The Argument for Doing Less
Doing less is not a goal I often think of setting. Typically because I am so excited to explore, learn and do different things to create new sensations and experiences. Recently, I wrote an article about measuring our self-worth through a compassion metric and it got me thinking about the argument we need to provide to ourselves to do less, feeling comfortable in having that conversation with others that does not include having a break-down. Because let’s face it, the only time we really look at this topic is when we actually want to do less because we are suffering, having a break down, anxious or depressed – we are looking for a way to let of the steam from our crazy life by stopping or stepping away from some or all of our activities
So before we get to that breaking point, let’s have this conversation earlier with ourselves. These are some of my thoughts to help you start cutting from your life, to give you more space on the things you value and bring you joy in your life.
1)Access everything you do from your joy quotient. Cut out the activities and tasks in your life that don’t bring you joy. These are typically the things you think you “should” be doing. So many people just do things because they think they should or just pile on more without re-engineering their life. Cutting out these activities can really boost your energy levels and make you more excited in your life.
2) Look for ways to reduce your daily screen time. Screen time zaps up valuable time where we could be doing activities and being with our family. Also it does not aid us in our sleep process because the light from the phones stimulates our brains and makes us more alert! Another important thing that we don’t often consider is that it connects us with the ‘collective consciousness’ – in a Covid stressed world this reality is more pointed – everyone is focused on it and not in a good way.
3) Look at your life with a different lens by creating financial scenarios. We often get trapped by our finances and sustaining a certain lifestyle of what we think we need. A good example is that $10 daily coffee spend – what could you do with and extra $70 a week if you never went to the coffee shop everyday? Could you choose a different career that has more joy with $70 less a week? Can you creatively re-engineer your life to live life differently, and spend differently? Looking at your finances with a different lens will allow you to look at your career goals differently. I know for myself when I was on maternity leave and when I changed careers I realized that I didn’t need the same amount of money to be happy and I was able to create a different quality of life. It is amazing how spending some time creating different financial scenarios can help us look at our life differently and allow space for having a career that brings us joy.
As a side note to this I think some companies and countries might consider giving us a 4 day work week, a study recently done by the Fraser Institute featured by CTV pointed to this as a possibility. Also I believe millennials have a different (an in my opinion) a healthy view of the work, life balance – they don’t get the 5 day work week and will push companies for more time as they climb up the senior ranks.
4) Sometimes our stress and hustle and bustle is our own illusion – taking some time to meditate even just staring with 10 mins a day – can really help keep us calm and look at our life differently! It can also help to get clarity in doing less. Because when we are stressed the thought of doing less can make us so stressed out that it actually paralyzes us and as such nothing changes! Meditation is a great way to detach, release and relax to help you look at ways to do less.
Maybe you have your own thoughts on this but if you need a little more help I actually have a 5 week program – my stress relief program, which focuses on helping you analyze your stress and look at doing things differently. Contact me to discuss your needs.
Also if you need to have more inspiration to do less you might like to check out my blog post “The Compassion Metric“!