by Carla Howard
We are always trying to pack more into our days. This is true of our careers, parenting, financial needs, and every other area of our lives.
Feeling guilty because you’re a working mom? Then it probably feels like a good idea to plan an outing to the kid’s museum with a side trip to the park!!
Striving to climb the corporate ladder? Then taking on extra assignments, staying late, and demonstrating commitment by answering email all weekend seems like a solid plan.
Want more financial stability? Focusing on increasing the monthly income and landing a promotion is the ticket!
These tactics are all focused on more. This is our typical response to filling gaps and solving problems.
If there is a hole in the back yard—we fill it up!
When we feel disconnected to the people in our lives—we focus on how to spend more time with them!
What if I told you that the secret to obtaining everything you truly and deeply desire in life is to focus on less?
It’s counterintuitive, and it works!
Feeling guilty because you’re a working mom?
Be present when you’re with your precious littles. Put down the cell phone. Talk to them. Listen. Put in place non-negotiable family time. Perhaps you reserve every evening from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. by eliminating the “non-essentials.” No computer. No phone calls. No work.
Striving to climb the corporate ladder?
Focus on the high value you deliver, and find ways to share your work. Eliminate time wasters from your day and execute only high value activities. When you leave the office for the day, leave your laptop at work. Don’t answer email on the weekend. Let your boss know that you’ll be focusing on family over the weekend, and ask her to text you if something requires your attention that can’t wait until Monday.
Want more financial stability?
How can you make due with less? Which bills can be reduced? Think long and hard before purchasing non-essential items. A quick call to your cell phone, electric company, insurance agent, and cable TV provider may result in huge discounts from promotions or “valued customer” discounts. Start a 401K through payroll deduction. You’ll very quickly get used to getting by with less, and build your nest egg in the process.
How can you get on the “Less Train?”
Start with getting really clear on what is essential to your happiness and success. List those things out, and then purposefully get rid of all of the other things you spend your time on. This doesn’t mean to erase fun from your daily routine.
Exactly the opposite.
Fun is important!
The better you get at eliminating the non-essentials, the more time you’ll have for fun!!
While a few of the non-essentials are necessary, you can and scale back the amount of effort and time you spend on these activities. This frees up HOURS every week to focus on the essentials.
Here are a few time and energy wasters that may land on your “non-essential” list:
- Screen Time (phone, computer, ipad, etc.)
- Social Media
- Planning (as a way of postponing “Doing”)
- Projects that don’t align with your goals
- Attending events that don’t enrich your life or help to achieve your business goals
- Emotionally draining conversations
In addition to living a more purposeful life, eliminating non-essentials takes away the guilt when you are not doing what others want or expect you to do! All you need to do is remind yourself that you are not answering email over the weekend because spending quality time with family and friends is your priority. On the weekend, work email is simply a non-essential.
As you eliminate the non-essentials from your life, you’ll experience these benefits:
- Stronger connections
- More free time
- Less guilt
- Greater satisfaction
Give it a try. In no time at all, you too will be saying “Less, Please”!!!
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Carla Howard is a professional speaker and mentor. Her passion is helping professional women become more influential and promotable so they can rise with confidence and grace. You can learn more about her and the services she offers by visiting her website at TheProfessionalWomansMentor.com. Carla would love to answer your questions in future articles, so please email them to Carla@TheProfessionalWomansMentor.com.