The 5-Minute Simplifying Series

Photo by Yogendra174

By Josh Rueff on May 30, 2013

You might be a little skeptical about minimalism, or maybe you like the idea of simplifying, but you want to start small. 

Healthy habits are hard to develop, especially habits that involve complicated, tedious, or intimidating steps, life-changing though they may be. 

The 5-Minute Simplifying Series is something I’ve put together to make simplifying easier. Not that it won’t still be tough.

5 minutes for each challenge – I call it that because 5 minutes or not, it’s still hard! Have you ever sprinted for 5 minutes straight? Fought or sparred for a 5 minute round? Have you worked the heavy bag at full capacity, done pull ups, push ups, sit ups, or squats for 5 minutes without stopping?

Then you know how grueling 5 minutes can be.

The goal isn’t to convince you that living simply is impossible, I just want to remind you that, despite the ease and fulfillment of living it brings, the process to get to that point is not always easy.

But 5 minutes is doable for anyone with the will to try!

Over this series, I’ll cover a number of simple challenges that will help you get into the habit of pursuing a simplicity.

5 Minutes of Nothing

The first 5-minute simplify challenge is to do nothing.

This is far more important than it sounds, and for the typical hummingbird, puritan-work-ethic American, it is much harder than it sounds.

For 5 full minutes, do nothing at all – I find it most enjoyable to sit down somewhere in or near nature, but that’s entirely up to you. We’re not trying to achieve some Zen or nirvana state of mind, we’re just relaxing, and enjoying something we’ve forgotten how to enjoy.

It’s a deliberate exercise to slow life down to a more manageable and gratifying pace.

The key is your focus – no negative or worrisome thoughts! If your mind drifts toward work, family problems, or any other pessimistic mindset, pull it back into a positive train of thought.

Contemplate whatever you want as long as it’s enjoyable and positive. If you have nothing to be positive about, make something up; daydream about the life you want for yourself, visualizing yourself doing things you’ve always wanted to do. A life with no dreams is pointless – visualizing what you want in life is the first step toward achieving what you desire.

Other 5-Minute Simplifying Challenges

Microwave Your Way to Simplicity!

There’s more coming, stay tuned!



  1. sweeterlife2013 June 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Another little gem of advice Josh – doing nothing per-sé can help us become more mindful of the present moment and stop worrying about past/future.


    • Josh June 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Hey Laura, thanks for visiting!

      That’s very true. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do now. I figured it would be dumb to write about it and not do it, so I took 5 minutes out of my day to do absolutely nothing in my back yard – I doubt everyone would enjoy it as much as I did, but it was kind of surprising how nice it was.

      I watched the cloud formations, something I haven’t done in ages, watched purple martins, a bird I absolutely love, but didn’t even know existed near me. Those 5 minutes were more well spent than most of my hours honestly.

      Made me feel like a minimalist amateur (:


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