A simpler life is a better one. But even if you’ve made a commitment to living a simple, minimalist lifestyle, some aspects of life always seem to be out of control.
Maybe you can’t have a completely uncomplicated life because you have children who have developed a taste for expensive sneakers and hard-to-maintain hairstyles. Perhaps your spouse doesn’t feel the same need to simplify as you do.
In many cases, however, it’s the workplace that doesn’t fit with the model of simplicity to which we strive, so we spend hours each day surrounded by frustrating and infuriating waste and complexity.
Here are five tips for trying to bring simple, minimalist living principles into your workplace:
1. Remove yourself from voluntary complications. That means avoiding the afternoon coffee club — and the gossip that comes with it — and perhaps having your lunch away from the coworkers who want to invade your personal time and make you part of other people’s problems.
2. Try to avoid wasting resources even if others are wasteful. Just because handing out hard copies of PowerPoint slides or stapled booklets of documentation is usually the company’s practice, that doesn’t mean you have to do things that way. Maybe the others in your company would appreciate getting information electronically for a change.
3. Work directly with your boss to change procedures. There’s no reason to embarrass anyone in front of other workers, but your boss might welcome suggestions for cutting down on wasted time and resources. Waste costs money, and most bosses like to save money because it makes them look good. They can show their bosses that they have improved a longstanding procedure.
4. Get involved in the processes that create the most waste, unnecessary work and ill will so you can work to change them from the inside. You may have to take part in the wastefulness or the complexity for a little while, but workers may be willing to take your suggestions for changes more seriously if you can speak as an insider.
5. Work your way out of really difficult work situations. Some workplaces are beyond being saved. To save yourself from needless complexity and the silliness of wasted resources, leaving may be your only option. If you must leave, work toward starting a business of your own and not taking a new job so you can control just how simple your life is in the future.
If you’d like a simpler life, you’re not alone. So many people are turning toward minimalist lifestyles that websites are springing up about the topic all over the web. For example, Minimalist Living Today is a resource for those who want simple, frugal, intelligent lives that aren’t as out of control as many people’s live seem to be these days.
Applying the principles of minimalist living to your life and to your workplace may be easier than you think. And maybe it won’t be. Whatever the case, removing the complications and complexities from as many aspects of your life as possible will serve you well.
Moving toward minimalist living in the workplace and in your life in general could help save your sanity too.