With the approach of Black Friday and the intense consumerist drive it gives us annually, why not pair back instead and focus on what is important. Embracing the concept of ‘minimalism’ and the less serious statement of ‘who the heck is going to mention your expensive shoes at your funeral?’. I ask myself and you, do we really need more stuff in our lives? Instead we can focus on the things that bring us joy, the lasting and functional elements of our lives and to cut out we don’t need in order to focus on the good. Let’s make better use of the things we already have in life and instead get rid off the excess so that we can see and think more clearly, allow ourselves to create with flow and purpose.
In the spirit of this sentiment (and to give myself a kick in the butt to do the same) I have made a list of 26 ways to consume less and create more, that inspires me and I hope it will give you some ideas too. In addition I have created a free brand detox to help you clear the debris from your brand design and gain clarity moving forward.
+ Plan it out and free up your time. Are you waking up each morning and fretting over what you will be posting on your social media accounts for that day? Then plan it out in advance and feel the freedom! Sitting down once a week or even once a month and scheduling your posts and images for Instagram means that you will be left with more time on the daily, to focus on the work you really want to create.
+ Play the minimalist game. Commit for thirty days (or as long as you can manage) to remove baggage from your life. Day 1 remove one thing and then day 2, two things e.c.t. Join me on Instagram as I try it out myself on my stories feed!
+ What can you cut from your offerings? Are you trying to do too much? If that social media channel isn’t working for you, cut it. If keeping up with a blog is tiring, micro-blog on Instagram.
+ Be flexible in order to be spontaneous. Opportunities are going to come your way that you haven’t prepared for, be open to them and be ready to go with the flow if life throws you a curb ball.
+ Clear the deck/desk. Cleaning up a cluttered workspace allows a place for the work to flow, and ideas to come more freely. I know for me I have a tendency to make piles of magazines and clippings. Stripping back to the white of my desk sets me up to be in the right space to create.
+ Plan experiences for friends and families presents. So often we are giving and receiving more of the things that we do not need, instead suggest that you exchange experiences. Not only is your house removed of unnecessary clutter but you get to spend time with your nearest and dearest. Sharing memories instead of just stuff.
+ Designing each and every poster, promotion and marketing material? Take it from a designer, that time on Photoshop goes by so fast and before you know it the whole day has disappeared. Instead invest in some custom design or quality templates that make it simple to add in your own content and update. Having you post about your newest product rather than spending all your time trying to work out computer programmes. Sign up to the newsletter to receive monthly goodies, including free templates and designs ready to load up to your social media pages.
+ Donate your clothes and only keep those items you wear almost every day. Un-Fancy has a great guide to building your own capsule wardrobe and speaks from the experience of only owning 37 items in her wardrobe at one time.
+ Get rid of all the different fonts you are using in your branding and focus on one or two. This will be easier on you and actually make your brand more recognisable to your viewers.
+ Batch up! Instead of making one portion of food, make a whole ton! I struggle a little with this as I usually end up eating more when I make more but if you can keep more restrain than me then you can have food ready for the rest of the week when you have your own work to focus on. Working with a rumbling tummy is no fun and stopping to cook when your in the flow is not great either.
+ Do you need all those gadgets and programs? Simplify to the essentials and make your routine simpler.
+ Clean up your desktop. If you are anything like me, those screenshots are stacked. Come to the screen with a refreshing view rather than an overwhelming one.
+ Cancel those email subscriptions that don’t serve you. Lists, lists everywhere and do we have enough time to read all those emails? The answer is no, so cancel them and enjoy the pleasure of an empty inbox! Try out Unroll.me for a simple way to see what you follow.
+ Print as little as possible. This not only helps the environment but your state of mind when your desk has way too much on it and your don’t have enough space for yourself.
+ Organise the files on your computer. Organise them into two files. One titled ‘working’ with all the projects you are currently working on and one titled (you guessed it) ‘finished’ for when they are done but you still need the files to hand (rather than stored offset on an external hard drive). This way you can open the working file and instantly see the projects you have lined up.
+ Check your email and social media at set times. Twice a day or maybe more. You set the restrictions and save yourself time wasted checking, updating and replying.
+ Take a digital break. For a set time, disconnect from technology and go back to the simple way of life. It can be so liberating and nourishing. I try to do this a few times each year and every time I come back to my work refreshed and full of ideas.
+ Say no. To all those commitments that do not serve you, challenge you or delight you.
+ Keep one to do list. Rather than scribble shopping lists, daily to-do lists and weekly ones all in different places, store them in one place (on paper or digital) so it is simpler for you to see what you need to get done.
+ Nothing will ever be ‘perfect’. Do your best and release your ideas into the world.
+ Delegate and hire people to help you. Free yourself up from the tasks that are better served by someone else allowing you to focus on what you do best. This could be hiring a virtual assistant, to hiring a cleaner or even a designer. Hit me up if you’d like to work together!
+ Make a goal to do less, not more.
+ Take time for yourself. You are worth it and you are no good to anyone if you don’t look after number uno (a.k.a you)
+ Don’t shop unless you need to. Especially to keep aware of when those adverts are flashing at us with new goods.
+ Exchange services with friends. Help each other out with those things your struggle with but your friends excel at.
+ Enjoy good design from a distance without buying the product. I do this all the time and often come away feeling ‘filled up’ with ideas without buying a single thing. Go window shopping to look at the ideas and creations of other peoples artistry without having to fill your home with them. My favourite? Foreign food store. Design magic.
+ Limit your working hours and give yourself a break. Enough said.