We live in a fast-paced world, with tones of information flying at us constantly. This can lead to a lot of overwhelm for creative business owners. There seems to be so many things we need to do and so many aspects of life to take care of all at once.
It makes it harder to think and concentrate and allow your mind to process and develop ideas when there is so much spinning around up there.
My story of Simplicity
After having my first son, I became a lot more health conscious. I put on a lot of weight in pregnancy and I was also worried about what we were breathing in, eating and putting on our bodies. It’s funny how becoming a parent changes the way you think. I felt a responsibility that I needed to provide my child with a healthy environment to grow and also look after myself, so I could be in my best shape to care for him. As I researched and connected with other people, I found myself down a path to more simple and slow living.
I was wanting to use cleaning and skincare products that didn’t contain chemicals and came across sites with recipes and tips for making your own natural products, and these sites were closely tied in with the simple and slow living lifestyles and principles. The idea of going back to basics, cutting out all the clutter and consumerism all the junk that is marketed to us, that is unnecessary and unhealthy.
It lead me to slowly decluttering and simplifying our lives and living in a more slow intentional way. I am not perfect at it, I think few are, it is a continual process. It is about questioning the need for things, being more present in the moment and finding the joy in simplicity and the every day and decluttering the mess that ends up becoming mind clutter and only makes more work for us.
How this lifestyle helps in my Creative Business
By living more simply, slowly and intentionally, and going through the continual process of decluttering, I have found it to have positive impacts on my business life too.
- By living a more healthy lifestyle, eating good natural foods and taking the time to move my body and keep fit, I find I have more energy and better focus, making it a lot easier to manage my day and keep up momentum and focus on my work. I also find I can think clearer and by go for walks to keep healthy, fit and get some sunlight, this gives me time to really think, and process ideas and come up with creative concepts.
- Living a slower and simpler way means less multi-tasking. If you live with intention, to enjoy the little everyday things, it means being present in each moment and actually focusing on what you are doing, and do it well. Now I am not perfect at this and am often tempted to multi-task when it feels there is a lot to do. But I always find I am more efficient and do a better job of things when I batch tasks, and just focus on one thing at a time, and give it my full attention. In fact when I do this, I find I can work quite fast. It is when I let my mind flit about, open 20 tabs on my computer, while baking and getting my boys a milk drink that I find things get messy and I quickly feel like I am just getting nowhere and time is just slipping away and I am getting overwhelmed. Taking things slow and one thing at a time, gives you mind space and really lets you zone in on that task, enjoy it, do it well and be efficient.
- Having quiet slow moments, rather than non-stop go, go, go, really allows time to think, process and come up with creative ideas. It is so important to have downtime, with no distractions or impending tasks, to just think. Some people like to meditate or do a slow task that allows their mind to wander, like making or journaling just for joy. Doing something with your hands or moving your body, but where there are no deadlines or expectations, just occupying yourself and allowing your mind some peace to think. Personally, I like to walk and get out in nature. Or sit outside in sun in our backyard while the boys play. I find in the house the boys don’t give me much peace, so outdoor time is when I can slow down, calm myself, and let my mind have some time to think, wander and explore ideas.
- Less stress. When there is less clutter, mess, things to take care of and distractions going on around you, it is easier to get into a less stressed and calm state of mind, which is important if you want to think clearly and create amazing things. It is much harder to create from a place of stress. By keeping things simple in my life, it helps cut out some potential stress. The emotional stress is hard enough when you have a family, that intentionally cutting out as many stressful things as you can help to balance things out. We constantly re-arrange and change things up in our house, as we find ways to simplify things, cut out the workload, and find out how to make our home efficient for how we live. We constantly question, if how things are currently set is actually working, or if there are ways we could set things up better, to make life less stressful and cut out any unnecessary tasks, that are only causing stress. I don’t think there is a set way to have things that work for everyone, you need to constantly assess the way you do things, and if you have your home and routines set up in a way that makes it streamlined and less stressful for you. It’s a constant evolution. For example, our boys had a playroom and a bedroom. While it was nice to separate play and sleep, it was an extra stress, trying to keep two rooms that two messy boys frequent clean. So we combined it into one room. And it makes it so much easier to keep on top of. In the process, we went through their stuff, a got rid of anything they no longer need and toys they have outgrown, so the room is simpler and all in one. By doing this, I am spending less time cleaning up all their mess and dealing with the stress of their clutter, and instead, able to quickly tidy their one room, and then have more time to work on my business or spend time with them. And I feel more at ease when I do my work, as I am not feeling that stress of the room I never got time to clean up.
- Less choice fatigue. Notice how some highly successful people will wear the same thing all the time (e.g Steve Jobs), or have the same routine each day or eat the same thing all the time. Having choice may seem nice, and we all like a bit of variety, especially if you are a creative person, and like variet, but too much choice, is wasting important brain power. Having heaps of ‘stuff’ and endless choices means each day you are wasting precious time and brain power making decisions. You can put that brain power and decision-making to better use in your work, by cutting out choices in your everyday activities. By simplifying things, and living a little more minimally, you can be more efficient and waste less time on meaningless decisions and more time on your work and creative mind power.
- Clarity and direction. This flows from the last point. When you are less of a mess and have more simple routines and practices, it gives you clearer direction and clarity in how you want to live and what you want to achieve in your business. I feel by striving to live more simply, I have more clarity about my life and business goals. I know my purpose is to live with greater intention and less stress and for my family and I to be healthy, happy and fulfilled. I fell like there is more purpose and meaning in my business, then just ‘I need to do this, and do that’.
- Simplifying and decluttering your physical space declutters the mind as well. Giving your mind room to focus and think creatively. You don’t have the mind clutter of seeing the mess in the corner of your eye and feel the weight of knowing there are all these things that need taking care of. Remove the distractions and only surround your self with the things that really bring you joy and inspire you.
Quick ideas for ways to bring more Simplicity into your Life to improve your Creative Business
- Find meditative things you can regularly do with your hands or body, to find time for peace, slow and allowing your mind to wander. This could be knitting, weaving, kneading a dough, baking, simple crafts, colouring in, going for a walk, swimming, gardening. It helps to choose something that isn’t part of your business, as this takes the pressure off to perform and make it perfect, but just allows you to take it in and use it as a way to slow down.
- Take to change up your environment. Get outside, and spend time in nature and in the sunshine. Change up your inside environment, spend time organising, decluttering and moving things around to create some space and a change.
- Make decluttering a regular practice. Every now and then pick a room and go through your stuff and get rid of (give away or donate if you can ) things you don’t really need, no longer use, are broken or do not bring you joy.
- Make small changes regularly to live a more healthy life, cutting back on things that are not good for your body, and swapping out things that are toxic and can be replaced with something more natural and better for your health. This doesn’t need to be an overnight change, but can be a process towards improvement.
- Assess your life and business systems and processes, and see if there are things that can be simplified and streamlined better.
- If you find yourself wasting a lot of time making daily decisions, like what to eat, what to wear or even what to do. Have a look at how you can cut out the number of choices and create routines and plan ahead, so less time is wasted deciding.
Let me know what your biggest take away from this is, and what changes you want to make to simplify and slow down.