Minimalism and the Misleading Path to Productivity

I’m focusing less on minimalism here than I have at my other blog, Hip Diggs. That doesn’t mean that I’ve quit practicing minimalism. In fact, this year, I’m minimizing some things that were getting in the way of truly being a minimalist. What are those things? They might not be what you think.

Minimalism Creates Space for Productivity

If you’ve studied the minimalist lifestyle, you’ve likely heard this. When you live with less stuff, you’ll have more time and energy to be more productive. This is absolutely true. But wait, it can also be a deceptive trap. Here’s what can easily happen…

  1. You become consumed with getting rid of stuff: If becoming a minimalist begins to consume your life, you’ve missed the point. When we are constantly looking for the next thing to get rid of, it has the same power over our lives as when we look for the next thing to buy. It takes us out of the present moment. We begin to constantly analyze our belongings and yearn for a more minimalist future. That can create anxiety and stress because it never feels like we have gotten rid of enough stuff. It’s not how little we have that matters. It’s being content with less than average. It’s being present in whatever circumstance we find ourselves that really matters.
  2. You become consumed with creating stuff: I’ve learned this through experience. As I took my focus off consumerism, I opened up more time for creativity. Although I’ve always been prolific as a songwriter and writer, I found myself nearly obsessed with creating a blog about minimalism. I wrote dozens of posts in advance. I spent countless hours on social media promoting my blog. It was not a minimalist endeavor but rather a maximalist philosophy. I worked to create as much material as I could, even if it meant sacrificing my family time and my health. I was constantly focusing on something in the future rather than the present moment.

Beware of the Misleading Path

Here’s the deal. It doesn’t matter how much you own or how much you create if you can’t find peace in the here and now. Human beings tend to get distracted in a variety of ways. Some get distracted by the media, some by drugs or alcohol. Some people try to find happiness in stuff, some get obsessed with a project. Some become distracted by minimalism itself.

These distractions, no matter what they are, keep us from finding true inner-peace. They keep us wanting more. When we are consumed with any single thing, we cannot find true happiness. This applies to minimalism as much as it does to anything else.

If you’re consumed with the idea of minimizing everything in your life, you will lose yourself in the process. If you spend countless hours studying minimalism, not only will your life be out of balance, but you’ll still be doing the exact thing you’re attempting to quit: consuming. If you use minimalism to open up space to be productive only to become obsessed with the amount you produce, what have you gained? Nothing.

To learn more about finding happiness through the simple acts of doing rather than the expected outcomes of those acts, read my free ebook, The Happiness Of Simple.