Just doing more is not a real decision.
Most of the time doing more is driven by fear, or is riding momentum, or both. You are running or you are being carried. But either way, only doing more is not a decision; it is often an abdication.
Doing less is a decision. It confronts fear; it requires reflection and intentional action. Deciding to do less is an act of courage and intention.
In his powerful book, The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham spells out why the one thing you need to know for personal success is: "Discover what you hate doing. And stop doing it."
The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe drove home his message "Less is more" in his work. Iconic industrial designer Dieter Rams insisted on "Less but better."
There are 4 reasons why you must consider doing less.
- Much of what we do becomes invisible. Like the clutter in our homes and offices, we just stop seeing it. But just like the clutter, all that doing is draining, and erodes real productivity.
- There are gifts in the negative spaces. Visual artists and designers understand that negative space (the space around a central object or image) is often more important than the object itself (positive space). We define what matters and uncover new possibilities by looking at what needs to be removed.
- It is respectful of our limited resources. Clear priorities are the hallmark of real productivity and Great Performances in business, in part because they allow us to invest in what matters more. Piling more on does not clarify priorities, it pretends all priorities are equal.
- It is the real laser. Unlike all other light sources, a laser beam is defined by what it does NOT illuminate.
Do this: take Friday afternoons to practice organizational minimalism. Pick at least one thing that must stop. Define your negative space. Don't do more; only create the space for what is already important.
Focus on the shaping negative spaces in your business to allow what truly matters to emerge.
In the box is stuff. Out of the box is negative space.
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