitask; focus on one project at a time! There's no need to read while you cook or watch while you write. Doing one task at a time helps ensure that your task takes less time and is done correctly. This means that you can get more done and be satisfied with how it was done rather than leaving a chain of half-done tasks throughout your day.
6. Make it count
Along the same lines of 4 and 5, when you are doing something fun but all in! Put down your phone while you watch your show. Turn off the TV and just enjoy the time with your friend, partner, or child. Be mindful of the moment instead of trying to cram as much in as possible.
7. Know your limits
You don't have to do it all, every single day. Be aware of how you are feeling and how much "to do" you can handle before you start feeling overwhelmed. Make each day attainable so that you feel accomplished and ready for the next. Piling it on will eventually lead to disappointment, frustration, and burnout. You can achieve more in the long run by only biting off as much as you can safely chew!
Most importantly, take is one small chunk at a time. Whether you think week by week, day by day, or even every few hours. Divide it into "bite sized pieces" so that each period of time is an opportunity for good, hard work and quality time with what you enjoy!