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Mental Minimalism

“No” is a word that has never been in my vocabulary.

When someone asks me to take on a task, take over a committee, join a club or lead a team, I instantly say yes. It doesn’t matter how hectic my schedule is, I respond “going” to every Facebook event that comes my way. If someone asks me to chat, even if I’m in the middle of a task, I will drop everything to talk it out. I would dare christen myself the queen of commitment and saying “yes”. The word “no” doesn’t come to mind very often, and especially never when someone is asking for my time and my energy.

One of my 2019 commitments to myself was to be more mindful and present. What I’ve realized from starting that process is that to be present, I have to have the time to do so.

That means I’ve had to find the strength to say “no”

Knowing all of that, I probably shouldn’t be the one to be writing about minimalistic priorities. But I do have a list of goals and tricks for being mindful and saying “no” that I’ve been working on since the beginning of February. Clearly, they are not failsafe, but they are a good starting point for mindfulness.

  1. Wait before saying yes – Think through your priorities before adding a new one. Don’t make your schedule so stacked that you can’t give your whole self to all of them.
  2. Turn off notifications at a certain time of night – preferably early in the evening, but at least an hour before bed.
  3. Single-task whenever you can – I am that girl who has 20 tabs open and flips between all of them while taking notes in lecture — but that’s a horrible way to work! Taking each task one at a time allows you to be more productive and to get the job done fully.
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