Do less, but better?

Maybe less is more? I kind of think so.

Calm is the new busy. I’d like to think so!

I heard the following saying the other day – “ We can get carried away with life” and it really resonated with me.

I can see how the busy-ness of life carries us away. We become busier over time and may not realize it, and it can become our new normal. We may become stressed out, tired and caught up with our to-do lists, family, plans, work etc and it can become overwhelming.

I don’t want to glorify being busy although I think our culture tends to do that a fair amount…“Hustle hustle hustle!”. Everyone seems to be busy and some people wear it as a badge of honour. They feel good that they are busy, they have jam packed schedules, they are doing, they are achieving – but at what cost?

Are we doing what is essential in our lives or are we reacting to things, saying yes to everything and eventually burning the candle at both ends?

Let’s try throwing a little more essentialism into our lives and see how we feel. ?

I love the book Essentialism: “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown.

In his words;

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”

― Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

This is very powerful stuff don’t ya think? If we can work on removing all the “should’s”, the noise and stress of our never ending to do lists, and instead focus on the wisest possible investments of our time I wonder how we may feel?

Maybe we can put our health and happiness higher on the list?

“We overvalue nonessentials like a nicer car or house, or even intangibles like the number of our followers on Twitter or the way we look in our Facebook photos. As a result, we neglect activities that are truly essential, like spending time with our loved ones, or nurturing our spirit, or taking care of our health.”

― Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The main point of his book that resonated with me was “Less, but better”. If we simplify our lives and do more of what is important and do it WELL, then we just may find that our lives are more aligned with our values and priorities and we are less busy and more happy!

Doing less, but doing those essential things better. I like it!

I have been implementing essentialism into my life the last half year or so and I have noticed the benefits. Having well thought out priorities and goals give me clarity. They are the guiding light that keeps me focused on what is important and what is less important to me. I’m actually actively doing less random stuff this year so that I can do a few key things BETTER.

If you are curious, some of my priorities are:

Improving my health/happiness (eating well, exercising, having more fun), keeping stress low (rest, relaxation + more sleep!), quality time with family and friends and focusing on my little business.

Of course your priorities may be different, but once they are clear – it is easier to see what you may want to focus on more and what you can start cutting back on or what may no longer be serving you. (cough cough.. binge watching TV, playing video games.. hanging with the wrong crowd.. whatever whatever).

Examples of things that I cut back on this year:

  • Garden: Although I enjoy having one when I have time, it’s not happening this year, (my mom has extra veggies to share or I buy at the farmer’s market) (saves me time and energy)
  • Plant tons of flowers in my yard: Nope not this year – just the essential few flowers. (saves me time, money and energy) and heck it still looks good!
  • Join all sorts of summer sports teams: Nope. I am home most nights during the week so I can exercise, relax, stay organized, make healthy food and spend time with my hubby and furbabies
  • Work on a million things at once on my business to try and build momentum: Nope – Just focusing on a few key things until completed. Small strategic movements!
  • Make tons of plans on the weekend: Nope – Maybe have 1 night where I go out and do something fun with friends. Otherwise I am at home focusing on what is important to me
  • Cook food every night and run to grocery store daily: Nah – I try to meal plan regularly, cook a few nights a week and do one big grocery shop each weekend. (saves me time and energy)
  • Wild nights out on the town: Nah I’m good! Been there done that. I prefer to wake up feeling good in the morning ? Once in awhile calls for dinner and dancing with friends!  Most weekends are chill and other weekends we plan mini adventures around Yukon or off to Vancouver!

I am not perfect by any means, but small changes have made a big difference!

Sure, some of you may think I am boring, lawd knows my brother thinks I am LOL. But.. I am strategically trying to live my life based on the things that are essential to me and so far I am more happy then I have ever been ? So I’d say I am doing something right?! 

Essentialism for me = more time, more calm, more meaning and more energy = happier + healthier Jill

Please share:

  • What is essential to you?
  • What would you like to do more of? Less of?
  • Are you saying yes to things that are not serving your main goals or priorities?
  • Do you say yes to things because you want to please people or feel obligated?

Mini Challenge:

Try to give yourself time this week – what can you take off your plate? Can you set some time aside a few times a week to focus on what is truly important to you? If adding more calm into your life or eating healthier is something you want to do, what could you tweak this week to make that more of a priority?

Last kick ass quote for the day ?

“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”

― Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less


I’d love to hear from you – please let me know how you liked today’s blog and share it with a friend if you enjoyed it ?

Cheers to doing less but better,