It's Time to Start Leading a More Intentional Life

These days, we're all able to benefit from a wide range of technologies, products, and lifestyle options that can completely change the way we experience the world- and the way in which we conduct ourselves on an everyday basis. The thing is, one of the costs of having such a broad range of options available to us, is that we often have less 'personalised' experiences of life. Everyone – just about – has the new iPhone or the new Android device. Everyone watches the same hit TV shows on Netflix. Everyone owns the same furniture from IKEA. And so on, and so on. And, aside from the consumer goods we use, there’s also the fact that we are more distracted now than ever before and tend to do things on autopilot. In the face of this, simply making an effort to take a step back and live a more intentional life can lead to significant emotional and psychological benefits. So, here are some tips for living a more intentional life.

Take the time to keep a journal
Journalling can be an incredibly enlightening and therapeutic thing. Keeping one might be one of the best ways of living a more mindful and intentional life as a whole. Keep in mind, journalling doesn’t have to be the “dear diary” experience that many of us engaged in when we were kids. The Bullet Journal Method is increasingly popular these days, and emphasises short, efficient note taking. Whatever the form your journal takes, however, writing things down longhand has been shown to be a very therapeutic process. By taking a couple of notes each evening in a journal, you give yourself the space to reflect on your day, to plan for tomorrow, and to create a record of your dealings that will stand the test of time.

Find ways to personalise aspects of your life
Make things in your life less 'generic'. There’s a reason why people use number plate search tools, and modify their car in a bid to make it more personal. There’s also a reason why people are increasingly turning to more innately customisable tools for everyday planning, such as Bullet Journals, instead of apps like Microsoft to do. Simply making the effort to find ways to “personalise” aspects of your life, and make things less generic, can make you significantly more intentional and mindful, and can result in a deeper experience of life.

Completely eliminate multitasking from your life
Do one thing at a time. Many people pride themselves on being good “multitaskers”, but whenever these things are tested, the finding of researchers is that people who attempt to multitask are always less efficient than people who focus single-mindedly on one thing at a time – and are routinely more stressed out, distracted, and inattentive, as well. When you attempt to multitask, you are robbing any given task of the attention and “intentionality” that makes good, meaningful work possible.You are also bound to feel that your life is far more chaotic than it needs to be, and that you are not the master of your destiny to the degree you’d like.

Reduce distractions
In general, and consider doing things the “analogue” way from time to time. Minimalist movements of various stripes have become popular in recent years, including Marie Kondo’s “Konmari method” -- currently being represented on the Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. There could be various reasons for the “minimalist boom,” but one good reason may simply be that living in a chaotic environment, with too much stuff, naturally reduces our intentionality, and makes life feel less deliberate, fulfilling, and in control. Striving to reduce the distractions in your life in general – including the physical clutter you find in your home – can help to give you a bit of mental space, and to reduce the number of things you need to focus on at any given moment. This, in turn, frees up your attention, in order that you can spend it on those things that really matter to you the most. This is essentially the same as saying that decluttering can help you to live a more intentional life. A great antidote to the endless distractions of the digital age, is to do things the “analogue” way from time to time. This doesn’t mean you should get rid of all your high-tech tools. But it does mean that you might benefit from sometimes reading physical books instead of listening to audiobooks, or from listening to live music instead of streaming songs from Spotify.

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