The Beauty of the Bare Minimum Philosophy

The Beauty of the Bare Minimum Philosophy

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As far as I know I came up with this philosophy (only days ago!). It flies in the face of our current multitasking, check-list driven, and work-work-work mentality.

My Bare Minimum Philosophy (BMP) means I will focus only on one task or activity per day. I ask myself early in the day — what one thing can I do today that will make me feel successful and proceed to do it. I can do other tasks, but at the very least — my bare minimum — I will do that one thing.

Since I enacted this philosophy last week my life has become less stressed, more productive, and absolutely more pleasurable. Imagine that! Having pleasure and feeling successful from just doing one thing?! My mind was blown.

I had to write about this immediately and that is why part 2 of My Top 10 Ageless Living Habits will be posted next week! (By the way go check out part 1 again because I added more details and real life examples to each habit.)

So why do I think BMP is so amazing?

3 Reasons:

  • Focus

Your ability to focus increases when you concentrate on the one activity because your brain is not distracted by the thought or actual doing of other tasks.

A study by Stanford University found people who multitask often “do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time.” The study centered on media multitasking like watching TV and texting, taking part in a meeting and writing an email, etc. – sound familiar? With all our digital gadgets, entities vying for our attention, and the different responsibilities we must attend to – it’s no wonder we get anything done at all!

  • Presence

To be fully engrossed in a single task increases awareness.

Your senses — sight, sound, touch, and smell & taste if applicable — is laser focused on the one assignment. With this heightened awareness, you can see solutions easier, react to problems better, and find the “zone” that makes whatever you’re doing effortless.

People who experience presence — the state of being in the now — find it to be a calming, harmonious, and fluid state of being. From personal experience, I can say this is when I’m most creative.

  • Accomplishment

You apply all your efforts to the singular job and don’t stop until you finish it.

The feeling of completing a project or goal (no matter how small) is always great. Nobody sets out a task, objective, or even house chore for nothing. There is desire to get it done. Realizing the goal is a testament to our efforts, commitment, and determination — and that is all good!

The Past

Like any modern woman I was queen of my check-list. I loved making lists and checking them off — drawing that line across a completed task was addicting. (Ladies you know what I mean!) But this mode of operating soon took a toll on me. I started feeling I had too much to do with not enough time to get it done and it began to backfire. I ended up doing less and feeling worse.

Then I developed my Medal Out system. Utilizing a calendar, a short checklist, and medals for encouragement, it solved my productivity, stress, and motivational problems. It works so well, all my clients use it.

With my Medal Out structure you make a short list of 3-5 tasks which you try to complete in a day. If you finish 1 task you give yourself a bronze medal for your efforts. If you accomplish 2 assignments, you get a silver medal, and 3 you get a gold medal.

Giving yourself “medals” is an act of acknowledgment and self-love. In my experience as a teacher, fitness trainer, and life-coach — recognizing someone’s efforts and giving them praise for a job well done makes them feel good and motivates them to accomplish more.

The Present

I still use the Medal Out system because it works, but now with the addition of my Bare Minimum Philosophy — not only am I guaranteed a medal, but I am able to bring back the awareness and pleasure factor that can be shortchanged when you’re still in a “check-list” mentality.

Check-lists by nature implies there is always something that needs to be done. And yes, in reality this is true. But, a person’s reality is determined by their perspective and one can choose to perceive that although there is much to do, I can give this moment all of me, and I choose not to worry about what I must do next.

Being able to give your full attention to a moment is testament to your timeless way of being. You know deep within that all you have is this moment and you choose to cherish it. Part of the ageless lifestyle is to feel free from the constraints of time — to believe at your core that you have all the time in the world to do what you’re supposed to do.

When you go about your day with this mentality — choosing to be aware — and giving one task your full attention you will find joy in the act itself. It’s impossible not to because true presence is to be in your joy. There is no worry about the past or anxiety for the future. You are completely at peace with where you are in the ‘here and now.’

The Guilt or Push-back

If you try the Bare Minimum Philosophy you may feel a tinge of guilt or you might get push-back from people. Whether it’s from your head or through the judgment of others you may hear the following…

  • How dare you only try to do one thing? You must be such a lazy person!
  • You only do the “bare minimum?” You must be so incompetent!

If your lizard brain or the meanies of the world get on your case — say this…

“I am the most productive person I know. I set objectives and accomplish them — on the regular. Each daily goal that I achieve shows my commitment and willingness to participate in life. I’m a BMP PIMP! (Add snaps for effect!)

And if they’re still talking smack – send them to me. I got your back. 😉

Tweet it like you mean it!

I have laser focus. I get the job done. Click To Tweet

If you need help putting together a healthy & balanced lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Sources:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/august24/multitask-research-study-082409.html

 

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