Table of Contents
Essentialism - The Key To Success
We live in the Burnout Hustle Culture where if you’re not pushing yourself to your maximum limits you will likely be replaced by someone more productive, competitive and committed to achieving goals. At least that’s what we believe in. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, this fear of being replaced is so powerful that we are willing to sacrifice not only our free time but also our sleep to accomplish more work in a day. And as a result, we become too exhausted to care about work. Not to mention being too tired to sleep. But instead of rebelling from this “way of life” and taking a temporary break, we continue this way until we reach the point of burnout. And when it happens we finally realize that changes have to be made. But even then we struggle to show ourselves a little more love. Instead, we indulge in self-blame and self-criticism. Because surely we could have tried harder… This self-induced pressure it’s not only counterproductive but also extremely unhealthy.
Hustle culture breeds a toxic sense of competition making us believe that we must push ourselves to the point of complete exhaustion to succeed in life. And don’t get me wrong. I do believe that in order to succeed you must work hard. But there’s a big difference between working hard and working TOO hard. The former, indeed, is a well-known prescription for success But the latter can be actually harmful to your career and life. There’s a reason why the idea of working smarter rather than harder (and longer has been very popular lately.
So what is the antidote to the Hustle Culture? Well, if you ask me I do believe that the answer to this question can be summarized in one word: Essentialism.
The concept of Essentialism also called the power of less or the art of prioritizing basically means doing more of what is important to you and cutting out of what isn’t. It’s the ultimate solution to the problem of running out of time. When you look at it objectively, there is no such thing as too little time. It’s all about how you use your time. If you think that you could make better use of your time, focus on your top priorities and create a life with substance this post is for you! Because I am about to share with you my tips to apply essentialism to your daily life in order to achieve true greatness (and peace of mind).
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
PS. Don’t forget to grab your FREE Worksheets!
What Is Essentialism
➡️ Essentialism is a complete opposite of Hustle Culture.
➡️ It’s the idea of doing less but better.
➡️ It’s a disciplined pursuit of what’s add value to your life and investing more time into this.
➡️ It’s about movement in the direction you want your life to go in.
➡️ It’s about using your resources such as time, energy, mental focus, physical space on things that bring value into your life.
➡️ It’s about being productive and effective instead of being busy and efficient.
➡️ It’s about quality over quantity
➡️ It’s about thriving not just surviving
➡️ It’s a choice to create a meaningful, fulfilling and happy life.
Essential vs Non Essential
How To Apply Essentialism To Your Life In 5 Simple Steps
We love to think that we are using our time wisely and effectively. But the truth is we are all procrastinators to a certain degree. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of time spend on procrastinating until you’re not wasting a substantial amount of time doing the wrong and totally unnecessary things such as mindlessly watching TV or scrolling through social media just to make you feel bad about yourself. Wouldn’t it be better to manage your time more effectively? This way you could actually achieve your major goals much easier and faster. Not to mention that it will drastically improve the quality of your life. So I guess, it’s worth it.
Step I: Decide What Is Essential In Your Life
The first thing to do is to realize that you have a choice. You decide what is important to you and how you want to use your time. You are in control of your life, time and day. No one else.
Every day, hour and minute you make a choice. You choose how you use your time, energy and potential. And you may not realize this but how you spend your time is how you spend your life. In other words, you can choose the right things that determine your success or do the opposite. You have the power to create a more meaningful and fulfilling life or to become a full-time procrastinator that wastes all the opportunities that life offers you. It’s completely up to you!
However, if you want to create a life that is worth living and thrive (not just survive) you should identify what are the things that bring value into your life and make sure you’re investing enough time into doing them.
And to help you identify these things here are 10 self-reflection questions that should dispel the doubts:
- What is the purpose of my life?
- What are my top 3 priorities in life?
- Do I stay committed to my goals?
- What do I value the most in my life and why?
- What really matters to me?
- What does my future life look like?
- Is the vision of my future an activating and inspiring picture?
- How do you want to feel?
- What do I want to achieve in the near future?
- What are the 3 most common distractions that are stealing my time and keep me from focusing on my goals?
Step II: Simplify & Prioritize Your Life
So what to do when you feel like you’re tied to a jam-packed schedule and you’re about to enter full-blown panic mode because you don’t know what urgent task you should be dealing with first. Well, there’s a lot of different ways to figure that out, but in my opinion, the Eisenhower Box is not only the simplest but also the most effective method to prioritize your tasks. Believe me or not (or just try it yourself!) but this simple time management strategy will not only help you to master the art of time management but also it will drastically improve the quality of your life.
Ok, ho how exactly the Eisenhower Box works? Well, first of all, the Eisenhower Box, also called the Eisenhower Matrix is a visual method designed by President Eisenhower that consists of 4 quadrants:
- DO – urgent and important tasks that need to be done immediately (ex. crisis management, pressing deadlines, urgent problems)
- DECIDE – important but not urgent tasks that aren’t your top priorities (crises, emergencies, hard deadlines) but you should schedule them to ensure that progress is being made (ex. strategic planning, organizing, investing in yourself, prevention, personal development, strengthening your personal relationships, new opportunities)
- DELEGATE – urgent but not important tasks that need to be done but they can be done by someone else (ex. responding to some emails, meal prep)
- DELETE – not urgent and not important tasks that don’t add value to your life (time-wasters, distractions, unnecessary decisions, non-critical choices)
The Eisenhower Box
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Step III: Identify What Is Not Essential In Your Life
Once you’ve identified what is something essential in your life that you want to invest more time into, it’s time to ELIMINATE what is Non-Essential and only steals our time.
Our resources are limited. Time, energy, money, mental capacity, attention, physical space, willpower or even talents are all limited. This means that if say “YES” to one thing you automatically say “NO” to another thing. That’s why it is so important to choose wisely how you’re going to use all the resources you have.
We often love to complain about how little time we have but the truth is we have plenty of time we’re just not managing time effectively. Just think about all these low-value activities that you spend a substantial amount of time on such as mindlessly scrolling through social media, watching TV, indulging in negative self-talk, gossiping, checking e-mails, watching YouTube etc.
Now you can count the time you spend every single day doing all these low-value things and you will see how much time you actually spend doing the wrong things. Imagine if you could reduce the hours you spend on basically procrastinating and dedicate more time doing the things that actually bring value to your life. By doing so you could actually achieve your goals faster. Wouldn’t it be great? I am sure it would. And you know what? It’s actually easier than you think. It requires a little bit of strategic planning and of course, self-discipline but you can do it. And here is how you can turn your ideas into action.
- Take out a pen and paper (or use your smartphone)
- Write down all the low-value things and activities you spend a substantial time on (this is your Not-to do list!)
- Read it out loud
- Think of how you can reduce the amount of time you spend doing low-value activities
- Decide what essential things you can dedicate more time to
- Use your calendar to make time and space for what is something essential in your life but you’ve been underinvesting in
Create A Not-To-Do List
Got a to-do list? Great! Now it’s time to make a not-do list so that you can focus on what’s truly important and adds value to your life. Because let’s face it, if your schedule is jam-packed you will not have enough time to get everything done that you’ve planned, anyway. That’s why instead of desperately trying to finish your never-ending to-do list while sacrificing your rest, free time, social life and most likely also your sleep hours you should create NOT-TO-DO LIST. This way you will have more time for the essential things that actually add real value to your life.
To-Do List – Tasks and Activities that create RESULTS (Take Action)
Not-To-Do List – Tasks and Activities that produce low or zero results (Procrastinate)
- Make a list of all your to-do’s, goals and responsibilities for the next month
- Decide what 3 goals/items have the biggest impact on your life (these are you top 3 priorities for the next month)
- Plan the next action steps to move closer to your most important goals/items and add them to your schedule and calendar
- Identify what things on your to-do list you don’t have to do by yourself and you could easily delegate them to others
- Identify what items on your to-do list are unimportant and don’t bring ANY value to your life and eliminate (or postpone) them
- Items that you decided to delegate and eliminate from your NOT-TO-DO list
Step IV: Focus & Take Action
And now the best part of the process of applying essentialism to your life: EXECUTION. This is the moment from which real positive change can emerge. Because once you’ve decided what are the most essential things in your life you are one step closer to becoming the best version of yourself. However, in order to move in this direction, you need to create time and space in your schedule for the things that are essential for you. Otherwise, you will most likely procrastinate instead of doing what you should and want to do.
Of course, you can wait for motivation and creative inspiration to strike you to take action but considering the sole nature of motivation that it’s not constant you will be most likely wasting your time, energy and potential waiting for a positive trigger. A much better solution is to plan, schedule and organize your life around your goals. This way you will create a powerful routine and positive habits that will support your journey towards your goals.
It’s time to actively focus and take action on the things that are truly important for your fulfilment and happiness.
Decide what is important to you and spend your time accordingly.
Set Your Goals
Momentum is an incredible thing. It is this magic moment when you obtain absolute focus, increase your sense of clarity and maximize your productivity for better results. Momentum enables you to reach your full potential, take intentional action and achieve your life goals. It is exactly what you need to go after the life you want. By building momentum you get a unique tool, which has no competitors among other things, ways to achieve your goals. It is your innate ability to create the reality in which you want to live.
Over the years through working on different projects I learned that one of the best and easiest ways to build momentum is to start before you’re ready. So, if you want to achieve this heavy sense of concentration, make your motivation flow effortlessly and 10x your results you need to stop thinking and start doing. Seriously, stop making everything much more complex than it ever needs to be and start producing real results. Put yourself in motion and become insanely motivated by your actions.
Stop negotiating with yourself, instead, eliminate all external and internal distractions, put the right kind of music (I usually listen to mindfulness music for deep focus and concentration with binaural beats) and start working towards achieving your goals. Enter into that hypnotic state where creativity flows effortlessly and achieve what you thought was impossible.
Step V: Track Your Progress
Once you’ve identified what is something essential in your life that you want to invest more time into you should track your progress. And to help you with that here is your free worksheet!
Best Posts About Achieving Goals:
- Maximize Your Productivity: 6-Step Method To Get More Things Done In Less Time. HERE
- Perfect Morning Routine to Reduce Stress & Anxiety HERE
- The Ultimate Guide For Setting & Reaching Your Goals HERE
- 6 Self-Improvement Habits To Adopt in 2020 HERE
- Get into the Habit of Being Seriously Organized in 2020. HERE
- 8 Simple Steps to Set Yourself Up for a Successful 2020 HERE
- Powerful and smart ways to manage your time efficiently and effectively HERE
- 5 steps to success in achieving your goals HERE
- The ultimate way to overcome procrastination and become a highly productive person HERE
- The science of motivation HERE
- 10 powerful habits to boost your confidence HERE
Start investing your time in things that bring value into your life!