The Power of Less
Lately I've been reading a lot on the power of less, the minimalist movement and getting away from intense busyness. We don't have enough time in the day for everything we want to do and we do have enough space or money for everything that we want to buy and consume. Living this way is ruining effectiveness and tiring us out so we don't have time to focus on the important stuff. I compare this with my Grandma's generation. She tells stories of having to choose one thing to do that day. The practicalities of visiting a friend or baking a meal, that took all day. Not sure if it sounds blissful or boring?
The latest book that was beautiful food for thought was Leo Babauta's Power of Less. I am a true believer that while our lives are so enhanced and so much that we do is made easier by technology, it's also a hindrance. We are now capable of so much. There's not many people in business now that have less than 10 major projects on the boiler, multiple to dos in a day as well as responding to emails, phone calls and looking after family. It's a lot, and it's like we've accepted exhaustion as an acceptable state of being because all of these things need to be done.
Here are my favourite points from the book:
- Examine your task list. If what's on there doesn't have a major impact that will last beyond the week or month and help achieve a long term goal, scrap it.
- To choose the essential things that fill your time, ask the following questions:
1. What are your values (does this align)?
2. What are your goals (will this help achieve them)?
3. What do you love (who you spend time with and what you're doing)?
4. What is important to you (other things can surprisingly creep in)?
5. What has the biggest impact on everything else?
6. Needs vs Wants. If you identify needs, you can eliminate most of the wants which are nonessential.
7. Eliminate the nonessential.
- Simplifying isn't meant to leave your life empty - it's meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do. Know what those things are before you start simplifying.
- I've always been a proud multi tasker. But is it achieving a lot at once¦ or is doing a lot actually achieving very little?
- Multitasking is less efficient due to the need to switch gears for each new task and then switch back again.
- Multitasking is more complicated, and thus leaves you more prone to stress and errors.
- Multitasking can be crazy-making, and in this already chaotic world, we need to rein in the terror and find a little oasis of sanity and calm.
Leo Babauta also has a great website.