Less is more. Really? REALLY??
Surely more is more, less is less; the more the better, the less, the… Okay, so perhaps my poetic limits have been reached, but you get the picture. For someone who is hardworking and holds high standards for themselves and others, it took me years to really take the lessons inherent in the ‘less is more’ mantra to heart. How could less be more? How could less be anything more than less? Here’s what I’ve learnt:
# 1: Less IS more.
By defining and putting boundaries around what is and isn’t possible in a day, ‘less’ DOES become ‘more’ because you’re able to be more present, more creative, more purposeful, and more effective, giving you greater satisfaction and your clients/colleagues greater results; you literally become larger and more vital, and therefore more impactful, by spreading yourself LESS thinly.
# 2: Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Look around and get rid of what’s not crucial or vital. What could actually be done tomorrow, or not at all (??!!), without the world crashing down around your ears?
So often we think it all HAS to be done TODAY. But why? Who says? Often it’s just us and our standards and expectations, saying; or our beliefs about what other people think our standards and capacities should be. I can find myself getting all in a spin: my brain's shouting: ‘There’s so much to do!’ ‘Where do I begin?’ ‘I can’t do it all!’ - and when I talk it over with my husband and gain some perspective, I realize that actually very little of it HAS to be done. In fact, there are somethings on my list which, if I’m honest, are NEVER going to get done.
Time to strike these tolerations off the list, let go of perfectionist ideals, and get on with other stuff.
# 3: 'Under' promise and 'over' deliver
Surely us conscientious, high standards-holders should promise BIG, AND do our damndest to deliver. Doing anything less wouldn’t be properly living would it? It would be underselling ourselves, and doing a disservice to our friends and colleagues. Right?
The irony is, that actually one of the things human beings MOST respect about other people is their ability to stick to their word, know their boundaries, and always deliver on what they say.
It’s not a failing to have boundaries, or to say no. It’s a failing (in my book) to live life constantly stressed out by unattainable expectations and pressure; to not be able to be fully present for our children or friends or colleagues because we’re so caught up in our own thoughts about the things we 'need to get done’.
Set yourself up for success (and zero headaches) by ‘under’ promising and ‘over’ delivering. Allow yourself to bask in the feeling that you deliver on what you say you will, AND have time for things and people you love.