When Less is More
The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect upon and assess the things in our lives that work well and the things that don’t. Resolutions for the new year are popular, but sadly they’re not always useful. Too frequently they focus on “imperfections” and push us to somehow be better and to add more to our schedules. If you’re already waking up tired, checking your email before you get out of bed, skipping breakfast and scheduling back-to-back meetings with no time in between, it’s likely a bad idea to add more to your day.
Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less. When we focus on doing less and doing it well, instead of doing more and assuming it’s better, we’re less scattered, more deliberate, less harried and more present.
- When we schedule fewer appointments, we can give more focused attention to those we keep
- When we expose ourselves to less screen time, we tend to be more creative, less fatigued, and have less risk of damaged eyesight.
- When we have less clutter in our homes and workplaces, we have more peace of mind and better quality work.
- When we buy less, we have more to save, give & invest.
- When we take less work home, we can spend more time with our family & friends.
- When we put less in our schedule, budget, closet, life…we tend to have better results.
A popular little bestseller called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff has many tips for leading a life that seems less frazzled and rushed, and more relaxed and healthy.
Here are some excerpts:
Let Go of the Idea that Gentle, Relaxed People Can’t be Superachievers
“One of the major reasons so many of us remain hurried, frightened, and competitive, and continue to live life as if it were one giant emergency, is our fear that if we were to become more peaceful and loving, we would suddenly stop achieving our goals. We would become lazy and apathetic.
You can put this fear to rest by realizing that the opposite is actually true. Fearful, frantic thinking takes an enormous amount of energy and drains the creativity and motivation from our lives. When you are fearful or frantic, you literally immobilize yourself from your greatest potential, not to mention enjoyment.”
“When you ask people what it means to relax, most will answer in a way that suggests that relaxing is something you plan to do later – you do it on vacation, in a hammock, when you retire, or when you get everything done. Most of us postpone relaxation until our “in basket” is empty. Of course it never is.
It’s useful to think of relaxation as a quality of heart that you can access on a regular basis rather than something reserved for some later time. You can relax now. It’s helpful to remember that relaxed people can still be superachievers and, in fact, that relaxation and creativity go hand in hand.”
We encourage you to think about doing less of something this year with no guilt, but rather with permission as part of a plan to take good care of yourself!