Incorporating Essentialism Into Your Standards

 

Essentialism

 

 Essentialism isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.

 

Are you looking for a strategy to help you do less and own less but you are not a minimalist?  I have found that Essentialism works for me! It gives me the opportunity to do what I love and own what I love.

 

What is essentialism?

I have been a  proponent of essentialism for a while now. Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is about prioritizing, which is knowing who, what and why something is essential. “The Way of the Essentialist involves doing less, but better, so you can make the highest possible contribution.”  I read this many years ago and it has stayed with me.  I find that drilling down to essentialism keeps me purposeful, intentional, and productive.

 

What does essentialism have to do with our next steps?

Before COVID-19, we have to admit we were on a hamster wheel with an endless list of actions and endless opportunities to purchase. Now we know what it feels like to do less.  It gives us the opportunity to be selective about what we are doing, who we are with, and what choices we can make.  We can regain control of our choices to use our time and energy to make a difference. Even more, after time has passed since COVID, we want to live intentionally and purposefully.

 

Where can we apply this concept?

Wonder where I apply the concept of Essentialism? It starts with what is in my home and what I own. I consider what is essential to my work and self-care. For me what is essential is a limited number of work clothes and play clothes. Limiting these helps me save time and money. Digging deep into my core values, I know that it is essential for me to spend time with family and stay connected to friends. My calendar reflects these essentials. I love that I can define these elements and stay true to my purpose in what I own and what I do.

Here is an example of where I have used Essentialism for myself. A product comes to mind that will make my life easier. I sit with that idea for a day, thinking about how essential that is to my daily life. I research the cost and prioritize the improvement it might make. I purchase it with intention and when it arrives I place it where it will be used frequently. It is now essential to what I do each day. I have deemed this item absolutely essential to my well-being and the order of my life. That item might be a new keurig pod flavor or a new bag to travel. The process works well for every purchase and every new activity in my life.

 

Where can I learn more?

Learning about Essentialism and its role in others’ lives helps you evaluate for yourself. Check out this podcast to learn more and be inspired.

How to Capture, Store and Incorporate Big Ideas

capture store and incorporate big ideas

Big ideas come to us at different times. We might be driving or in the shower. We might be taking time off for a short get away or take a long drive to our destination. Our mind goes to big personal and professional growth and time to dream big. How we do capture, store and incorporate these big ideas? How do we move from idea to action? Here are three steps that make your ideas come to life.

 

Capture

A friend gives you the name of a perfect little house in Galveston. You are thinking of the pivot you want to make professionally. You might want to own a series of beach houses. Or maybe you want to start a service cleaning rental homes or delivering groceries to rental homes.  The first step is to capture your ideas, especially if you are a prolific idea generator. Capture is to write it down or keep it digitally. Your capture tool should be consistent and simple. Where do we capture this information?

  • Paper is easy to use.  Just grab a pad and pencil.  Many of us use post it notes. My favorite capture tool is an TUL notebook.
  • We can use Google docs, Siri or Alexa to add to your list. Our digital list can be One Note, Notes or any other digital app on a device. Using these digital tools you can search your notes to find specific information.
  • Be sure you have your capture tool with you as ideas spontaneously bubble up.
  • Use just one capture tool to keep all your information together.

 

Store

You are not necessarily acting on this information immediately so you need to store this information to find it later. Your information needs to move from capture to storage.

  • Use your weekly planning time to store information for retrieval. As part of Getting Things Done (GTD), there is “someday/maybe” as the place to store your ideas.
  • File folders, pocket folders and plastic envelopes can store your paper.  Remember to set up categories for your ideas. Be prepared for multiple folders, one for each idea.
  • Evernote notebooks, Notes folders and One Note give you the digital place to add your list. From here you can flush out more information as you research.
  • Edit these folders as your ideas come and go.

Incorporate

Strategic planning time is a routine that connects your stored ideas and incorporating these to create an action plan. You can retrieve your ideas and determine if you are ready to act or edit. This intentional kind of planning can happen monthly, semi-annually or yearly. Most naturally is occurs at New Year’s or Back to School when we think about change. A summer strategic planning time might be even better as this aligns with preparing for the fall.

Incorporating a new idea, big or small, is best accomplished with structure. Structure is setting your month, week and day up for research, tasks or projects with your new goal. Assigning a time to do this work helps you gain momentum and keep focused on the outcome.  If you have a full schedule, in order for this new work to be incorporated, something else must be edited.

 

 

Here are examples of big goals that I have seen happen with this work flow starting with capture to incorporate.  A family decides to turn their home into a rental and move to their previous rental. Another family visits Galveston each summer and after many years decides to purchase a beach home. A new entrepreneur begins a small business that grows to include all of her family working for her. Your personal and professional dreams can happen with a process to move forward with capturing, storing and incorporating big ideas.