Modern living makes it easy to feel overwhelmed. You may run around all day and have little to show for it. Would you like to achieve more while doing less? Take a look at the benefits of streamlining your schedule and strategies for paring down your activities.
Benefits of Doing Less and Achieving More
1. Make more progress. You may worry that doing less will keep you from getting through your to-do list. In reality, focusing your efforts will help you accomplish more.
2. Feel more creative. Idle moments trigger innovation. You may suddenly realize what color to paint your dining room walls or find comforting words to say to a friend who’s going through a divorce.
3. Experience less anxiety. A to-do list that stretches to infinity is bound to make you worry. Imagine how much lighter you’ll feel when you set realistic expectations.
4. Enhance your physical health. Many physical disorders are aggravated by stress. We all are trying to do too much, which is causing unnecessary pressure. A simpler life could help you get rid of frequent headaches and colds.
5. Enjoy life more. Most of all, you’ll find more pleasure and satisfaction in what you do each day. You’ll be drawing on your strengths and devoting your time to what really matters to you.
Strategies for Doing Less and Achieving More
1. Establish priorities. Identify your top three priorities. Maybe you treasure your family or your musical ability.
2. Banish clutter. An orderly environment promotes efficiency. Find a system that works for you.
3. Turn off technology. You can keep your smart phone. Just shut it off occasionally.
4. Reduce distractions. Step back from old-fashioned distractions, too. Limit your trips to the mall if they tend to turn into extensive shopping sprees that cost you time and money. There’s no reason for unnecessary stress.
5. Downplay being busy. Some people brag about being extremely busy. Resist the urge to compete.
6. Focus on quality. Shift your focus to getting the results you want. Select tasks that motivate you to strive for excellence. The quality of your achievements is much more important than the quantity.
7. Slow down. Avoid being in a rush. A deliberate pace is better suited for the long haul. For example, gradual weight loss is more effective than crash dieting every summer.
8. Do one thing at a time. Most experts are skeptical about multitasking. Complete one task before moving to the next. This will allow you to give the proper care and consideration to each item on your list.
9. Pay attention. Concentrate on the present moment. Get absorbed in cooking dinner or participating in a video conference call. Avoid letting yourself get distracted by everything else.
10. Play around. Appreciate the value of unstructured play. Toss a ball around with your kids or watch your dog explore a new park.
11. Take naps. If it’s difficult for you to get uninterrupted sleep at night, consider making up the deficit with daily naps. As little as 10 minutes of afternoon slumber can be very refreshing.
12. Breathe deeply. If you need to be on your feet all day, use your breath to recharge your energies. Breathe with your whole body. Feel your abdomen rise and fall. Notice how your spine relaxes.
13 Pause frequently. Look forward to being kept waiting. Use the time while you’re standing in line at the grocery store to plan your afternoon. When you’re in a quiet parking lot, reflect for a few moments before starting your car engine.
14. Begin the day with a positive mindset. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier so you can avoid racing around in the morning. Meditate briefly before getting out of bed. Try something as simple as hanging an inspirational quote in your bedroom so it’s the first thing you see each morning.
15. Review before bed. Simplifying your life is an ongoing process. Check in each evening to see how you’re doing. Reflect on what went well and what could have gone better that day. Then plan for the next day, keeping in mind what adjustments you can make.
Take greater control of how you spend your time. Set your priorities and engage in activities that are meaningful for you. Your days will feel less stressful and be more productive.