I was reading an email campaign by Ryan Holiday about the concept of focusing on less to have more.
I think he’s onto something. Clients who work with me almost always realise that they need to strip back not add on more:
- Strip back the number of clients they’re working with, or particular clients who are not a great fit
- Reduce the number of projects they’re taking on
- Throw caution to the wind and do fewer household chores so that there’s more time and energy for fun, connection and quality time with loved ones
- Not doing every single thing their kids want and finally choosing something they want to do instead
- Finish a night out earlier so they can get a decent night’s sleep
- Starting work later in the morning so they have time for exercise, mediation, journalling or simply not rushing so much
In other words, they choose less of something to give them more of something else.
Personally, I try my best to start my mornings with less (definitely less social media until I’ve done my pilates/meditation/journaling. I have to pick up my phone to use my preferred meditation app, and in that moment if I’m not disciplined, Insta is open; I’ve dived into my inbox or I’m in a notification-checking frenzy. In other words, I’m down the rabbit hole.
For me, more social media before I even start my day means less focus, creativity, productivity and calm. I start the day in reaction mode and don’t easily recover from that.
Ryan puts it like this:
There’s no denying that doing less requires firm boundaries. It can be far easier to stay up late and start another Netflix ep than to call it quits and head to bed before you’ve fallen asleep (or is that just me lol).
It’s easier to get takeaway or ready meals day after day rather than making nutritious meals, even if they’re quick and easy.
It can be easier to reach for yet another coffee than to have less and stay more focused and calm.
Discipline isn’t exactly a sexy beast, is it? Our pleasures whisper in our ears, trying to tempt us into more comfort, more predictability, and more dopamine hits.
But in the longer term, effective boundaries leave us feeling happier overall, more satisfied and more energised. This is why it is imperative that you know what you really want to be experiencing (in the medium to longer term) so that you can use boundaries and standards to make this happen, instead of resorting to the temptation of instant gratification.
Where could you adopt a framework of less:
- Work hours or routine
- Taking on particular clients
- Social Media scrolling
- Wishy-washy boundaries
- Crappy eating
- Staying up late
- Consuming content before creating it
- Avoidance of the hard conversations
So that you can have more:
- Peace and calm
- The list goes on …
Recently, I’ve been heading to bed to read instead of starting another episode of whatever the flavour of the month is (My hubby started a short trial of AppleTV+ so I’ve been watching Morning Wars lately!)
When I feel like it’s too early to head to bed, I remind myself that if I don’t, I’ll end up asleep on the couch. It’s subtle self-care that requires good self-to-self boundaries. It’s much easier to not do this in the moment.
But my ‘about to go to bed’ self is grateful that I don’t mess up my sleep quality by having a doze on the couch that often translates to not falling asleep when I actually get to bed. Which translates to a low quality sleep and a tired morning me.
When I get it right, my morning self is so pleased to wake up feeling more refreshed, and dare I say it, less likely to open the other app’s when I reach for the phone to do my morning meditation.
So now over to you, my friend. Which less are you going to choose, and what boundaries are required for you to succeed with that? I promise you, when you start to embrace less, I have no doubt that you will start to experience more of your desired outcome. Give it a try for yourself.
PS – If you know you need help to assuage your people-pleasing inclinations so that you can become a Boundaries Queen (or King!), head over here.Tags: Human Behaviour people-pleaser