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The Case for Becoming A Minimalist

Since my book Listful Thinking has been published in 12  different languages I have been able to connect with list makers across the globe. In particular I often receive messages from people in China and Japan who want to talk about their love of lists.

It’s become clear to me that while  we may have different approaches and styles, being more productive without overworking ourselves is a common human goal. In fact, in my search for a more minimalist lifestyle, I have often been inspired by ideas from the other side of the world.

As you may know I am a huge fan of Marie Kondo, who brings a simplicity to clearing clutter. She has you ask a simple question as you hold items from you home in your hand, “Does it spark joy?” It makes you really think about the stuff you  choose to keep, not just in your closets, but in your life in general.

I’m not the only one who has been inspired by eastern minimalism. Raymond Tang felt overwhelmed by his fast paced technology driven lifestyle and sought change elsewhere. He was inspired by the classic poems of by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. These poems are thousands of years old, but as Raymond explains in his TED talk they offer advice that we can embrace today.

Lao Tzu encouraged people to act more like water, which fills the shape of its container. t doesn’t fight against the obstacle in anyway. In the same way, all of us can be more open to opportunities and rather then force ourselves to be a certain version of success, we can just go with the flow.

It’s easier said than done, of course and I struggle with this on a daily basis. I really like order and structure and when I’m in a chaotic situation it makes me anxious. But I’m trying to be more open to chance and circumstance.

Minimalism is big  in Japan as well, where  young people are trying to own fewer and fewer things. Inspired by traditional Zen Buddhism, they have reduced the amount of physical things in their life to free up time spent cleaning or decluttering to be used elsewhere. When explaining the difference between Eastern and Western styles one person said, “In the west, making a space complete means placing something there. But with tea ceremonies, or Zen, things are left incomplete on purpose to let the person’s imagination make that space complete.”

In that same article one Japanese man explained that he only four pairs of pants, three shirts and four pairs of socks. If that makes you nervous, it shouldn’t! There’s something really freeing about having less stuff.

When you think about you probably use the same clothes over and over again anyway. So why are you holding onto it?

4 Ways to Organize Your Closet With Ease

I am a huge Marie Kondo fan, I love how she know how to make decluttering look so simple. In reality though I sometimes find decluttering and ongoing and tiresome task. Besides what exactly do you do with your wardrobe once it’s decluttered? How do you make it work for you?

Monisha Kapur is a stylist and wardrobe consultant – so I figured why should I try to tell you how to organize your closet when I can just defer to her expertise. Plus she was a student of mine in my online course teaching experts how to get media attention.

In my latest video interview, Monisha reveals her favorite app for organizing your closet. You can watch it here!

Here are some of Monisha’s top tips: Read more

How to Be a Part-Time Minimalist

Living in New York (or any big city) forces a person to be minimalistic when it comes to their stuff. There’s barely enough space for the things I need, let alone the things I don’t need! It’s why I’m such a huge fan of Marie Kondo, she helps you to hold on to the things that spark the most joy,  and get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t.

However, it was only when my appendix burst that I began to adopt minimalism as more of a way of life, as opposed to just a way to deal with clutter.

But what does that actually mean?

Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of everything you own or leaving everyone you know to travel around the world. It’s more about getting back to basics, relying less on material needs or obsessing over the desire to have it all. Read more

Listful Thinking Turns Two!

Do you ever get one of those Timehop things on Facebook where a picture pops up that you could’ve sworn you posted not that long ago, when it turns out it’s from two years ago!! I’m having one of those moments today as it’s been two years since my book Listful Thinking came out.

Where has that time gone?

I had to make a list:

  • There was that time I met  Marie Kondo and it sparked joy.
  • My appendix exploded.
  • Then I developed an online course with my friend Terri Trespicio called Lights Camera Expert to help entrepreneurs, experts and authors get and keep media attention.  
  • I continued to hear great feedback about a keynote speech for New York Women in Communications.
  • Listful Thinking has been translated into 10 languages! The different titles and covers of the various international versions of my book all give me a small insight into the cultures they represent. A prime example of this is the Japanese cover which features an adorable robot. Plus there’s now a new language to add to the ongoing list – Korean!

I’m excited to announce the next step in the Listful Thinking journey. I’m launching a brand new course called Listful Thinking Masterclass. It’s designed to help you set up a real system to get more done than ever.

I’ll be personally leading the course each week to give you guidance and tackle the big issues that are stifling your productivity like distractions and procrastination.  Check it out here. I can help you make this your most productive year yet!

8 Books to Turn Your Productivity Around

love reading! Not just because I enjoy learning about new things or ideas, but because I find it fascinating how a book can seep into your daily mindset.

If I’m really interested in a book I will often find that the concepts within the book will appear all around me. Friends will bring up a issues that relate to key themes in the book or I’ll face a problem at work similar to issues brought up in the book.

It’s for this reason that productivity books can be so good for you. While you may not implement all the practices suggested it at least gets you thinking about the different approaches to getting things done. You might even think of a way to adapt one of the ideas in the book to be more suitable for your lifestyle. Read more