Working long hours and doing more is a part of the American dream. It’s ingrained in us to work hard, do more, be busy all the time. There are success stories from people who have done this and thrived- but there are also many others who have crashed and burned because they did too much. High levels of stress can lead to burnout, exhaustion, depression and even illness . But there is an alternative way that has been proven to increase efficiency while reducing stress: Doing Less.
Doing less, is the new doing more. It means you start your day with a plan. You determine who you want to be today, map out the most efficient steps to achieve those goals, and decide which of those steps, you need to complete versus the steps you need to delegate. Its knowing that just because you are extremely skilled and talented at certain things, does not mean that you have to be the one to complete these tasks.
When I first started my business, I was the only employee and I basically did everything. Over time, I hired employees, but still did a lot of running around that I didn’t necessarily need to do. It wasn’t until I learn to delegate certain tasks, was I able to have the life I wanted to live. Doing everything, for an extended period of time leads to burnout.
Doing less, is the new doing more. What if I told you that being effective and deliberate in your actions are better uses of your time than expending all your energy to stay busy?
A mind-set shift from “busy” to “effectively using my time” was transformation in my personal life and my business. Now, that I had freed up my time via delegated, I had extra time to invest in me. That investment in me was personal care and self development. The return on investment was 10x. This mind-set shift also allowed me to have the life I wanted. My time and energy were given back to me, so that I could live a more balanced lifestyle with my family. I took the time to prioritize fitness and I exercised at least 5 days a week.
I also made sure to prioritize my time with family and friends. This does not mean that I spend equal amounts of time doing work related activities , versus time spending with family. Rather, I consider the experiences shared with my family, the feelings evoked and how my actions towards them was received. Its letting them know, in my actions and words, that I love them unconditionally. Its letting them know that I wish the best for them, and I have the courage to speak harder truths when necessarily. My family knows that at the end of the day, they are the driving reason why I get up with energy, and I go to bed excited to see a new day in the morning.
So, if you’re feeling burned out and exhausted all the time , maybe it’s because your life is too busy. Maybe your to-do list has become unmanageable . It may be helpful for you to stop doing so much. You must take a step back and pause, then, reflect on the things that are taking more of your mental energy than they should . I make my health my priority, and I put the activities that build me up, first in my schedule. I build everything else around it. Honestly, I work less than I did in the early days of my career, but I can proudly say I get more stuff done and I have many more responsibilities now compared to before. Being mindful of ones actions, setting time each week to plan and strategize, and daily evaluating ones day is key. Once this is done consistently done, you will find out that doing LESS is really the counterintitiive way do do MORE.