If you’re like most people in America, you’re buying too many clothes. You’re eating too many empty calories. You’re spending time with toxic people, when that time could be spent with the people you love.
I’m not trying to make you feel bad. Believe me, I’m definitely at fault. But I would like to propose a challenge—that we all try to be a little more minimalistic.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is nothing new. It’s basically the idea of “less is more.” It’s about removing excess from your life and focusing only on what’s essential and what brings you long-term joy.
Excess can come in many forms—it might be clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year, daily caramel macchiatos from Starbucks, or too many client meetings booked per week.When you strip away that excess (donate your old clothes, brew coffee at home, set a realistic schedule), you free up more resources—money, time, energy—to dedicate to what really matters.
Take the time to be mindful of what you bring into your life. Ask yourself these questions before spending money, time, or energy on something:
- “Is this essential?”
- “Does this bring me (long term) joy?”
If you can’t answer yes to one of these questions, you don’t need the stuff in question.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of minimalism, let’s talk about how this concept can be applied to your real estate business.
1) Focus on one task at a time.
Good news: you can stop trying to multitask. Studies have concluded that our brains aren’t capable of paying attention to two tasks at once—in fact, we’re wired to only focus on one thing at a time. What feels like multitasking is actually the brain jumping back and forth from one thing to the other, but never focusing on both at the same time.
When you’re meeting with a new pair of clients, give them your full attention. Don’t think ahead to your next appointment, don’t dwell on that lost deal, and don’t be distracted by your surroundings. Focus on the couple sitting across the table from you. Be present, be a good listener, and show them that you respect their time.
Strip away the excess and fully commit to the task at hand.
2) Set a manageable schedule.
Workaholism is a virtue. Sleep is for the weak. And don’t even think about using those vacation days. This mindset is far too common within the American workforce.
Fortunately, successful entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss have proved that 60-hour workweeks and frequent burnouts are not requirements for a profitable business. That’s not to say you don’t have to put in hard work—you certainly do. But if you work smart and efficiently and practice sustainable habits, you don’t have to push yourself beyond healthy human limitations.
Start small. Start with your weekly schedule. Prioritize your To Dos by what’s essential and what’s not. Then figure out what you can complete in the next seven days, and put those items on your calendar. The rest is excess, and it can wait.
When you’re not overbooked, you have more time for rest, reflection, and home life—exactly what you need to gear up for another day of kicking ass and taking names.
3) Tidy up.
Clutter is a major distraction. According to an article by LifeHack, “physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”
In addition to putting everything in its place, you might also consider getting rid of some stuff.
Decluttering guru Marie Kondo teaches in her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that you should only keep possessions that “spark joy.”
In other words, if you want your home and office to be places where your mind can function at full capacity, get rid of the excess.
4) Stop buying (and eating) things you don’t need
Don’t undo all of your great decluttering work by buying more stuff that you don’t need. Rebel against the consumerist culture. Resist impulse purchases. Fight cravings. You don’t need one more coffee mug. You don’t need dessert after every meal.
Instead of giving in to instant gratification, be more mindful about your purchases and decisions. You’ll have more money, more focus, and better health—three resources that you’ll find very useful in building your real estate business.
Minimalism, your way
There’s more than one way to embrace minimalism and rid your life of excess. On one end of the spectrum, you might decide to sell your house, move into a studio apartment, and build a capsule wardrobe. But if you love to express your personality through clothes or makeup or your hairstyle, by all means, do it. Be authentic. If it brings joy into your life, it’s not excess.
Decide what’s essential and what makes you happiest. The rest will only get in your way of building the real estate business (and life) of your dreams.