The power of less: why is doing less better? That’s just one of many questions about ‘less’ in our life (and in this article!). I am not using it only to catch your attention but also to reinforce the power of less. Let’s take books as an example. Is scanning pages of a book good enough? How often do we think about the number of books read and forget their content or qualitative reading?
All you need is less.
With so many things around us, a large selection and variety of products, and the environment of addictive marketing, it is challenging to own less. A few weeks ago, an agency consultant and virtual assistant, AZ Assistente Virtuale, inspired me with one of her newsletters. An article about the philosophy of less. Another eye-opener and reinforcement that what I am working on is correct. Less is more healthy. That’s the lifestyle I want to strive for and enjoy.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LESS
I realized (for the umpteenth time) that there is too much of everything. We always try to read the latest book (recommended by someone) or buy a training course that we will never finish because we have too many things to do. I want to choose well. Focus on the necessary items. For example, I have many books on the shelf that could be re-read. Often, one time is not enough to read a book. When you pick up the book the second time, content that you didn’t notice the first time pops up. Also, we should put into practice what we learn from books. Otherwise, what is the use of reading all these pages? What’s the point of saying I read 52 books this year? I gave the example of books, but I believe that this approach can also relate to other things (objects, words, excuses, training courses).
This year I wish you less of all this and more life.”
LESS VS MORE
Some of you might be familiar with a cartoon picture of a person standing in front of the wardrobe. The wardrobe included the following clothes categories:
- 20% of clothes that I wear 80% of the time
- Home clothes
- Underwear (not matching)
- One day I will lose weight
- I won’ throw it I will use it for sleeping
- I haven’t worn this for the past four years, but surely I will wear it
- Oh, do I have something like this?
If not all the categories, I am sure that some of them sound very familiar to you. We tend to own more than needed, impacting our lives. I can admit it myself too. Currently, I am in the ‘cleanse mode’, and I hope that I will balance it out on the ‘less side’ very soon. How to do it?
And remember, it doesn’t relate only to the things or the material side of life. It might be too much hurry, too many meetings or emails. Maybe we should limit screen time or unlimited distractions. It is a bit less of everything around us.
THE POWER OF LESS IN ACTIONS
NEED VS WANT
The first question is simple: is it your need or want? It applies both to the new things and the ones already owned. Focus on what is essential and try to eliminate the rest.
Task: Pick up few things at home and ask yourself if it is a need or a want? You know what to do next. 🙂
As this doesn’t relate only to the material things, you might want to slow down a bit. And here I struggle the most! 🙂 Less rush, distractions around us might be a great way to look at it more holistically.
Task: You don’t need to dedicate a full day, but maybe one morning a week, to slow down and disconnect. Start with little steps.
IN AND OUT
It might be challenging to limit the number of things if the number of new ones is more than what you remove. So if you buy three new things and keep the number of things constant at home, it is getting just more!
Task: Monitor it for a week: do you buy more or get rid of more?
Spring is just behind the corner. Why not to do some spring cleaning at home? And don’t limit yourself to the spring season only. It might be great to do it before major holidays, like Christmas. Or use lockdown to get into action at home!
Task: How about a spring cleaning? Pick up a space you wanted to clean for a while now.
YOUR PERSONAL TARGET
I wrote about it an entire blog post. Maybe as I like challenges and I am competitive in nature. I have often given myself specific targets for removing unnecessary things. Be it daily or weekly. It works and helps a lot!
Task: Read my previous blog post New Year Resolution Or Christmas Preparation: The Art Of Removing What Is Unnecessary.
Many of our decisions are driven by marketing offerings, TV / social media, or people around us. It is about the influence and the feeling of belonging. How about this time focusing on self: be unique, be yourself. Don’t buy just based on the adverts or the fact that someone else bought it as well.
Task: Enjoy the song Nothing Compares 2 U!
Consider donating something to people who actually might need it, and for you, it was only a want. Nowadays, during a pandemic (and after it), it might be a great help to some people.
Task: Make others smile by gifting what you don’t need anymore.
CONTENT & QUALITY
As mentioned by AZ Assistente Virtuale often it is not enough to read one book once only. We focus a lot on the numbers, the quantitative versus the qualitative side of life. We do not need to read 365 books a year. That’s not the goal.
Task: In the next few days, pick up a movie or a book and enjoy it again. Or prepare the same food, this time add a different twist of taste to it. Make it similar, yet different. Focus on how, not on how many.
A second life
Give a second life to things. Don’t throw so fast. It might be very relaxing to sit down and repair something or find another purpose for its usage. Additionally, the result of it might give you a lot of satisfaction.
Task: The task is simple. In the next few days, fix something or re-use it at home.
The power of ‘less’ gives more joy. Possessing less can result in a happier life, keeping you more energetic and calm at the same time. It is unnecessary time-wasting too, cleaning, organizing, revising all the things.
Stop. Breathe. Listen. Reflect. Connect.
Just imagine how you feel when you overeat versus when you eat just right, or maybe 10% less. That’s when you want to eat similarly yummy food the next day. That’s the joy of less.
Task: Share this post with someone you think might find it beneficial. Thank you for doing it!
less BOOKS RECOMMENDATIONS
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
“Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.
It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives.”
The Year of Less
“The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.
Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life–and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less.”
What is your view on having less and aiming for what is essential? Do you struggle or feel you could share some suggestions on how to make it work? Please do! Thank you!
Moments that matter, no matter if less.
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