There’s Always Less to Do

notebooks with a to do list saying LESS ... and dance

Do you always get through your to-do list?

If you’re laugh-crying at such a ridiculous question, you’re not alone.

If your answer is “usually, not always” then congratulations, that’s awesome! A) Tell us how and B) Are there things you’d like to be doing but can’t fit them in? Maybe this will help.

The key to getting more done is: DO LESS.

Less mental clutter, and less emotional weight or self-shame, leads to more focus on the things that matter.

A Less list:

  • Less scanning piles or emails to decide where to start or what to prioritize. Pick up the first thing and do it.
  • Less weight given to tasks you’re dreading (see Freedom from the Scary Pile).
  • Less multitasking.
  • Less time on email (email Magic).
  • Less planning for unlikely events “just in case”.  Have a basic plan and supplies for an emergency, then relax and think about it maybe once a year. Automate back-ups.
  • Less time on tasks assigned by someone else, at least on ones that don’t make sense. “I started work on this task and realized it may not be needed after all,” works more often than I thought it would.
  • Less time in meetings. I am always open to attending meetings, and I always ask why, specifically, I’m needed there. If there’s no easy answer to that question, I don’t go. I chair a lot of committees and pace the meeting schedules to suit changing priorities. Everything can’t be a priority or nothing is.

Less decision-making

Put structure and routine in your day to eliminate decision-making. You can take automation beyond just automatic bill payments (if you haven’t set those up, go do it, we’ll wait). When tasks are integrated into natural daily routines, they just happen, with no mental energy. It’s the concept behind capsule wardrobes or uniforms – getting dressed is no longer a time- and energy-sapping exercise. Here’s a Home Routines I take care of through routines so life is organized without effort.

The biggest bang for my routine buck is my half-hour walk to and from work each day. I won’t waste your time listing all the ways it’s incredible, it’s a long list. Relevant to this topic, it means I get regular exercise and outdoor time without thinking about it or scheduling anything.

What is there in your life you could make into a routine that adds joy to your day while also simplifying it?

There’s more less to do!

  • Less saying yes when you want to say no.
  • Less time online. Notice how you feel on different sites and stay away from the ones that leave you frustrated. Use the built in timers on social media apps to be intentional about how much of your day you want to spend scrolling.
  • Less weighing in with advice or information when no one’s asked you. So. Freeing.
  • Less lying or “spin”. Maintaining a tangled web of little white lies or half-truths is disheartening, wasted energy. Keep things kind, simple, and honest to avoid that grief.
  • Saving the best for last: Do less everything. Rest. Sit. Meditate. Walk. Stare into space. Laugh. Doodle. Play. Listen to music. Dance. Have no purpose. Be.



2 thoughts on “There’s Always Less to Do

  1. This speaks to me so much, Karen (as someone who has an endless to-do list). I particularly like the bit about “less weighing in with advice or information when no-one’s asked you” (I really don’t like it when people begin sentences with “you should…” especially when I haven’t asked for their advice). I often hear myself say “don’t engage” – what a relief not to have to offer an opinion if it’s not necessary. As someone who’s undertaking a major declutter as you know, I have to agree that life is a lot easier and more enjoyable with less.

    1. Yes! I don’t know anyone who likes unsolicited advice. I had to let go of the feeling that I needed to correct misinformation or add my opinion all the time, and when I did … what a lightened load! No more responsibility for other people, and more energy for helping people who do ask 🙂

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