Viac žuvať, menej jesť. Jednoduchý návod na minimalizmus a lepší život.

Život je jednoduchý. My si ho komplikujeme. Život sa dá užívať. My si z neho radosť vyháňame.

Čítal som nedávno zaujímavú knihu, ktorá ma inšpirovala k tomu, aby som viac žuval. Let me help you improve it with a simple book I read. I believe it will inspire you chew more and also to other actions.

I’ve followed Leo Babauta’s zenhabits and mnmlst for some time. But I stumbled upon The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life when browsing the audible web.

What should you do with that chewing thing?

This guide will show you how to find minimalism in all areas of your life: from decluttering your possessions and digital life to working less to finding time for what’s important. That’s what Amazon says. I agree.

This book is a helping hand to get content, declutter, simplify and minimise your life. It will help you more joyful by living simpler. It covers all areas of it.

“Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.”

Swedish proverb at the beginning of the book puts the whole idea so simply through. It’s astonishing, how much meaning such simple sentence has. Think about it.

Just yesterday, I was eating a cucumber. I prepared the dinner for my girlfriend. A little grilled cheese, seasoned with a rosemary and thyme, cucumber as a side dish. Let it melt and soften slowly on small fire. A cucumber cut slice by slice. I put it in the bowl and lay it around in the circles one slice over the other. It formed a kind of tasty cucumber spiral. And I ate one slice. It took me almost a minute. I enjoyed each and every bite.

When you chew more and eat slower, you actually taste the food. I realised how quick and hasty my eating had been. In the middle of writing this I had my dinner. It took me 15 minutes to eat it, compared to the five it’d take before. And the quality of the food was thus multiplied. Eating, just like everything else can be slowed, minimised and multiplied in value. If you simplify.

The overview: Simplify. Remove. Minimise.

The ultimate philosophy of minimalism and simple living is similar to lean manufacturing. Identify the elements that contribute the value to customer – you. Focus on perfecting them. Remove the things which don’t bring value to customer. All in small, incremental steps.

Stuff doesn’t bring value. Stuff steals value. Stuff is things, interests, priorities, people, thoughts. This is all addressed in the book, as you can see in the content at the end. The author breaks down and identifies the typical reasons which lead to having more stuff at home, work, in your head, and gives a simple (Not easy, simple!) advice to change this.

For starters, the list of minimalist principles might be interesting for you (quoted, it’s un-copyrighted):

  1. Omit needless things. Notice this doesn’t say to omit everything. Just needless things.
  2. Identify the essential. What’s most important to you? What makes you happy? What will have the highest impact?
  3. Make everything count. Whatever you do or keep in your life, make it worthy of keeping. Make it really count.
  4. Fill your life with joy. Don’t just empty your life. Put something wonderful in it.
  5. Edit, edit. Minimalism isn’t an end point. It’s a constant process of editing, revisiting, editing some more.

This book is not a zen-crazy-let’s-enjoy-the-small-things-and-live-in-own-world  promoting book. It’s practical for a normal human. With a job. With family. Everything is doable. I’m implementing it now!

I urge you to read this book. And implement!

The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life - Leo Babauta - AmazonI appreciate about The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life that it is so straightforward and simple. I’ve read multiple books in the category and none of them puts things so simple. It is a solid guide for a starting, as well as experimenting simple life practitioner.

People bring clutter in their life to improve it. But the removal would help more. If this might be of a bit of true with you as well, get the book. Read it and implement the parts or the whole philosophy. It’s worth it. It will bring you more value into life.

The book is 1 h 57 mins of listening time, which translates into 84 pages of paperback. It’s  available in Kindle, Paperback, Audible and Audio CD via Amazon. For my Slovak friends as well on Martinus.

I’m really excited about the de-cluttering, minimising and simplifying the life. I’ve been working on my own for some time. If you are interested in talking about it, get in touch with me.

If you are interested in future book reviews and simple life, stay connected!

Table of Content: The Simple Guide To Minimalist Life by Leo Babauta

  • A small irony
  • Notes on using this book
  • What is a minimalist life?
  • Overall minimalist principles
  • How to become a minimalist
  • Contentedness
  • Rethinking necessities
  • Simplify what you do
  • Clearing clutter
  • Minimalist home
  • Minimalist workspace
  • Minimalist computer
  • Going paperless, digitizing
  • Minimalist travel
  • Wardrobe and grooming
  • Minimalist food
  • Minimalist fitness
  • Minimalist finances
  • Finding simplicity with kids
  • Dealing with non-minimalist loved ones
  • Minimalism is the end of organizing
  • Step lightly upon this world: on sustainability
  • FAQs
  • Other resources
  • Acknowledgements

Ten Days of Mad, Sad and Glad Time? This Is What It Brings!

Have you ever had a day, when your moods went up-and-down like a rollercoaster? Some days that start with absolute join and positive attitude and by the time you get to work you’re pissed already. Although I learnt to live with it, I still don’t get this part of myself. Wouldn’t it be great to understand your own moods a bit better?

Pokračovať v čítaní: Ten Days of Mad, Sad and Glad Time? This Is What It Brings!

Rekindle Your Reading In Just 31 Days

When I was a little child, I took weekly trips into the land of unknown, hidden in the local library. Every Saturday, my back was bending carrying the two bags of books back home. But my mind was about to go and fly from the excitement. Then I lost it. But now my book relations is rekindled anew! How?

Pokračovať v čítaní: Rekindle Your Reading In Just 31 Days

I’ll Be Mad, Sad and Glad! Starting today!

June first, time to start something new. I’ve been working on a monthlong habit idea for over 4 years and one thing I’m always excited about is personally starting the new habit challenge for a month. This month, I’ll be going for the „Mad, Sad, Glad Timehabit. I’ll be recording daily the list of things which made me sad, mad and glad during the day.

Why do I do this

The simplest answer is, that I like experimenting with new habits. And I like to do it on challenge basis. I chose this habit because it’s related to the emotional part, to the „heart dimension“ of the monthlong idea. I hope that this will help me become more aware of my emotional state over the day and, that it will give me chance to gain more control over it. And I’m curious, what parts of my life create what feeling.

My Mad-Sad-Glad Papers
My Mad-Sad-Glad Papers

How will the „mad-sad-glad time“ look like:

  1. I’ll use a set of small papers, as I want to do it paper-and-pen style
  2. I’ll have a printed A4 tracker on the fridge to remind me
  3. I’ll of course use Momentum for tracking as well
  4. I’ll come home from work and as the thing before dinner, I’ll take 10 minutes out to write this down
  5. The major questions will be:
    1. What made me mad this day?
    2. What made me sad?
    3. When was I glad during the day?
  6. The follow-up question will be „What do you learn from it? What will you change based on it.“
  7. I will share something from my learning via facebook/twitter, or maybe will even post the photo of the record pager.

That’s it. Or maybe, some other steps will come in. It’s a new thing, so I’ll see how it goes and what to add on it.

I’m curious, what this will bring into my life.

Join as well!

If you want to try what will this habit bring to your life, try it for 30 days with me. Nothing is needed, just start. The only thing as must-do is to sit down and write it for yourself. You’ll find the resource center around this topic here and you can also follow the whole monthlong topic on the dedicated facebook page here.

The first step for you: start with mad-sad-glad time today!

Build Your Momentum! Another Crazy Simple App for Habit Tracking.

Recently I wrote an article about an app to track your habits – The Way of Life. The problem with the trackers and myself is, that after a while, a pretty short while, I get a bit bored with them. Especially, when I succeed and the tracker is filled with “green numbers.” Plus I’m curious about cool apps.

That’s exactly why I was pretty excited, when couple of days right after after I had published the article, I was approached by Eddy who introduced me to another app with similar purpose – Momentum app. Let’s look at it.

Pokračovať v čítaní: Build Your Momentum! Another Crazy Simple App for Habit Tracking.

What Is So Interesting About Another Monday?

I think there isn’t a person, who hasn’t sung the Manic Monday by Bangles. Yesterday it was Monday, May 11th. A normal day. Though was it really a normal day? What’s so special about normal days? Let me tell you what I think and at the end, I have a short task for you as well. So dig in, just after you finish listening…

Pokračovať v čítaní: What Is So Interesting About Another Monday?

One Big Fat Experiment That We All Have To Run

I’ve used to look for the right way. As if there was one to live ones life.

I’m reading The Lean Startup book and the most coolest thing I get from it until now is the concept of experimentation and learning. According to the author the most crucial thing that the startup has to do is to experiment in order to prove or disprove the customer / problem / solution hypothesis. Basically, they have to experiment to find out, whether what they think, is actually true.

We are all living one big fat scientific problem during our own lives. We have enormous options and we assume some might be good and some wrong. We have hypotheses about what will happen. But without testing them, without experimenting, we have just an assumption. Of course, in some periods we experiment more, in other less. Sometimes we take big leaps of faith, other times we just don’t. And we find out what works and what doesn’t.

I’m right now in the period of life, when I want to experiment on things. To see what it brings, how it works with me. Both in professional and personal life. One of these experiments is transforming itself into thing. It’s an idea connected with starting a new for me interesting habit every month. I don’t know where it will lead me, or what the monthlong thing will become, but I’m enjoying the experiment.

I’m excited of what will come.

What about you? What are you experimenting on right now?


What’s Hidden Behind My Business Card…

On May 1st  I started the fourth year of work with DEVELOR. I can hardly believe this sentence. I’ve never imagined to stay somewhere for more than 12 months without moving to another job. And I’ve never imagined to be a „sales-person“. Though working in sales in DEVELOR is not what people usually imagine under selling.

To characterise these 36 months I’d use “INTENSE LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE”. We found a mutual work style, that benefits both sides.

This has been the best business school for me. I’ve learnt about the learning & development business. I’ve met with over 200 learning and development managers, coordinators, administrators, HR managers. I’ve attended over 300 business meetings and presentations. I’ve visited, consulted and supported services for companies of 30 – 3000 employees. This is awesome!

The key learning is what I’ve recently wrote about on our company blog – the knowing-doing gap and the way to overcome it. It’s a struggle of everyone looking to improve – all people go for learning, but not everyone does, what he/she is taught. Getting from KNOWING what, how and why to do, to DOING it, that’s the real development.

What I value the most on working with DEVELOR?

I have freedom. I had to earn it with my performance, but right now I rarely have to report to anyone. The results are all we need. There’s no micro-managing boss behind my back giving “GO” or “NO-GO” on every small step. I rule over my time, my priorities, my effectiveness and my results.

I can rely on the others. I don’t know how we do it, but we get people that are loyal and have high quality standard. So when I promise something, I can really be sure people will do maximum to deliver it. I can rely on the colleagues to do their best. What more you need?

I have endless resources available. Twenty years of existence, 200 people in the network, countless training and consulting done. There’s hardly something we have not been part of and thus I’m given a lot of opportunity to learn. Through our internal conferences (4x a year) I have space to re-charge, learn and get back to the work.

We are currently looking for new people to join our team. This post is not aimed to give you an over-optimistic view of how awesome working with us could be. Though until now it could look like it.

Let me tell you the other side of the story – what’s tough?

We rarely do ready-made solutions. That means almost everything we do is tailored and someone needs to tailor it. Almost everything needs to be customised, which means special materials, special approach, search and adapt. A lot of work to satisfy the client.

We are very organic. There’s system in our work, but there’s a lot of uncertainty and flexibility. Every day brings change. You need to negotiate with your clients but also with your colleagues. You need to influence, motivate and oversee. Nothing is finished, until it’s finished.

We don’t do baby-sitting. That took me a while to figure out and adapt to. DEVELOR is built around one simple pre-condition – your own independence. You need something? Get it yourself. Need resources? Ask, search, find. Nothing comes on a silver platter. You have to fight for the attention, because most of the attention goes to the client. That’s reality. Deal with it

I could go on with both sides of the story. I think I covered the top for me. To conclude, I’m glad to work with DEVELOR. I deliver solid performance for DEVELOR. And we deliver quality service for clients. Last three years were a great journey, a great mixture of value and tough work. I’m looking forward where it will go further…


What about you? Does that, what you do, give you that right mixture to be satisfied with?

60 Minutes That Will Help You Achieve More

First three months of the year are gone. It’s just like that and we have already reached 1/4 of the 2015. How are you doing with your plans for this year?

Goal-setting at the beginning of the year is so common. Every time when I open my laptop around that time of the year and go online, my LinkedIn, Facebook and RSS inbox are buzzing with the articles about how to set the goals for this year right.

But what happens then? Why isn’t there a monthly buzz or quarterly buzz to talk about reviewing the progress and correcting the course? I won’t search for a correct answer, I’ll just go with my assumption – it’s easy to write about goals, because everyone has set some in some point of life. It’s not that easy however to write about reviewing them, because so little people do that systematically.

Funny as it is, for me it’s pretty hard to keep going, if I don’t do my reviews. I guess most of the teams and companies in business have that routine of monthly or (hopefully not) weekly check-points. If the meeting is set and done properly, it’s very useful.

Let me tell you about my Q1 review for 2015:

Quarterly Review Q1 2015 - Present and Past

Before you start: how to do it?

The simplest and easiest way is to take an hour off. I’m currently at my parents place outside Bratislava, thus I took an hour out, went for the nearest restaurant that was open and sat down with a tea and coffee. The only thing I needed for this time was pen, paper and my organiser. If you’re more of an technology-organising person, you might need your laptop, but even then I don’t think it’s necessary.

First: what to review?

I listed following things:

  • goals vs reality
  • projects status
  • things and events that I’m sad, glad and mad about in past months
  • new learnings that I got
  • new opportunities that I have right now
  • people

There’s other options, however this worked fine with me. It gave me overview of all important elements of current life-style.

Second: what is the process?

Simple, as suggested in part one – take your stuff, have a meeting with yourself. Keep it short and focused. Don’t squander around dreaming. This is a operational meeting, not a vision-building meeting. Finish within one hour with your 3 outcomes. Go back to normal.


Third: what is the expected outcome?

You need to KNOW HOW THINGS ARE and KNOW WHAT TO DO DIFFERENT. For that, I have three outcomes to get from the review:

  1. status report – how much of the goals have you completed?
  2. goal adjustment – if necessary, are there any goals that need to be increased, decrease, removed based on new findings?
  3. next-action list – if you are not keeping a list of next actions to do, start one here. If you have it, list additional things to add on it.

Four: how often and how much time will it take?

This is the most beautiful thing – the more regularly you do it, the less time it takes and more value it brings. For me this quarterly review took less then 60 minutes (actually it took 2 pomodoros). The monthly could take maximum 1 pomodoro and the weekly ones, probably something around 1/2 pomodoro.

I recommend to you to go and do your weekly, monthly and quarterly reviews regularly (and not me, then listen to any published author on time-management and effectiveness). It is one of the most effective ways to boost your performance.

Simple App To Track Your Promises

Most of the people promise themselves couple of new activities and habits over the year. I do the same thing, based on what I feel is important and would help me grow. But how to track those? We deal with the same question in DEVELOR and we developed a special tool to track the action plans and their fulfilment for our training participants. But for personal use, I have a simple app, which I want to recommend to you.

For past couple of months I’ve been using the Way of Life app. It’s a simple tracking tool with a pleasant interface and that makes it easy to use.

In simple words, the app lets you set positive or negative habits and then update, whether you’ve completed them and uses the colour coding to show you at a glance, how you’re doing.

After you’ve set up the habits, this is what the week looks like:

Way of Life - Start of the Week
Way of Life – Start of the Week

This is how simple is the update. You only have 3 options: you’ve done it, you didn’t or it doesn’t apply for the day. The update in the evening takes 30 seconds (for me with 7 habits to track):

Way of Life - updating
Way of Life – updating positive habit
Way of Life - updating negative habit
Way of Life – updating negative habit

Here’s the app basic view at the end of the week (a successful one):

Way of life - this week
Way of life – this week

The best think about the app which I like is that for me, it actually pushes me to get the things done, as I really don’t want to see the red bar in the week overview. So last week, when it was already pretty late on Friday and I wasn’t feeling like reading, but had only read on Thursday, I pushed myself to read for 30 minutes, so that I can get the green slot instead of read.

Plus, there are some cool additional features, such as viewing trends for longer time, setting reminders for morning and evening to update, archiving the completed goals and other.

Way of Life - 12 W trend
Way of Life – 12 W trend

I recommend everyone to get this app, for now it’s available for iOS devices. For Android users, a quick google search returned for example this app as an option.

What do you use to track your promises to yourself? Is it an app, a paper tracker, or some other tool? Let me know, I’m really curious.