Why Less Will Give You More

At the beginning of every January, a friend and I usually chose a word for the year, something to work on for the months ahead. She usually has hers decided early, while I take a bit longer. This year, it didn’t come to me until April. As the title would suggest, it was ‘less’, but don’t worry, this article isn’t about getting organized. I realized I had been in a ‘less’ mindset for a while; I wanted less distractions and less time wasted.    

In a similar vein, Calgary’s Speaker, Coach, & Author Michelle Cederberg is taking a hiatus from helping; she is saying ‘No’. Here are her reasons behind this difficult decision.

Michelle Cederberg, LinkedIn April 3, 2024 – What it means to take a ‘Helping Hiatus’ and why I’m taking one.

This month, I’m stepping outside my comfort zone with a self-care experiment that feels awkward, uncomfortable, and even mean.

I’m saying NO. I’m saying NO… to any request of my time that’s not directly connected to my own personal or professional goals. I’m saying NO to freely giving my time to others at the expense of my own to-dos. I’m saying NO to helping others… and that’s so far from who I am that it feels awful to even type it. But it’s necessary. For awhile anyway.

By saying ‘no,’ Michelle lessens her time on others and creates more opportunities to work on her own personal or professional goals. I am looking for ways to do the same through business/life minimalism.

The commonality between my and Michelle Cederberg’s approach is that taking on ‘more’ does not automatically impact your life and business for the better; instead, it will have the opposite effect, leaving you stretched in too many directions.

Here are some suggestions for minimalizing the demands on your time 

1) Consider that if a request or to-do isn’t essential or an emergency, you don’t necessarily have to take it on or be responsible for it. Turn off the automatic urge to say ‘yes’.

2) In your business, work towards quality over quantity. For instance, do you need to add another service or product line?   

3) To-do lists are necessary, but pick the main thing you want to accomplish daily. That one item which, when done, will have you high-fiving yourself.

4) Spend less time with people who bring negativity or drama into your life or business.

5) When you find yourself multi-tasking, stop and reduce the number of tasks involved. 

6) Set time limits and deadlines on tasks.

The benefits of any of those changes are vast. Life feels more in control, with increased productivity, less stress, and more time to work on your goals.

In today’s overly stimulated world, embracing the power of ‘less’ is essential. Celebrate the small wins. There are mornings I want to be on the treadmill longer or to take Dylan, dog, for a 40-minute walk but only have time for 20. However, exercising with him for even a short period of time is better than nothing. By the same token, the friend mentioned above, and I try to get together once a month; long catch-up lunches are a thing of the past; we are now happy to connect over an often quick breakfast or coffee.

Implementing your own ‘less and no’s’ will become more comfortable with time. Start by being aware of your personal and professional goals and clearly defining a path to achieving them.

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