The Challenges of Clarity, Focus, Simplicity, and Minimalism

I’m finding myself at a place that I often visit from time to time. A time in my life when I feel the excess coming on and have the instinctual push to find more clarity, focus, and simplicity. The principle of minimalism comes to mind, but I believe that minimalism is only a subsection of living a more effective life.

Clarity

With too much excess comes a lack of clarity. As more things pile on my plate, I feel the pressing need to stop for a moment and reevaluate my vision. Not the type of life purpose vision, but a more clear view of what I’m currently doing, my schedule, my priorities. (The life purpose type of vision is for another post).

It’s time for me to establish more clarity and revisit my big-picture perspective. I’ve been getting too much in the weeds and need to draw back a bit and take a bigger look.

Focus

With more clarity comes improved focus. Here, is where the challenge lies for me. More focus will require me sitting my butt down and literally writing out a schedule. A schedule of teaching, university work, writing, and family time among other things.

This is a challenge because I’ve found myself so wrapped up in work that stopping to organize my day and week would seem like halting my important freelance work and feeling left behind.

I’ll need to do better.

Simplicity

This all boils down to simplicity. Simplifying my life by compartmentalizing different aspects to work on. To reduce things to the essentials and throw out the rest. To minimize needless consumption, learn to say no to some opportunities because they don’t serve the big picture, and adopt a system to adhere to.

Minimalism

So what does this all look like? Let me list out some things I need to simplify, reduce, and focus on.

Email: Schedule a specific time to check email. Deal with messages either immediately or archive for later. Avoid saving emails as reminders and using it as a “work station.”

Social media: Reduce follows, accounts, and create a schedule to check once or twice per week.

Reading: Create a steady reading schedule and read real, physical books.

Freelance work: Schedule freelance work and establish hard start and stop times.

University work: Same as freelance work. Also, take time to improve courses and research new information.

Family time: Schedule quality family time after the hard stop of work.

Bored time: Have some time each day to be “bored.” Alone with thoughts with no stimulation or distraction.

Material items: Clean out clothes and other items to avoid clutter and to make everyday decisions easier.

Challenges/obstacles: Take time to list things that are on my mind. Review them and write out potential steps to find a solution. Call friends for advice.

This is a work in progress and I will be posting updates more often.

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