Minimalism – A Few of My Favorite Articles from the Internet

Most of us have a love/hate relationship with technology, which, of course, includes the internet. The internet can be overwhelming, an overload of information that is hard to sort through. For me, the biggest concern when seeking information is whether the site is credible.

Sometimes, I get frustrated when I do searches, but overall, I love the internet. I have learned a lot about many topics over the years (and am learning to weed out less-reputable sites), including: herb gardening, environmental concerns, recycling, simple living, cooking, finances, and even how to use less trash. I guess you could say the internet is my digital way of hoarding, without having to own extra books.

This last week I’ve been hung up on minimalism. With all those great articles out there, I just had to share a few of my favorites.

 

A Few of My Favorites:

Budgets are Sexy – Love this site. It’s about finances, and everything that goes with it, which, of course, includes minimalism. J. Money is a down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy.

Becoming Minimalist – One of the most recent articles is written by author and blogger Jeff Goins. Check out the article, and see what happened after Jeff made a million dollars.

Becoming Minimalist (again) – This article is written by the owner of the site, Joshua Becker. A lesson about space in our home.

There you have it. Some of my favorites for the week. Enjoy!

Have a simply beautiful day!

What new knowledge have you discovered on the internet?

Please follow and like us:

Paper or Digital? Choosing a Calendar

I have had a paper calendar for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I was taught that every birthday and holiday, and even household chores, were placed on a calendar. Hanging on my bedroom wall, just over my bed, was a cute little calendar with kittens and puppies, every event neatly scribed in the appropriate square.

As a teen, I wrote lists for every day of the week (inventing my own type of calendar), and as an adult, I’ve either owned a purse calendar, or had a book on my desk.

My calendar has held everything I’ve needed to know, from email address and phone numbers, to birthdays and anniversaries. Even my daily routine was written out, every hour accounted for. It gave me the freedom to follow a plan, or deviate from it as needed. Just to know it was there was comforting.

But in the age of technology, and in the spirit of simplicity and minimalism, I decided it was time to give up paper and embrace the smartphone, and the new calendar app I’d discovered.

My phone would hold my calendar, and more. I could list errands, events, and even when bills were due. It would be cool. The only thing missing would be my daily routine, something I had grown accustomed to.

My routine should be something I’d remember. And I do. Only, my routine is general. It varies in many ways, like what type of writing needs to be done each day, or whether or not my website requires technical maintenance. And sometimes, I just need to focus on my book, or do a little marketing. It’s all written in my calendar.

Here is an example of my routine:
7:30 – Tea and Reading
8:00 – Emails
8:30 – Exercise or Yoga
9:15 – 12:30 – Writing
1:00 – 4:30 – Writing

My routine keeps me on track, makes me stay focused.

This is what happened when I decided to let go of my paper calendar:

I took everything from my paper calendar, and transferred the information to my phone. Then I got nervous. It occurred to me that the app could fail, or worse, I could lose my phone.

When I finished putting all the events on my phone, I felt a tiny bit better. Reluctantly, I tore up the calendar, and threw it away. I was digital.

For a week, all went fairly well. My phone sent a reminder of appointments, and my routine was followed, mostly without a hitch. Though I did find myself thinking about my days more than I had before, and wondering if I was getting everything done.

Week two, my phone once again sent me a little reminder of appointments for the week. That part was great. But this week, my schedule slipped, and some of the work I needed to do was pushed aside.

Week three, my routine was gone. Important matters, like working on the technical side of my site, was forgotten. I also noticed post-it notes piled on my desk, and a bunch sitting in my drawer. Without realizing it, I was writing reminder notes to myself.

By week four, I wrote out a schedule on paper, and placed it on my desk. I missed my paper calendar.

Staying focused:

My calendar taught me how to focus, and kept me on track. On paper, I made goals I could visually look at every day. I could see the day and week ahead, and knew what was going to happen without constantly having to check my phone. The paper calendar freed my mind from having to think about my schedule.

I once again own a paper calendar. And I love it. Yes, it takes a little more time to write out each week. But in the end, I get more accomplished. I am more focused.

Here is an example of the calendar I use.

There are also printable calendars available online, like this one here.

If I can ever figure it out, maybe someday I will go completely digital. But for now, the paper calendar remains in my life.

What about you? Do you use a paper calendar, or are you digital? If you are the technology-savvy type, I’d love to hear how you do it.

Please follow and like us:

Technology and the Drug of Choice

We are consumed by screens, staring at televisions, computers, and phones, in an excessive amount of hours per week. According to cnn.com and Washingtonpost.com (2015 stats), teens spend 9 hours a day on social media. In 2014, nydailynews.com reported that children ages 2-11 watched 24 hours of television per week, increasing as children grew older. Time.com (2015) reports that young adults ages 18-24 check their phones 75 times per day. Crazy statistics. And at what cost?

The cost of children’s lives, who don’t run, play, or dream, who lose hours of imagination, days of thinking. The cost of adults, relationships lost, dreams turned to dust, health diminished.

It makes me so very sad.

We have forgotten how to think and create, to imagine without the use of a screen. We have forgotten how to entertain, to be alone, or with our friends and our mates. We have forgotten how to play. We have this attachment to a screen, like a drug that’s taken over our minds, that’s killing our bodies. Somehow, we need to let it go.

My husband and I have been guilty of the same thing. A few years ago, we began to figure it out. We were tired of paying for overly-expensive satellite television, so we dropped our subscription. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done. The benefits we received went well beyond the financial rewards of a larger bank account.

We found time to talk, to read, to walk. We found freedom from schedules, and from television shows we ‘just had to watch.’ And you know what? We don’t miss it.

But television is far from the only problem. There are computers, phones, and social media.

Computers can sometimes be deemed a necessity, used for work, sometimes for shopping, often for entertainment. To say we don’t need a computer isn’t logical, but I think we don’t need it as much as we think we do.

I think phones are the hardest. They are the tie to our family and friends, the way we stay connected. And with a phone constantly in our pockets and purses, our relationships are just a button away. But as much as I love my phone, and staying in contact my family, my husband and I made a commitment. We don’t answer phones during a meal, and when we watch a movie, they are placed in another room.

Technology is everywhere, bouncing off street corners, hidden inside little coffee shops. It’s part of our lives. And sometimes, I love it. But there is one thing in technology that frustrates me, and that is our constant attachment to social media. It has become a drug, the attention we crave from another human being, a virtual hug, high-five, an a-okay.

I understand the need to stay in touch, that sometimes we rarely see one another, and this is our replacement. I use social media myself. But it is no longer a constant companion, it is a source I check in with three times a day. I have learned to limit myself, to put a restriction on social media, and find more time with other’s whose flesh and blood is mere steps away.

It saddens me to think we need use technology as a replacement for a real human being. That parents phone children who are just steps away, that people in offices send a message instead of walking twenty feet. It saddens me to think we are a society who doesn’t take the time to relate to one another. It makes me wonder, if we keep this constant pace of using this drug-induced social interaction, what will happen to our world? Where will we be?

Will we forget how to talk to one another? Will we forget the touch of a hand, or the hug of a friend? Will we forget how to communicate?

Please follow and like us: