This minimalist thing sure is complicated.
I took a wee break from blogging so I could concentrate on my career-after-my-career. After all, something has to be done to support me in the manner to which I am accustomed (bad minimalist joke). I have been re-energizing my freelance writing work and throwing some samples out to the folks that can actually allow me to make money with it. That’s right, I stopped writing so I could write!
My life up until recently was traditionally upper middle-class and consumer driven, now it is one of pairing down and eliminating the unnecessary. It has occurred to me that what I am doing has actually made my life more complex.
I have a typically stressful management position with a retail sales and service company. It eats up forty to fifty hours a week give or take a few minutes. I have a son halfway through college, and the normal father responsibilities that come with it. Add in the average amount of friends, exercise, and just plain lazy moments and the week is pretty full. Now throw in the time it takes to gather up my mountains of crap for disposal and donation. Since I have promised myself that going to work will be a thing of the past within two years, my next source of income has started eating up a considerable amount of clock-ticks. I have managed to make my life more convoluted by minimizing it. Is this the storm before the calm?
However somehow I am thriving. I feel productive and optimistic about achieving my goals. If there is ever a piece of advice you can take from me this might be it. Manage your energy.
Everybody spouts off quotes centered around time management. If you think about it, time is finite. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. That’s it. No more and no less. It is much easier to manage something when you know exactly how much of it you have. Your energy is not finite or limited. Your energy can be drained by bad diet, lack of exercise, or poor sleep habits. Negative people, worry and stress, and your own woeful attitude are energy vampires. They bite your neck and suck the energy out of you then leave you to be the walking dead. But you can bite back. Listen to some music or a motivational speaker in the car while commuting. Take a two-minute break and concentrate on your goals or where you want to be. Try calling up a friend and just saying ”hi.” Spend a few moments in total silence and clear your thoughts. I personally am a huge fan of the five-minute power nap. The bottom line is do whatever you need to do to focus and recharge your internal batteries.
I actually have it easy. I have a fairly clear picture of who I am going to be, what I am going to do, and where I am going to do it. That provide me bundles of energy and inspiration. Embracing a more minimal lifestyle was a key to finding that inspiration. Once all the pretenses of my consumer-centered rat-race pursuits were brushed away that picture stood before me in stunning technicolor.
And guess what? That makes energy management much easier.