Sunday, January 12, 2014

10 Ways To Get Less Done Right Now!

5 Steps To A More Organized Life

10 Secrets From Real-Life Super Moms

Work Smarter & Get More Done

How To Accomplish More With Less

Build Efficiency Into Your Life

3 Exercises To Keep Your Brain Nimble

200 Things You Should Be Doing Every Single Day

You’ve seen these articles, right? They’re nearly ubiquitous. The trend is even hotter at this time of year when the media capitalizes on the notion of New Year’s resolutions.  Some of them even contain great nuggets of inspiration and useful strategies that really do make things healthier, easier, faster or more efficient. And I’m not knocking them. There’s a place for them, especially in a culture like ours which values appearance, accumulation and achievement above contentment, serenity and humble simplicity. 
When I was a kid and Mom was teaching me table manners, grammar and interpersonal skills, I sometimes objected to the lessons.  After all, we were living in a floating shack without plumbing, electricity or even a table, in the middle of nowhere. Why did I need table manners? No, I'm not off topic, stick with me. Mom always explained that she didn’t expect me to use these skills every time I ate, spoke or interacted with someone, but she expected me to master them so that later in life I would have a choice. There would be times, she predicted, when the skills I would choose would be mental toughness, a cocky attitude and an ability to remove the knife from my belt-sheath and snap it open one-handed while keeping my other hand on the throttle of the outboard motor. There would be other times, however, when I would choose to eat, speak and interact with people from other walks of life. There would be times when I would rely upon the skills she was teaching me, to be 
tolerated and even respected. Mom was so right. I’m ever-grateful to her for giving 
me choices!
The same is true, I think, of our cultural fascination with the hare in the ancient story The Tortoise and the Hare. We value the art of busy.  We teach ourselves, and our children, to speed through life. We even try to train the hare to stay focused, organized and efficient. After all, a well-trained hare would certainly have won that fabled race, right? 
The skills and lessons of the hare are valid and useful skills to master but they are not the only skills. We are neglecting the skills and lessons of the tortoise. We are, in general terms and as a whole, not teaching ourselves, or our children, how to go slow.  We are not learning how to relax. To be still. Thus, amongst the multitude of “Get More Done” articles, I’m offering you an alternative.  Here are 10 Tips To Getting Less Done NOW!

1- Stop multi-tasking. Especially when you’re doing something that’s important. Are you talking to a child or loved one? Whatever other stuff you’re doing, stop. Turn away from the computer, turn off the radio, pull the car over…whatever is safe to do in order to focus on the one important thing in this moment.
2- Set aside time to do NOTHING. Ahem, you there. Me? Yes, you. Put down the book/e-reader/smart phone. Just for a few minutes. Try sitting still and not even reading. It's good for you.
3- Say ‘No’ to stuff that doesn’t really matter. Are you detailing your toaster?  Scrubbing your baseboards? Making and sending birthday cards for every human being you’ve ever met? Just Say NO! ;-)
4- Watch the clouds, birds, people, cars, dogs, flowers…
5- Stare at the wall
6- Focus on your breathing.
7- Give yourself a massage.
8- Take a silent retreat. It sounds expensive, time consuming and difficult but it doesn't have to be. Try it for just five minutes. Or, if you have the time, five hours.  Your call. Make it work for you.
9- Take a nap. Take a cue from Jeb in the photo above and Zzzzzzzz. 
10- Delegate. This one is cool. Is there someone in your family or work environment who can lighten your load? Allow them to help you. Really. It’s okay if they don’t always get all the suds off the dishes. I know it’s really hard to do, but you can let it go. If I can let it go (and I do manage sometimes), you can too.

There ya go! So simple. Do less.

I hope you enjoy these tips and feel free to let me know in the comments what works for you!

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