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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Podcast 068 | Overwhelm

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, Joshua & Ryan discuss how they deal with being overwhelmed, and they answer the following questions:

  • How do I encourage and support someone who wants to adopt the best practices of minimalism, but can’t seem to find and keep the motivation to do so?
  • How do I declutter, de-stress, and live a more meaningful life as a 12 year-old, especially at school?
  • How do I deal with setbacks and failure when I’m challenged by a mental illness?

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Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, sharable, less-than-140-character answers to the lightning-round questions:

  • Joshua on addressing anything that distracts from long-term values: “Distractions are inherently meaningless. Values are inherently meaningful. Pause, and then choose wisely.”
  • Ryan on addressing anything that distracts from long-term values: “Take it simple: one step at a time.”
  • Joshua on determining the line between fully engaged and overwhelmed: “Engagement is an action; overwhelm is an emotion. When we are overwhelmed by our actions, we must focus.”
  • Ryan on determining the line between fully engaged and overwhelmed: “Look at being overwhelmed like a flashing yellow light: use caution when saying ‘yes’ to others and tasks.”
  • Joshua on coping effectively when overwhelmed: “Lean into the experiences you avoid.”
  • Ryan on coping effectively when overwhelmed: “Sometimes saying ‘no’ to others and tasks leaves room for saying ‘yes’ to a meaningful life.”
  • Joshua on avoiding procrastination when feeling overwhelmed: “Don’t let your crastination turn pro.”
  • Ryan on avoiding procrastination when feeling overwhelmed: “Having an accountability partner can often be the kick-in-the-pants needed to get things done.”
  • Joshua on determining what to focus on when multiple things compete for our attention: “Prioritize, and then decoct.”
  • Ryan on determining what to focus on when multiple things compete for our attention: “If saying ‘yes’ to others is distracting you from focusing on your priorities, everyone loses.”

Mentioned in This Episode

This episode was produced by Shawn Harding. Our theme music was written and performed by Peter Doran. Our podcast is completely free, so if you find value in these episodes, please consider donating a dollar. Your donations help keep this podcast advertisement-free (because advertisements suck).

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