Having less is having more

It started with my closet. I have always known that sorting out my clothes leads to easier days when I’m under pressure, as choices are clearer and I can see what I have to work with. I think I “sort out” my closet twice a year at least. However, this year I’ve come across the concept of “essentialism”.

Essentialism is about really sticking to what is essential to your life. When it comes to clothing, the somewhat-famous Marie Kondo concept is about only keeping items that literally bring you joy when you hold them. It’s a tough process to go through as there are so many other reasons we keep clothes, but once you connect to what those reasons are, you’re able to ask yourself how much you really benefit from keeping them.

After digging deep on finding joy in my closet (it makes me laugh to write that), I started to think about where else in my life I could use essentialism. And the flood gates opened. What else am I holding on to for the wrong reasons? Where is my energy getting drawn out unnecessarily? What could be possible if I did let go of a few things? How much more productive and focused could I be if the only things I put my energy into were truly essential?

Start with your relationships. Are you saying yes to every catch up and date offered your way? In the southern hemisphere this time of year it’s summer holiday season and everyone is busy having get-togethers and fun at beaches, or camping or travelling around to visit others. It’s a lot of fun but the risk of burnout is high. We have to set a context for ourselves during this time to allow us to turn down some of the invitations – and reduce or stop offering our own invitations – in order to focus and focus on what we want to get out of this time (usually rest and energy after a long year).

Next, what additional work engagements or projects have you been playing with? Which ones feel truly energising and which ones are you doing for other reasons that don’t particularly support you? Were the reasons for writing that book important to you last year but not this year? What about that side-hustle you were considering?

And personal projects – preparing for a physical event or committing to an online training program? Which one really feels essential right now? Can you choose something more aligned to your life and energy right now?

So, 2019 is about throwing away that old bomber jacket that you loved when you were 21 because it made you feel special but now just takes up (lots of) space in your closet AND throwing away the projects that made you feel special last year but provide you little energy this year. Let it all go. Let it all go. Come back to your core. What is essential to being you? From there, thrive in 2019. You can do it.