LESS Your journey of a new minimalist, and the art of stress-free living.
Doing With LESS is dedicated to: My wonderful readers, fellow minimalist bloggers, and to my amazing girlfriend, Kelly. Thanks for being a huge blessing, giving me the freedom to write, and making this book a reality. - Daniel Richard
introduction We're living in the age of abundance, where one can get anything they wanted instantaneously through the web or at the little convenience shop down the corner of the road. There's a new gadget that's released every other month, a new bag that has one more compartment than its predecessors, a new pair of sneakers that you may have been eyeing on since their pre-release advertisements on billboards, newspapers, and every other lifestyle magazine that you've ever heard of. On the downside, there's an neverending increase in the amount of emails, thoughts, demands, and distractions that are trying to take away your attention one tiny bit at a time. â€œThats absurd!â€? you say. Yes I know. Now imagine a world where you can finally put an end to the chaos in your life, purging away the unnecessary, ending the addiction of overconsumption and start living again.
Doing With Less: Your journey as a new minimalist, and the art of stress-free living is a book that's written to guide readers who wants to make change in their lives, bringing out the minimalist in you, and thrive in a rush-rush society with less. You may start taking charge of your time, life and finances today. Let us begin shall we?
Doing With LESS: Your journey as a new minimalist, and the art of stress-free living is a book authored by Daniel Richard. Further reading: http://thedanielrichard.com http://doingwithless.com
foreword We live in interesting times. Consumerism is the norm, the world is getting warmer and certainly in my country (the United States) people are getting poorer. For 50 years the televisions told us the only way to be happy was to buy more stuff窶馬ow we have more than we need and we're still not happy. Somewhere along the way we lost our heads, something went wrong, and we need to fix it. Interestingly enough, a small band of extraordinary individuals (including this e-book's author Daniel Richard) have figured out a secret that was so obviously in front of us that no one had any idea it was there. Less is better. When you buy less, you spend less. When you spend less, you can work less.
Freedom is for the taking, it was here all along. Less really is the power that we were all searching for, because it grants us freedom. by Everett Bogue http://farbeyondthestars.com
Everett is a minimalist blogger, a professional writer, and the author of one of the most amazing book on minimalism today: The Art of Being Minimalist: How to Stop Consuming and Start Living
table of contents Introduction
How to Unclutter
Freedom From Stuff
Table of Contents
Stuff Doesn't Equate to Happiness
Stuff Doesn't Bring You Closer to Your Destination
Part ONE - becoming a minimalist
Renouncing Your Possessions
It's a Journey
Throwing Everything Away
Drawing the Line
The Ultimate Lifehack
My Possessions in an IKEA Box
The Art of Stress-free Living
On Not Doing What's Popular …
Part THREE - less work
Creating Your Minimalist Movement
On Interruptions …
5 Things You Can Do With Less
On Focus and Clarity …
On Visual Distractions …
Part TWO - less stuff
Three to Done
Creating Value vs Paper Shuffling
Be Less Productive
Unlearn Old Tricks
Unplanning Your Schedule
What's On Your Desk?
Uncluttering Your Inbox
Do Less. Get Less Done
Part FOUR - less spending
Part SIX - less complexity
On Minimalist Businesses …
Become Totally Conscious About Your Finances
It's Okay Being Small
Create Small Financial Changes First
How You Can Make Better Things While Being Small
You Can Thrive On Less
Doing Things Simpler
Eliminating Debt: 3 Habits
Create a Spending Calendar
On The Fear of Failure …
30 Days Rule
Make a Stand
2 Years Rule
Starting With Less
Part FIVE - less noise
On Being Specific …
Do One Thing Great vs Many Things Mediocre
Part SEVEN - relationships
About The Author
Less Arguments. Zero Quarrels
Creating a Common Vision
Creating Your Work-Life Balance
3 Little Habits for a Better Morning
10 Simple Ways to Building Each Other Up
Part EIGHT – your minimalist journey
7 Simple Ways to Being Stress-free
Going Beyond Organizing
Visualizing Change in 30 Days
Focus on Creating
becoming a minimalist
it's a journey Minimalism is a journey. Where you can strip off all the unnecessary. Getting rid of the burden of stuff.
It's not a life of nothing, of boringness. It's a life of richness, in less. - Leo Babauta
Living a life where you are free to travel, focus on creating, and thrive in a world that only wants you to have more stuff. Minimalism is the realization that you can do with less. Where you value quality over quantity in all forms. That you know that buying more stuff doesn't really make you happy. And going against the notion that having little is boring. It's a life of richness, with less.
If you are looking forward to creating a world where you can begin:
Having less worries
Having uncluttered schedules
Working on your passions
Working from anywhere
Making room for happiness
You can start making them happen. You can be free today. Minimalism is a journey—your journey. It doesn't matter where and how you start. Your approach to minimalism may differ from mine. Find what works best in this book for you, and stick to them. Let's begin by drawing the line in the sand and make a stand.
drawing the line No one told you that you can't start making your own decisions, be totally conscious about your time, life and finances. There's no need to buy that new shiny gadget, that new car, or a new mobile phone subscription. Drawing the line begins by knowing and understanding what's right to you and setting up boundaries between the new (and better) principles against the old. There's no doubt that you'll disappoint many when you decide to take a stand. The good news is that for the 1 that you might have let down, there are 2 others who have been through the newer phase – and came out better – that will be in full support with you. Sure, there will be awkward moments where you'll receive curious looks from friends as though it was “wrong” to not buy something new to replace what's usable; but that may take a week or two for you to getting used to.
It is okay for you to make a stand with your minimalist values. Like the many other minimalists who have surfaced in the online community, you'll thrive. Start drawing the line on the sand. Take a stand. The best time to start drawing the line is now.
the ultimate lifehack Why chase on for the next productivity tool, or read the next article that promises to help you manage your time in a series of steps? Lifehacking has taken on a whole new meaning in today's society where the average person (from teens to the young working upstarts) tries to conquer the many things that happens in his daily life.
Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty. - Socrates
A quick search on the term “lifehack” or “productivity” gets you a total of 50 million search results. While there are many such articles that have well intentions of helping you reduce the things to do and provide practical tips that actually allows you to get things done faster, the flipside is also true with blog entries to books that sells you on the concept of maximizing your time to get more things done. Seriously, why would you want to do “more” things? Hence, minimalism. Where instead of getting more things done, you purge away the unnecessary things that don't have to be done (or begin with).
Just â€œbeing productiveâ€? is no means to an end. As a minimalist, you have no interest in doing things faster or doing more stuff that you don't care about. There are only 2 core principles that you may want to adopt in your journey as a new minimalist:
1. Going frugal That is, to be prudent in your spendings, knowing that buying more stuff isn't really the end goal and understanding that you already have enough.
2. Becoming focused You can now focus on the important. Do only the 3 most important things in the day and doing them better.
With that, you can form simple habits that will allow you to find balance and freedom. There is no more need to look any further to hack your life for simplicity. Minimalism is your ultimate lifehack.
the art of stress-free living The thing about becoming stress-free, is to first understand that it is not the walls that we build for ourselves, shielding away the cares of the world, that allows us to worry less. The trueness of the art of stress-free living, begins by being totally conscious of the things that are going on around you, tearing down the walls of “blissful ignorance”, and coming to a realization that … there's nothing really worth your time and energy to worry about.
A man who suffers or stresses before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary. - Seneca
You don't need to put yourself into any unnecessary suffering. I remembered starting a web based model for a wholesale food business in the beginning of 2010. It was in the early stages of the business when my co-founding partner insisted on having more items on our sales menu with the assumption that customers want to have more; so I gave him that.
Within the 1st week orders came in and business was booming. However it was within the 2nd month that stress got hold of him and he was increasingly depressed as each order meant that he has to make purchases from up to 5 suppliers on each trip (sometimes 7 places). While the money was good, the workload eventually took a toll on him. My friend eventually came to a realization that the margin wasn't really worth the stress and decided to take charge of his life and business, and went on to samurai away most items on the menu and went back to selling our main products which we already had the highest accolades for. Today, business continues as normal, delivery rate has reached it's peak (no more 30 minutes grace time needed) and we've streamlined the process such that instead of going to 5 suppliers per trip, it's back to 1 award winning supplier. Zero stress achieved. While that is an example on how minimalism and the art of stress-free living is being applied into the business side of things, you too can keep stress levels down to an all-time minimal, allowing you to have a worry-free lifestyle with the minimalist principles and philosophies shared in this book. Would you join me in mastering the art of stress-free living?
on not doing what's popular … The popular thing to do today is for a young 20 year old graduating from a good college, getting a well paying job, get that car, get that house, and then getting himself into credit debt with installments for that brand new plasma TV, state-of-the-art washing machine, or any other big purchases to fuel the spending addiction. Let's take a step back and ask yourself a harmless little question:
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain
“Must dreams be funded by debt?” Minimalists understand that there is no need to go through the cycle of pain, emotional stress, and releasing the tension of a 12 hour workday by spending every dollar you make on things that you don't even care about. It is a movement that has seen many taking the leap, readjusting their beliefs, realigning their focus to what's really important, and making a living by working their passions.
Life is more than a 25 year payment plan, a 10 year mortgage, or a 3 year interest free installment contract—there's no freedom behind them. Here's a one truth that you can apply from today: start saying no.
No to overconsumption.
No to automated payments.
No to reckless spending.
No to the mindset that having more “stuff” makes one happy.
No to non-freedom.
Are you going to follow the majority and just trying to make ends meet? Or would you prefer being the first in your circle of friends by being free, adopting a minimalism approach, and start creating your minimalist movement?
creating your minimalist movement Like how a fellow minimalist and blogging colleague extraordinaire, Everett Bogue, had put it, you'll need the following 15 things:
Believe in Something
You need to believe in an ideal that is great than you in order to inspire people to join your movement. - Everett Bogue
The 2nd Follower
The First 100
Failure Is Not An Option
The Money How to Create a Movement
This Is Bigger Than Us
(free e-book, instant download).
Break free from the status quo, create your movement, and find success today.
5 things you can do with less We’re living in an age where people have been “trying” to keep up with the ever-increasing work, overload of information, and heaps upon heaps of stuff that doesn’t matter to us. This often leads to stress, depression, and people getting themselves poorer, with some ending into the worst form of poverty that we know of as debt. Today, there’s a new wave of movement that consists of like-minded individuals who’ve decided to go against the norm of consumerism, pick a fight with the traditional notion that “success equals stuff”, and jumped on board the minimalism train where you’ll go beyond fixing this problem by eliminating the need to even do so from the get-go. Doing With LESS: Your journey as a new minimalist, and the art of stress-free living is a book that I’ve written allow you to focus your attention to creating tactics and strategies on how you can thrive in a world of less.
One of the two core principles thatâ€™s featured throughout in Doing With LESS is on being focused, and my main goal is to focus your attention onto the following 5 areas where you can do less with:
1. Less Stuff Learn how you can end consumerism, unclutter, find freedom from stuff, or go one step further by renouncing and purging away all unnecessary items, and how all you really need is no more than 100 things (based on Dunbarâ€™s theory).
2. Less Work Get the know-hows and strategies and begin eliminating the 3 evils of the modern day workplace: interruptions, distractions, and unfocused work.
3. Less Spending Learn how setting personal constraints (economize) and being resourceful (working with what we have) are crucial habits in your journey to eliminate debt, spend less, and become cash rich while as a minimalist.
4. Less Noise Understand why there’s zero need to follow everything in the world today, and how you can take back control over your time by: unfollowing noise, unconsume media, unfriending “friends”, unautomating news, unlearning old tricks, unplanning your schedule, uncluttering your inbox, and unaccepting everything.
5. Less Complexity You don’t need any new layers of complexity in your life. Learn how creating and running a minimalist business allows you to remove all unnecessary layers of work (structure), stress (bureaucracy), and complexities that come only with traditional businesses; and learn why you are in a pole position by starting small.
Ready? With no further ado …
ending consumerism We've spent most of our working years making money and then spending it all on stuff. In an age where we were brought up thinking that success equals acquiring more stuff, is there any way to unplug ourselves the over-consumption mindset, and start living again? I know I know. It's overwhelming to the point that being free seems impossible. Right? It's much simpler than it looks, really. Let's start by breaking the goal of ending consumerism into smaller steps that we can comprehend.
A modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc. - “Consumerism”, Dictionary.com
1. Understand how much stuff is going to cost you This goes beyond the point of purchase, understanding that storing of stuff
costs more money. The more things we have, the more space we need to keep them. As things continue to pile up, you'll need to get a new home to store all the stuff. This translates to an increased cost to get a new property, along with the fixed costs in bills and maintenance.
2. Knowing that the habit of buying new stuff doesn't bring you happiness Far from experiencing happiness, the more stuff you keep means the more housework that you'll need to be doing just to get them free from dust. Does daily chores sound like fun to you?
3. Stop buying stuff Think about the cost of storing stuff, and the work needed to maintain them. Besides that, it is the accumulation of tiny stuff or chalking up the “small” $50 dinner bills that drains ones' finances quickly.
By allowing these 3 points to become a new habit, you may find it easier to purge away consumerism in your life. This frees up your time (there's no need to spend hours out shopping, also known as “retail therapy”) to begin focusing on other areas that you may want to do less with, or proceed on to unclutter your home and workspace.
how to unclutter After building up a new habit of non-consumerism and abstinence from reckless splurging, it's time to start forming a second new habit that you'll want having as a minimalist: Uncluttering your life. What you can do with for a start, is to be conscious of all the existing stuff that are in your home, room, workspace, and life. Then moving on to do a little pruning away of areas and spaces that are filled with dustfilled documents, aged rough papers, newspaper cutouts, old calendars, and any other random items that you may have placed just because there's an available slot in the shelves that wasn't utilized.
You don't actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it done. - David Allen
You might want to start uncluttering the following 7 areas:
1. Papers, papers, and papers! Hands up if you are one of those who'll keep any form of rough paper in files or inserting them into any space on the shelves that's available. What you can do for a change, is to have either a 3-tier tray, where you can store such papers in one of the trays (it has to be visible, so that you'll be using them before they go yellow), or slice them up to smaller pieces and using them as quick notes that you'll be tossing them into the bin at the end of the day. There is zero need to keep them hidden in some compartment in the shelves, as you would most likely not touch them in the months (or years!) to come.
2. Pens, markers, and pencils Besides paper, the next item that you may want to deal with are the tons of pens, markers, pencils and miscellaneous stationeries that can be found in drawers, holders, and on the surface of your desk. I'm one of those who used to have more than hundreds of them lying around the table. Do you really need all of them?