Doing Less = Doing More

Had the type of day that made me think there may just be a bit of wisdom in this philosophy.

Over at Zen Habits, Leo posted “8 Ways Doing Less Can Transform Your Work & Life.”  Here’s the jist:

  1. Less hectic, busy schedule, less stress, more peace. Doing less leaves free to schedule less, leave more space in your schedule, work at a more human pace.
  2. More ability to focus, to find Flow, to work in the moment. When you are doing too much, you are constantly switching from one task to another, constantly interrupted, constantly distracted. Do less, clear away distractions, single-task.
  3. Work has more impact and spreads further and wider. When you do too much, your work is spread thinner, you have lower quality, and people won’t spread your work or give you awards for low-quality work.
  4. More pride in your work, which feels good. Feels awesome, actually, to create something worth putting your name on.
  5. People appreciate higher quality. Customers rave. Readers enthuse. Reviewers glow. Bosses promote.
  6. More time for family and loved ones. Not a small benefit. Be sure that if you do less, you use the saved time for something important. Like quiet time for the ones you love.
  7. More time for other things you enjoy. I use my time for exercise, or reading, and of course my family.
  8. Free yourself up to create amazing things. Creating is hard to do when you’re busy and distracted. By doing less, you can create something great.

Some very interesting ideas.  With the pace that things have been going lately, it’s a model I am seriously considering adopting.

One caveat – I run into the perpetual problem of feeling like graduate school is supposed to be a mad rush composed of being:

  1. As busy as possible at all times.
  2. As stressed as possible at all times.
  3. As broke as possible at all times.

Is this not true?  Can “doing less” also mean doing less of those three things?  Because that would be nice.

The ultimate challenge, as always, will be achieving balance between all of the things that will remain in my life (even if there are less of them).

I hope I’m up to the challenge.


One thought on “Doing Less = Doing More

  1. You know, Shay, it’s nice to hear that you face these questions like the rest of us mere mortals. You’ve motivated me to do more – and mean more – throughout our friendship, but I’m not gonna lie, keeping up with you is exhausting. 😉

    Life has a way of spoiling our moments of zen. For example, when I started grad school, I vowed to keep it simple and not be as busy as I had been in undergrad. But lo and behold, a month or so in and I was up to my eyeballs in commitments.

    I think people like you (and maybe me) are programmed to get things done, get people involved and make sure it all gets done right. We almost take it personally when we see apathy/laziness, and we seek to compensate for that wasted energy in the universe ourselves. But, as a wise man once said, “You can’t save ’em all, Hasselhoff.” Wise words indeed.

    On the complete other hand, though, maybe our entire lives are always going to feel busy and tired, and that’s just how we operate. There’s got to be a reason that we always find ourselves in the same predicament of too many irons in the fire.

    I bet once you and A-Dawg start having babies, everything will slip into place and you’ll leave the city behind to tend your children and goats.

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