Do Less: Say No More Often

As we gain more influence we’re asked to do more. At first it might seem like saying yes is best. We believe that doing more will increase our influence. It’s knowing when to say yes that’s important. Sometimes it’s better to do less and say no.

medium_2785551923 Do Less - Photo of the back of an old wooden chair
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Challenge Yourself To Do Less And Live More

In my twenties I lived in a travel trailer and worked overnights at a mini mart. Life was simple. I was rarely asked to do anything extra. I did my job. I went home. I played my guitar. I didn’t even have a telephone or TV in my trailer. That changed. 

I went back to college. I got a master’s degree. I started teaching. I went back to church. I played worship music. I got married. I had a kid. I got the Internet and a smart phone. Suddenly, everybody wanted me to help out with something: committees, music projects, volunteer work, birthday parties, soccer games, there was always something to do. I kept saying yes. I said yes until I was overwhelmed.

Then it dawned on me. The true way to success is not to do more, but to do less.

When was the last time you just sat and did nothing? If you’re like most productivity-driven Americans, it’s been awhile. You’ve been led to believe that you have to do more in order to get ahead. It’s a lie. Doing more only keeps you running. If you keep running you’ll never win the race because the race will never end. You have to stop. Breathe. Do less. 

Great Things Happen When We Commit To Less

  1. We relieve stress when we do less: Taking on too many projects and responsibilities is a sure-fire way to create stress. Knowing when enough is enough and saying no relieves stress. Once you learn to say no more often it actually feels good. Do less. Lessen your stress.
  2. We get more rest when we do less: When we get too busy, our bodies get warn down. We are more likely to get sick. When we learn to do less and say no more often, we get more rest. More rest will increase our overall health. With better health, we get more done.
  3. We remain true to ourselves and our loved ones when we do less: Taking on too many commitments and activities actually pulls us away from what’s most important: our families. By saying no we open up time for our loved ones.
  4. We have time to think and plan when we do lessSometimes we get so busy doing that we don’t take time to think. I know I’m guilty of this. I get so busy creating that I forget to think first. The quality of my work suffers. Sometimes sitting and doing nothing creates the space we need to become more creative. 
  5. We have more time for our spiritual lives when we do lessWhen we do less we open up more time for our deity and our spiritual journey.

Don’t get caught in the trap of taking on too much. Consider what items on your plate are the most important. Focus your effort on your most essential projects. Keep your family first. Learn to do less on a day-to-day basis so that you can do more in the long run. It’s okay to say no.

Make a promise to yourself to take a few moments each day to stop, sit for a spell and do less. You’ll be happier and healthier.

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