So start to notice. Open your eyes to why you do what you do, why you spend what you spend, why you want what you want. You may be surprised at what you find. While it might not be pleasant, it’s the first step toward living a simple life focused on your priorities.
Are there things on your To Do list that always get left behind because you never have enough hours in the day? Or perhaps there’s a book you want to write? Or a subject you want to study? Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, or play tennis, or go walking in the mornings, or start practising yoga and meditating… But finding the time…impossible, right?
For me it’s a lifestyle choice. A conscious decision to identify what’s essential and get rid of needless things. It’s all about simplifying your life and focusing on the things that make you happy and have the most impact in your life.
Use a plain text editor that you know well. Not a word processor, a plain text editor.
Do not use your text editor for tasks other than editing text.
Use a password manager. You shouldn’t know any of your passwords save the one to your primary email account and the one to your password manager.
Do not use software that’s unmaintained.
Pay for software that’s worth paying for, but only after evaluating it for no less than two weeks.
Thoroughly delete all traces of software that you no longer use.
Do not buy a desktop computer unless your daily computing needs include video/audio editing, 3D rendering, or some other hugely processor-intensive computing task. Buy a portable computer instead.
Do not use your phone/smartphone/PDA/UMPC for tasks that would be more comfortably and effectively accomplished on a full-fledged computer.
Use a Mac for personal computing.
Use Linux or BSD on commodity hardware for server computing.
Do not use anything other than a Mac at home and Linux/BSD on the server.
The only peripheral you absolutely need is a hard disk or network drive to put backups on.
Buy as large an external display as you can afford if you’ll be working on the computer for more than three hours at a time.
Use hosted services in lieu of hosting on your own hardware (or virtual hardware) for all but the most custom applications.
On file formats:
Keep as much as possible in plain text. Not Word or Pages documents, plain text.
For tasks that plain text doesn’t fit, store documents in an open standard file format if possible.
Do not buy digital media crippled by rights restriction technologies unless your intention is to rent the content for a limited period of time.
My own (Minimal)
I’ve been living by those (and similar) rules pretty much since I started using computers on a professional level.
What I would add is the following:
Keep your desktop free of clutter.
Try to use open source software whenever possible.
Donate money to the programmer that wrote the program that is good in your opinion and you use it frequently. It will help maintain a higher standard of software out there.
Stay away from DRM, it’s bad for your health.
DO NOT USE WINDOWS. It’s flawed by design, it’s unstable, it’s insecure and considers people to be dumb.
DO NOT USE IE (Internet Explorer). Use a browser that adheres to web standards and that has a minimal and clutter free UI (user interface). The web experience should be as easy as possible without the need to try to understand a badly designed UI.
Take time after you installed a new OS or bought a new computer to properly set your firewall.
Use encryption when saving your personal files.
DO NOT OPEN binary attachments that arrive on an email. Even when they come from friends and family.
Stay away from social networks. If you insist in being part of a social network, DO NOT POST your entire life on it.
If you are part of a social network and will upload a photo in which another person is featured, ask for his/her permission first.
DO NOT TAG PICTURES on social networks.
99% of the places DO NOT need your social security number or any other personal ID number. DO NOT REVEAL this to anyone unless it’s strictly necessary and you are present. Certainly NOT over an email or phone.
STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. It’s bad. (Yes, I know I already wrote about this)
Turn off your computer when you are not using it. It will save energy and money and it will keep bots and other nasties from probing your computer for security vulnerabilities.
I have some more but these pretty much summarize everything.
What if we had things we used, but didn’t own? What if we used clothing when we needed it, but then when we didn’t we gave it to a place that holds them (maybe a clothing library). And the same would apply to any possessions, from computers to tools to televisions to dishes and so on.
1. Wake up early and eat breakfast. Waking before everyone else allows you to organize your thoughts and most importantly BREATHE. When you are not stressed trying to get ready for your day, you are able to focus on preparing a positive day. Eating breakfast is monumental to having the necessary energy to be positive and productive.
2. Smile and say ‘No Worries’ all day. Making yourself smile may be annoying, but the more you develop this positive habit, the brighter you will view your day. Try saying ‘No Worries’ to any shortfall or downsize. The less you stress about all the problems you could stress about, the happier you will be. Minimalize gloom and stress and your day will be on the right path.
3. Don’t buy anything. Make your meals and snacks. Don’t shop online. Don’t buy anything on your route to and from anywhere. Try limiting your purchase or spending days to twice a week. You will live a healthier and budget-friendly life this way.
4. Enjoy silence. Take a stroll through the park after dinner. Sit on the porch watching the sunset. Do something that involves peace and no technology. Taking this moment at the end of the day to enjoy your surroundings improves your thought process for improving your life.
When you’re facing a desk swamped in papers, or a closet bursting with clothes, or counter-tops littered with piles of random objects, don’t say to yourself, “I need to get organized.” Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff. If you don’t keep it, you don’t have to organize it.
Some people will tell you creativity is part of your make-up. That you can’t learn it. I disagree. I believe that there are different levels, and natural talent for sure, but I strongly believe that creativity can be learned, or at least manifest itself in people who are exposed to passionate, inspiring people, or exposed to environments and opportunities that can help bring it out.
When there are so many topics to write about, and so many temptations to continually broaden your offering based on what’s popular, it can be easy to lose focus and drift into mediocrity. This is where the Hemingway test is so useful.
Being mindful and being fully present are the keys to unlocking happiness. But not only that, in many things we do…if we SLOW things down, we can enjoy them much much more and life will become so much more meaningful. Life will explode with more beauty and magic, if we just let it.
Strip back your life. If you get rid of something you truly, deeply miss and can’t find a way to replace it, bring it back. The whole purpose is to figure out what you really do value (which are things that are perfectly fine to spend money on) and the things that you really don’t value. Often, there’s a ton of grey area in our lives between these groups – and that grey area is lost money that brings us nothing in return except heartache and missed opportunities.
Finances are one of the most complicated things in many people’s lives … and yet, they don’t have to be. With a little effort, you can simplify your financial life and end the money headaches most people face.
When a major change in your life throws you off-course, dig deep and figure out what you need to take care of yourself. Schedule the time and use it. This will vary from one person to another but during pivotal life changes, it’s critical to ask yourself if you need time away, time with loved ones or just time off.
Time management is one of the most important skills a freelance worker can learn. With a good time management system you can easily find the time to do the things that are important to you, whether in your professional or personal life.
Shortwave responds to commands. A command consists of a predefined trigger plus optional search terms. To search Wikipedia for “bookmarklet” you would type w bookmarklet into the prompt and hit enter. You could also select the text before invoking Shortwave and just type w then hit enter. Some commands don’t require search terms. To see your current IP address you would type ip. To open the resulting page in a new window simply prefix your entire command with a space.
I started using this a few weeks ago mapped to ⌘-1 in Safari and simply can’t live without it now. It’s that good.
Inspired by a post on Zenhabits entitled “Ugly Productivity: 5 Steps to a Distraction-free Workspace”, I recently decided to clear my desk of every single item other than my keyboard and mouse. While I’ve never had a problem keeping an orderly desk, I began to wonder how the collection of knick-knacks, framed pictures, and burgeoning pen collection that cluttered my desk affected my ability to work productively.
Master the art of writing concise emails, and you communicate essential information without taking up much time - yours or the recipients’ time. You also encourage the responder to be brief, with your own brevity. And by eliminating chatter, you also become a better writer.
Change is often difficult, and in regard to health, it can be overwhelming and discouraging to the point of giving up. However, by focusing on simplicity, it might be easier to start living a healthier life than you realize.
In order to have success, at least a few mistakes have to be made along the way. It’s a part of building and growing. Oscar Wilde once said ‘experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.’ And even the most successful business owners have had their fair share of blunders.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes that prominent business owners have made in their lifetime, and what they learned from them.
Just remember all of that, when you consider getting an item — even if it’s supposedly free. Nothing is free, when you consider all of the above. Are you ready to deal with the life of that item, and the life you’re going to give up to own it?