Last year I tried minimalism in our home. Getting rid of stuff that we no longer use was truly liberating. Somehow it made breathing easier – if you’ve done it, you’ll know what I mean, if not: give it a try. If you don’t know where to start, google “Minimalism 101” or similar and you’ll find lots of inspiration.

There are still stuff in our house that I can and do weed out. I’m not sure if that process ever stops since life changes, and my interests change, and stuff get superfluous. That’s ok, it’s a process.

Lately I had an insight: if I want to live a simpler life, it’s not enough to just remove unnecessary things from our house. I also need to remove unnecessary things from my mind and the way I use my time. Due to my fatigue syndrome, I’ve had some experience with having to choose very consciously what to do and not during the periods of time when my energy is very limited. But now I realised that I need to limit myself when I’ve got a lot of energy as well – because of my time-optimism, which leads me to aspire to do a lot more than is possible in the amount of time available. I described the road to this conclusion in an earlier post.

This month my challenge to myself is to find a minimalistic way of handling my time. I want to find a way to handle my time with the same kind of peace of mind and ease of breath that material minimalism gives me. But how to choose what to do? I guess the same way I choose what material stuff to keep: by setting up some criteria.

For things I like to ask:

  1. Do I use this?
  2. Do I enjoy it (for more decorative stuff)?
  3. And the less minimalistic, more frugal question: can I see a potential use for it in a couple of years?

If the answer is no to all three, I’ll toss it or give it away.

So, I need to find my criteria for time-use. And in order to do that, I need to be sure of my priorities, so thats the first step. I think I have a good grasp, but thinking it through never hurts. I also have an idea that there are some (or maybe a lot of) things I make unneccesary complicated, so that’s another area to look into. What can I eliminate or automate, to free up my time for more important things?

And knowing my weakness of time-optimism: how can I avoid filling the newfound time with new undertakings? Is there a way to keep my curiosity and joy of learning – which is a good thing – in check, so that it doesn’t take over?

And I’m certain I’m not the first person to have this idea – I’ll want to check out other peoples solutions as well, for inspiration.

I often have more than one challenge every month, but this time, in line with the minimalist approach, I’ll settle for just this one. I have a feeling that it will require a lot of time in itself. But also give a great foundation for next year, if I succeed!