Minimalism and creativity go hand in hand. Whether you’re a writer, photographer, or university researcher, a minimalist mindset can fuel your creative engine. On this basis, here are 8 minimalist ways to be more creative.
No matter our occupation, we often need creative zest to advance our projects.
Students are encouraged to think outside the box. Employees constantly have to prove their talent. And entrepreneurs cannot survive without new and exciting ideas.
This is where you can use minimalism to be more creative.
The best minimalist ways to be more creative
Decluttering your spaces and simplifying your life can have a creativity-bolstering effect.
In this sense, the following habits will let your creativity flourish and free up space for fresh ideas.
Use digital minimalism to cut out distractions
Digital minimalism can work wonders for your creativity.
By reducing your online presence to the bare minimum, your creativity will no longer be hampered by useless social media posts, incessant email traffic, and repeating news cycles.
There are many ways to curb your online presence.
In most scenarios, it’s best to identify the most useful platform and regulate your usage. Choose a few social media platforms and news sites to follow and scrap all the others.
The second step is a daily time limit for every platform.
As an example, if Facebook only hinders your work, uninstall it from most of your devices.
If Instagram, on the other hand, energizes your creative mindset, set a daily time limit of 30 minutes and gain inspiration from talented photographers.
Finally, be sure to regulate your email traffic. The following are my 3 main techniques to contain email floods:
- First, create folders according to topic, sender, and type of request.
- Secondly, administer your email subscriptions regularly. Use a one-in-one-out mentality.
- Third, sort emails by importance and deal with flagged ones immediately.
Focus your thoughts and creativity on one activity
Minimalism as a mindset is all about prioritization.
By bundling our energy in the right areas, we pursue our goals with more purpose and tenacity.
This also applies to creative endeavors.
If you’re struggling with a writing gig, professional assignment, or artistic task, laser-focus your thoughts on one activity. Don’t try to complete 5 tasks at the same time.
Separating the creative and administrative parts of your tasks also works well in this regard. This involves clearly-defined time blocks for creative work and administrative chores.
My mornings are, for instance, fully blocked for creative work. Before lunch, I don’t check my emails, schedule meetings, or plan calls.
In that same vein, I set aside a couple of hours for administrative tasks in the afternoon. This clear division helps me laser-focus my thoughts and minimize distractions.
Declutter your surroundings to let your creativity flourish
Some creators thrive in messy environments.
Mark Twain and Albert Einstein were among many famous figures who excelled in cluttered workspaces.
Nevertheless, most people won’t benefit from a disorganized workspace.
To be productive in a messy environment, creativity has to be a given. Distractions have to be eliminated from the getgo.
This is simply not the case for most people in the 21st century.
Working in a mess of our own making can advance pre-existing ideas, but it doesn’t foster creativity in the first place.
In simple terms, if you’re already creating amazing stuff, your preferred type of mess can work as an additional stimulant.
If you are, on the other hand, trying to improve your creativity at the start of your endeavor, disorganization will have the opposite effect.
This is why a decluttered, clean workspace will put you ahead in the creativity race.
Besides, a clean, well-organized home will enable you to think about projects, not your vacuum cleaner.
By removing the clutter from your living and working spaces, your mind will be free to concentrate on the next big idea. As such, clutter can become a hindrance to creativity. This is why you should prioritize clean surroundings.
Once your creativity becomes self-evident, your messy side can still come to light.
Own less, create more
Akin to a decluttered workspace, a reduction in the number of loose items in your house will have a positive effect on your creativity.
Aside from obvious organizational benefits, owning less has a creativity-furthering mental component.
Once you stop worrying about the newest smartphone and the latest fashion trend, you unlock your creativity. The pursuit of short-term material joys will slowly give way to novel quests.
Consequently, your creativity will not be impeded by materials goals that do not serve a purpose other than keeping up with the Joneses.
As a creator, freeing up your mind from excessive materialism can spawn new artistic visions and ideas.
Don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to get rid of all your possessions and never buy a new car again.
The point is to free up space in your mind. A reduction in materialism often initiates this liberating effect.
Define values and make decisions
When it comes to minimalist ways to be more creative, the definition of values is essential.
If you’re new to minimalism, remember the following: a minimalist attitude is, in essence, a set of values.
You need to assign a certain meaning to goods, personal endeavors, relationships, and activities.
Once your values are clear, you’ll be able to make qualified decisions. These decisions will, ultimately, be the bread and butter of your creativity.
If you work in a creative field or simply want to strengthen your artistic verve, creativity has to be one of your main values.
In this context, creativity should be prioritized over lesser values like pop culture.
You decide to further your creativity – by taking a new photography class for example – instead of watching another episode of the latest Netflix show.
Use a minimalist lifestyle to free your schedule
“A busy calendar and a busy mind will destroy your ability to do great things in this world. If you want to be able to do great things, whether you’re a musician or entrepreneur, you need free time and you need a free mind.” – Naval Ravikant
Minimalism – as a holistic attitude – will free up your schedule.
By choosing hobbies, relationships, and work-related matters according to your priorities, you’ll have more time at your disposal.
In the creative world, time is your most precious resource.
Use a minimalist approach to design your schedule. After defining creativity as a major value, ensure that creative endeavors receive enough spots in your calendar.
By giving your creative projects the attention they deserve, your creativity will prosper and you’ll slowly enter a creative groove.
As an example, I always struggled to find the time to pursue photography, a passion of mine.
This lack of time became synonymous with a lack of ideas and creativity. The solution was to allocate a few hours every week to editing. This generated an instant surge in inspiration.
Once I knew that a certain amount of time would always be dedicated to photography, I developed the mental freedom to let ideas bloom.
Boost your creativity by improving your finances
My top minimalist ways to be more creative also include financial improvements.
On par with material things, not having to worry about financial constraints will let your creativity blossom without boundaries.
Two points are essential here.
First, don’t let financial obstacles ruin your artistic quest. This naturally requires expectation management. In a nutshell, never expect a muse project to finance your life.
Even though lots of digital creators, writers, and photographers nowadays make a good living with their art, this shouldn’t be your main ambition.
If you want to start a blog, do it because you love writing, not because it may become profitable in the distant future.
Secondly, proper budgeting and healthy financial habits will leave you with more time and disposable income.
Useful links on Minimalist Ways to Be More Creative
- more in the section “Work”
- read 8 Minimalist Ways to Overcome Procrastination
- more under the topic “Productivity”
- read 10 Minimalist Steps to Productivity Improvement