How to Change Mindless Tasks Into Mindful Tasks – 6 Tips For Simple Living

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I love the whole concept of simple living. I love the idea of simplifying your life so that you can relish the tasks in front of you even more.


My husband and I aren’t minimalists, and I never want to mislead people by stating that we are or that we practice utterly foundational simple living…but we have chosen to simplify our lives in some little ways – even in ways that surprise people. I think you can practice simplicity to all sorts of degrees. Here’s our story:

We don’t have a TV – that prominent area of the living room is instead graced with our large fish tank – the first thing you see when you enter our home!

We love our record player dearly, even though it requires more effort to get a record going than simply pressing “play” on iTunes…and it requires a bit of babysitting if an older record begins to skip. 🙂

We don’t have a clothes dryer. In the wintertime, I hang our clothing up on drying racks and in milder weather, I joyfully put the clothes and bedsheets up on our big clothesline out back!

We don’t have a dishwasher, either, so doing dishes at the farmhouse-style sink is a daily evening routine.

We do have Internet and we do love watching movies or shows on Netflix. All in all, though, some of our daily-life routines may look a bit different from others’, or from what is considered typical or a necessity. And we like it this way!!


I’ll admit, if you look at any of the items mentioned above, there definitely have been times where I griped or fussed or just plain wished I had those conveniences. Big-screen TVs are fun when you have people over. Dishwashers are a quick fix after a long day at work. And oh, I do like clothes dryers.

We could definitely head over to the store and pick up any of these items. But we’ve chosen not to buy them because, first of all, we’re only living here temporarily, and second, we are able to use that money in other ways!

These items we’ve chosen not to fill our home with have also resulted in giving me freedom. Freedom to choose to savor supposedly mindless tasks or annoying chores.



I recently realized that the true beauty of simple living is changing mindless tasks into mindful ones.

If we had a huge living room television, then perhaps we wouldn’t know the peaceful hum of our big aquarium, and we wouldn’t find ourselves sitting in silence enjoying our African cichlids.

If we had a dishwasher, then perhaps I wouldn’t know the peace and thinking-time that standing in front of a sink full of sudsy water offers me. It’s almost spa-like.

If we had a clothes dryer, then perhaps I wouldn’t know the peace that streams into my heart when the sun hits my face as I pin clothes up on the line. I wouldn’t know the soft-rush-of-air sound that bedsheets make as they’re floated by the wind. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to go to sleep on sheets that smell like sunshine.

Although we’re not forever committed to doing without these things, I’m grateful for this season of life. Because it has taught me not only gratitude for what I have, but also how to truly savor tasks. I believe this is true simple living.

6 Tips For Simple Living - Just Bee Blog

How to Change Mindless Tasks Into Mindful Tasks:

1 // Slow down! If at all possible, take the time to really focus on the task in front of you. I think cooking and spending time in the kitchen is an excellent example of this.

Bjorn and I watched a documentary the other day that discussed cooking, and how time spent cooking in America has changed over the decades. We love spending time together in the kitchen so we were fascinated by what we learned. People in America spent an average of 60 minutes cooking supper in 1965. Now days, people spend an average of 27 minutes cooking supper. Slow cooking is going away. Slow chores and slow savoring of daily tasks is going away, too. We can combat that by intentionally slowing down.

2 // Take a break from multitasking. This is a hard one for me, so I’m able to do it best when I’ve got something to do like hanging clothes up on the line. It’s a little hard to be listening to music or talking on the phone or watching a show while I’m out in the backyard with my arms full of wet laundry. 😉

3 // Focus on your senses. Does that sound weird? Some of my favorite moments of relishing mindless tasks come when I close my eyes to savor a sound, or I stop everything to enjoy the sound of our small-town church bells carried by the breeze through our windows. Think back to your descriptive writing assignments in 5th grade. That’s where it’s at! 🙂

4 // Either do tasks alone or with one other person. It’s a little harder to relish tasks in a peaceful manner when you’ve got a whole crowd of people around. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I may be a bit biased because I’m realizing more how much of an introvert I can be…but try it! Sometimes fewer people just offers you that extra bit of space you needed to feel a bit more intentional about what you’re doing!

5 // Write about it. Just for fun, sit down and write about your day in a more poetic way. I love this. The book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp really taught me about this. She savors the smallest little details with gratitude and with stunning, insightful descriptions.

6 // Photograph it. This is something I’ve been inspired to attempt more and more in my photography lately. I often share these kinds of photos on my Instagram account. It forces me to slow down and savor things so much more, and I’ve been finding myself extra grateful and in awe of the wonders God has placed in this world all around us!

So, wherever you are – with whatever you currently have or don’t have – you can embrace mindful living, too!


How do you savor daily tasks? Do you have any tips for mindful living?

Do you like the idea of minimalism? Then I recommend my friend Daisy’s blog, Simplicity Relished. She writes so well about the topic of minimalism, among other topics like world travel!



  1. Beautiful post Hannah! I loved hearing more about the ways you all have chosen to live simply and how it’s a little different from other people. I love how you have a fish tank instead of a TV! And learning more about how long it takes to cook dinner over the year is really eye-opening. I would love to spend more time just relishing in life’s little moments, if that means hand washing dishes or spending more time in the sunshine. We can sometimes take for granted some of the small conveniences in life! Thanks for a lovely post! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Gina! I’m touched you really liked this post! Yes, we really do love our fish tank! 🙂 It’s funny – our society is always moving forward in terms of shortening tasks and decreasing effort…but sometimes the length of time and effort required are the best parts!

  2. I so appreciate this post, hannah! I really love reading about your lifestyle (and seeing your gorgeous photos!), and your words here are so inspirational. I’ve been really interested in mindfulness lately (particularly traditional contemplative practices) and I love that you’ve infused these ideas into your home and work!

    1. I’m so glad you appreciated this post, Daisy! I really wanted it to inspire people to take a step back and savor simplicity – not that Bjorn and I are totally 100% there, but it’s good to reflect and try to relish things a bit more! And you’ve always written so eloquently on this topic! Even your blog is called “Simplicity Relished!” Thanks for being an inspiration to me in this area!

  3. This is what life is all about!!! I think too many people get caught up in the modern conveniences and over look the simplicities that we can have in life. There’s nothing better than crawling into bed at night in freshly laundered and line dried sheets and blankets. So much thinking and day-dreaming is done at my kitchen sink while gazing out the window at nature and the animals roaming around. When our niece and nephews are at our farm they have to use their creative sides to entertain themselves with the non-electronic based toys, as we have no internet or satellite/cable TV (we just get a few channels through the antenna). Thank you for such a wonderful post! It’s worth the time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

    1. It definitely is worth it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Samantha!! Those modern conveniences that supposedly help us so much can actually stunt our enjoyment of life’s little tasks! I do love those link-dried sheets and blankets! It’s something I definitely look forward to each spring and summer! It’s so neat that you (and your niece and nephews) can enjoy all those simple, wonderful pleasures in life without Internet or TV!! Way to go! Thank you for following along!

  4. I love your photographs of your simple life! Just the other day I was listening to a podcast, and the host said that even though she has a dishwasher, she often chooses not to use it because she loves the mindfulness and peace she finds in the slowness of hand washing her dishes. I appreciate your ideas for infusing mindfulness into everyday tasks!

    1. Thank you, Brittany! I love how that podcast’s host said she chooses not to use the dishwasher sometimes just because of how it allows her to slow down! That’s beautiful! And that will be a great reminder for me when we do have a dishwasher someday. Thanks for sharing that!

  5. I love this! I’ve found that when I really take the time to slow down and savor the task of caring for something (dishes, clothes, a room in the house) I enjoy it a lot more than when I approach it with dread or impatience. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thank you, Crystal! I’m glad you liked this post! I agree – when we aren’t approaching a task with dread, it’s a whole lot more enjoyable!

  6. This is pretty awesome way of living. Sometimes I like to take a day to myself. I always feel guilty though, like I should should be doing something. I don’t have a dish washer but I like looking out the window watching the wildlife play while I clean the dishes.

    1. Thanks, Leslie! That sounds wonderful, watching the wildlife as you do dishes! Those moments can be pretty special, even though it takes a bit longer. 🙂 And sometimes we need that time to slow down and recharge a bit so we can continue conquering our day!

  7. Great tips here, Hannah! I definitely need to get better at some. My husband would go insane if we didn’t have a TV, haha. I do love our record player, though. This could just be because I live in an apartment that I don’t like at all, but I can’t wait until I can have laundry in my own place and a dish washer. I don’t mind doing dishes, but it usually ruins my nails and my back hurts from standing. I agree that taking photos does help you slow down! I am excited for spring to bloom so I can really take my camera with me everywhere.

    1. Thank you, Summer! I really appreciate your thoughts! It’s so fun that you guys have a record player, too! Yes, it’ll be fun taking the cameras with us everywhere with nicer weather around the corner! It honestly took me a while to really enjoy where we live – it’s hard when we have such fun dreams of our “dream place” and our current circumstances don’t match that dream yet. I’m glad you’ve found some ways to slow down and enjoy this season! Thanks for reading along!

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