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Ever felt completely snowed under by life in general, or weighed down by the sense of anxious dread that things are spiraling out of control despite your best efforts?
Well, of course you have. That is, by all accounts, the default feeling of just about everyone in the busy modern age, where technologies like email and smartphones keep us plugged into work 24/7, and our job roles become more and more abstract.
Minimalism is a fantastic approach to battling against this sense of ever-mounting chaos, but for many people some of the rhetoric that often surrounds minimalist movements can be a bit off-putting.
Virtually all of us want a simpler life. Not all of us, however, want to follow Thoreau’s example and move into a cabin the woods to get away from it all.
Luckily, minimalism and technology don’t have to be enemies. In fact, they can often be natural allies.
Here’s a look at some hi-tech ways you can simplify your life.
Get appliances and furniture which serve multiple functions
A key element of paring down your belongings without finding yourself losing essential tools is to invest in appliances and furniture which serve multiple functions well.
Instead of having a full body mirror in your bedroom, along with a wardrobe, you can buy mirrored cabinets from companies such as http://www.drench.co.uk/ and kill two birds with one stone.
Instead of having a separate microwave and oven, you can buy a combination microwave oven.
Always ask yourself the question, “is there a way I can get more done with less?”
Use business apps to go paperless
One of the key sources of mess and clutter in our homes has to be the endless amounts of papers which find their way into many of our lives. From receipts we keep for future budgeting, to the bank statements we laboriously file away, paper documents can take up a lot of space and often require a lot of attention to file properly.
Luckily, there are now apps and web services which can remove just about all of the need for that excess paper from our lives.
Instead of keeping our ideas, pin numbers, and shopping lists recorded in half a dozen stray notebooks, we can store everything on Evernote.
Instead of storing away receipts, we can enter out transactions in real time on budgeting apps such as YNAB.
Instead of keeping a backlog of bank statements filed away, we can go through the options on our online banking profiles and set those reports to be sent via email instead.
Adopt a “smart caveman” fitness routine
Does that sound like an oxymoron? Well, never fear, there is a method to the madness.
Fitness is often an area of our lives where we expend a great deal of attention, time, and money, and the desire to get and stay fit can often be needlessly stressful.
Setting up a “home gym” with a dumbbell set and recumbent exercise bike is likely to be both costly and also to take up a huge amount of space in our homes.
Maintaining a gym membership can be costly too, and requires us to regularly find the willpower to pack our gym bags, drive down, and workout surrounded by other people, even when we really don’t feel like it.
Bodyweight training, or “caveman fitness”, on the other hand, requires only a good routine to follow and a bit of floor space at home At a push, maybe a door frame pull up bar.
With programs like Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Naked Warrior”, it’s possible to develop great strength without any props. And with Tabata training, intense cardio can be had without a treadmill or bike.
But what about the “high tech” component?
Well, using food-tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal, and small wearable devices like the Fitbit can allow us to be our own personal trainers, track our own caloric and macronutrient intake, and record our heart rate and sleep quality, all with minimal equipment.
Move your library to an eReader
This is often a bit of a touchy subject, and it’s by no means essential. If, however, you find yourself swamped with books and would rather free up some shelf space, investing in an eReader such as a Kindle can allow you to store an entire library’s worth of books in one slim device that will fit right in your rucksack.
Of course, if your books are a source of pleasure to you rather than a source of clutter or stress, by all means hold on to them.
If, however, you’re interested in a new tome but don’t feel that it’s worthy of gracing your shelf space, buying the eBook version can be a perfect solution.