One principle of minimalism is to eliminate what is unnecessary and this is the key to productivity.
The reason you are not reaching your personal and professional goals and living the life you want is because you are too concerned with things that don’t matter.
This particularly concerns our daily schedules which are often cluttered with useless activities.
Here are six minimalist quotes I love that'll help you change your perspective on what it means to be productive and just busy.
“Time is what we want most but what we use worst.” -William Penn
A simple google search reveals millions of resources on time management. It would seem that we don’t quite understand how to manage our time properly, but I don't agree.
We talk about time slipping away from us and not having enough of it, but how many of us are doing what we really want to do with the time we have?
We know exactly what we need to do in our lives and what we want, but we avoid them by procrastinating and doing everything else under the sun we can think of.
Time is the one resource we have that is finite and uncertain, use it well.
“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” -Socrates
If you want to have a full life, stop being busy.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines busy as engaged in action, full of activity, foolishly or obtrusively active and full of distracting detail.
You only have to scroll through your various social media feeds as proof of the glorification of busy and our obsession with proving we are doing something worth posting about.
Stop trying to appear busy and go do something that matters to you.
“Never mistake motion for action.” -Ernest Hemingway
For all the time wasted being busy, the things that matter: our health, relationships and goals, take a backseat to our to-do lists.
Just because you’re constantly on the go, doesn’t mean you’re achieving anything of value. You're exhausted and you don't have anything to show for it.
If you stop moving for a moment and focus on what’s important to you, you can accomplish a lot more.
“You don’t need more time...you just need to decide.” -Seth Godin
Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
Prioritizing is the first key to being productive.
Start with your to-do list and whittle it down to only the essential tasks.
Ask yourself, “is this task or activity moving me towards my goals?”. If the answer is “yes”, press forward. If the answer is “no”, cross it off your list. It’s that simple.
“Life is frittered away by detail. Simplify. Simplify.” -Henry David Thoreau
You may have heard the expression “the devil is in the detail”, meaning beware and look closely at things, but did you know that it was actually preceded by the phrase “God is in the detail”.
Both expressions mean essentially the same thing, it’s important to pay attention to the details.
What Mr. Thoreau was getting at is not to get stuck in the minute, petty details, and busy work.
Active and intentional planning leads to increased mindfulness and productivity while we are in the midst of our detailed lives.
“Do less with more focus.” -Unknown
Presence, also related to intent and mindfulness, is the other key to being productive.
When you know the purpose of your actions and see how they relate to the big picture, you are fully engaged in the experience.
You also realize that you don’t need to do all that extra stuff. Not only will you become more productive, but you may even understand happiness.
Here is a simple equation you can use to be more productive:
Prioritizing + Presence= Productivity
"Stop being busy and start being productive." -Yolanda