As I’ve mentioned previously, one of the reasons I’m so drawn to minimalism and slow living is not only the aesthetic qualities, but as a way of managing my mental health. I’ve struggled in the past greatly ( and still do, from time to time ) with a range of mental health disorders and creating a lifestyle that keeps me on the right track is something I’ve found hugely beneficial. We all get forgetful and frazzled when there’s a lot on our plate - mental health disorder or not - so I thought I’d put together a post with my tips and tools for staying focused, no matter how much of a minimalist you are!
Whether it’s in the form of a paper daily journal ( my personal favourite ) , a spreadsheet on your laptop or the calendar on your phone, write. sh*t. down. You’ll be surprised how much things changes your stress levels, time management and general efficiency when you know at what time you need to be where.
Daily ‘to do’ lists
I prefer writing these down ( on paper, of course ) the night before, because that way I can go to sleep knowing that I’m not going to forget anything the following day. Plus, let’s face it, that’s always when our minds start racing and telling us what we might forget! If you find it more convenient, put together your list whilst you’re enjoying your morning coffee; just don’t forget to tick off each activity when it’s done - now that is one of the greatest feelings!
Track your spendings
I find writing down my spendings in a spreadsheet the most helpful way to keep track of them, but it might take some trial and error to figure out what works best for you. Perhaps you prefer writing them down by hand at the end of each day, or on a little notebook as you go; if you’re the sort of person who’s phone might as well be superglued to your hand ( no judgement here! ), you might want to try out Mint, an app that I’ve heard great things about - not only does it make tracking your spendings take up less room physically, but it actually categorises what you’ve spent so that you can figure out where you tend to splash the cash ( mine would definitely be on coffee ).
Whilst this book might only be on preorder right now, I trust that the ever-so-lovely and ever-so-organised Anna has created a lifestyle guide that we could each benefit from when keeping our lives on track! If you pre-order, you can grab a little bonus bundle of worksheets that I’m absolutely loving diving into during the ol’ awkward-space-between-Christmas-and-New-Year that we know and love. This is actually a particularly good time to sort out work and life admin with one hand typing and the other hand reaching for your fourth mince pie. Just me?
Monthly (or quarterly) goals
Much like with the 'to do’ lists, ticking off each aim is a wonderful feeling! Setting longer-term goals like this can also help you remind yourself what you’re working towards on your down days or if you get stuck in a bit of a rut mid-way through the period.
This one is super helpful money-wise. When you find an item of clothing that you can’t stop thinking about, or a new print that would go perfectly in your apartment, keep a note of it on your monthly wishlist. Throughout the month, add anything that catches your eye to the list, but whatever you do, do not buy it ( yet ) ! FInally, when pay-day comes round and you’ve paid off the boring bills, turn to your wishlist and decide with item ( s ) you’re still loving. It’s like a budget-friendly way of taking the 48-hour-purchase-rule to the next level. Trust me, it works!
An extra phone charger
Carry one with you in your handbag every day to avoid feeling anxious ever again. Okay, not quite, but it certainly helps!
How do you keep your sh*t together? Let me know in the comments!