Updated: Aug 23, 2021
“Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) — so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.”
~ Robert Browning, 1885
We all know the saying “less is more”, popularized by minimalist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and first introduced in a poem by Robert Browning. It's a saying that means simple is better and more effective than the elaborate, and that quality is better than quantity.
I apply this theory to the work I do with my clients in transforming their lives from chaos to joy. A significant part of their pain, stress, or disconnect is due to the fact that they are, quite simply, doing too much. From automation, to delegation, to habit-building, to re-prioritization, I teach my clients a vast array of behaviors, tricks, and systems that impact the quality of their lives - almost immediately.
Here’s a half dozen tips for reducing stress, increasing energy, and improving mood so that you can start doing less and being more:
1. Remove all social media apps from your phone.
Are you aware that the average person spends well over two hours per day on social media? Now, just imagine how you could enjoy an extra six hundred hours per year! It’s time to make this energy-sucking habit obsolete so that we can get back to living in the present moment. Think of this exercise as the fast track to replacing a negative habit with a soul-filling one (let's be real: two hours! I could fit in a few ‘good-for-me’s in that time space: A 5km run, a half-hour meditation, some journaling, a power-nap!).
2. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe.
Due to the various timing and frequency companies send out emails, this will be an ongoing task for a solid month. The payoff? A cleaner, more organized inbox to navigate through, and more time on your hands to tend to emails that demonstrate a higher ROI. Have a subscription that truly provides you with benefit? Instead of unsubscribing, you can set up auto filters so they skip the inbox and are saved in a folder for you to access only when you choose to allocate time for it. Be deliberate here - opting to set up an auto-filter instead of unsubscribing means you want to dedicate your time and attention to that newsletter or update. If it doesn't add measurable value, then Unsubscribe. And remember, you can always visit a company’s website or blog for updates that truly benefit your overall well being. Note: some security tech gurus recommend reporting any questionable, unsolicited emails as spam instead of hitting the Unsubscribe button, to avoid risking being a victim of phishing or internet fraud.
Recommendation: unroll.me (a one-stop shop for getting your subscriptions organized)
3. Setup auto-pay for all of your regular bills.
Taking the time to automate bills will reduce the inevitable stress and utter annoyance of paying bills on time. Another bonus? There’s no risk of accruing interest charges or late fees, so your credit score remains intact too. You’ve got better things to do than manually manage recurring payments every month. Go one step further by making sure your billing is paperless and you’ve set up auto-filters on the bill notices. This way, they will skip your email inbox and go straight to a tagged folder instead.