How minimalism sparks creativity
Minimalism is an inspiring concept I found too extreme at the beginning. I initially thought it was just an interior decorating style which I found appealing but was a tad too modern looking and empty for my taste. Then all of a sudden it was everywhere, from the Apple store, Nordic furniture, The Minimalists, and Marie Kondo.
Being quite the consumer for the UK economy, I can’t say I adopted this lifestyle. Perhaps I should.
Confession: I own 4 yoga mats (after i donated a few already)! One ultra thin travel mat (too thin if I’m being honest, but I keep it JUST IN CASE!), a regular Liforme mat (that’s too heavy to carry around), another lighter Liforme mat (that’s the perfect weight to carry around), and now a yoga pad, so i don’t have to carry a mat at all. Do i need 4 mats? Probably not. And guess what? They are taking space in my home.
Still, I did put to use the KonMari method, I got rid of quite a few bags of stuff the past two years, and I am very pro the concept of only keeping things that SPARK JOY. My drawers and closet using her folding technique is also working to keep things tidy and in one place.
But why is all of this so important? and how is it linked to creativity? I am not sure if you recall a time where you have to study or have a work deadline, you’re at home trying to put in the work, but you thought, oh I don’t know, cleaning the microwave was more important. You probably NEVER clean the microwave. But at this particular moment it was eating you up and it seemed like the BEST IDEA you ever had! And that’s all you wanted to do.
That’s because our brain doesn’t like clutter and too much information. When coaching my clients, I need to ensure they are in a state where they are fully focused on the conversation around their goals. No distractions. No phones. No digressing. The pre-frontal cortex in your brain needs to have as little activity, in order to have AHA moments. This is why we never have them day to day. Our lives are filled with constant noise and influx of information.
Similar to our brain, our environment and surroundings need to be clean, tidy and organised for it to be in a state to do the creative work. One tip I have is keep/take out ONLY the items you need to carry out the work you need to do. If you’re writing a blog post or an article, you don't need your calculator or 42 coloured pens/highlighters out.
When you meditate, keep your surrounding clean and simple, so you can have a clean space and energy] to carry out your meditation practice (so you don't think of the dirty coffee cup in the corner of your eye that you know is there, instead focus more of your energy on the breathing exercise).
I am very far from calling myself a minimalist, and definitely not the '“creative” type. But where and when I do allow myself to space and time to reflect, less is certainly always more.
- Less thoughts and worries, more insights.
- Less noise and distractions (from phone notification and social media), more creative ideas.
E.g. The thought to write this blog post came to me as I was journaling at 6AM on a Sunday while the world was still asleep
- Less clutter, more love for my home
- Less stuff around my desk, more productivity, efficiency and less mistakes
My Morning Ritual
consists of my journal, pen, glasses, and matcha latte :)
So think of how and where you can make space for creativity. Often times we blame our tiny flat and the lack of space, but the only space we need to create is in our minds and lifestyle. The minimalism concept is very closely linked to results based coaching, meditation/mindfulness, and journaling. It’s having more space and capacity for what’s truly important in your day and life.