Imagine you have more time, space, focus, and clarity.
Imagine your life is simpler, slower, and more sustainable. A life that is custom made for you and by you. One that fits like a glove.
When less is more, you value yourself over material things.
What does the phrase less is more mean?
I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase less is more. But if you’re not sure what it means, here’s a short explanation.
The expression “less is more” means that having only the essential things in life is better than having too much of everything. Having less enables you to focus on what matters in your life.
The less applies to both physical, material things and the mental and emotional capacity. The more is a sense of joy, happiness, appreciation, and fulfillment.
By having less, you gain more
If you imagine that there’s a formula of 100 things that works for everyone and changes everything overnight, I will spare you the disappointment – the magical formula does not exist.
The real-life is somewhat different than idyllic and Utopian words created by the filmmakers, advertising specialists, and Instagram influencers. Unfortunately, the images of the perfect life we keep anchored in our minds often do not come from our intrinsic needs and life contemplation. These flawless and glorious impressions are often products crafted by the masters of manipulation and consumerism.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having or wanting to have any products for as long they fulfill your own and not just marketing objectives.
What do you gain by having less?
- Sense of purpose
- Emotional stability
How do you know what you need and want?
Even though the overnight formula does not exist, a set of a few simple questions can guide you in the right direction.
Think of your life as a garden, and yourself as the gardener.
- How does your garden look like at the first glance?
- Is it large, small, or just right?
- Are the paths clear and defined or messy and not visible?
- Do you see things or people in your garden that you’d like to remove straight away?
- Are any specific people or things missing from the picture you see?
- Does your garden look nice and calm, or is it dark and scary?
- How do you feel when you think of your garden, your life?
To take a step back and try to look at your life from a different perspective and distance can be difficult. It may be overwhelming. Many of us get discouraged at the thought of the volume of things we’d like to change or fix. But the change is possible, and you’re capable of it. The greatest thing about your life is that You can re-shape it.
Changing your life is not an easy task, especially if you think of it all at once. But if you define, even most broadly at first, what do you need and want, you will be able to work on it one step at a time.
Explore and map your metaphorical garden
- Take a piece of paper and a pen.
- Explore various areas of your life, as you did with your metaphorical garden, by asking questions.
- Look at it from various perspectives and angles.
- Make notes or even better – draw whatever comes to your mind.
- When your high-level map is ready, you can leave it at that.
- Your mind will keep on processing it, so don’t worry about details.
Once you make a decision, you’re ready to take your life into your own hands.
If not now, then when?
21 reasons why less is more
1. Do less
Life isn’t only about ticking boxes on our to-do lists. We need time to relax and recuperate from our busy and stressful lives. Of course, we need to remain reasonable and try to balance our activities. But what if we focused on the areas with the biggest impact and decided to skip some of the less important ones? Would it help us create more space in our minds for being instead of doing?
2. Reduce your workload and to-do lists
The more you have on your list, the more stressed you’re getting, and at some point, you become less productive. It’s time to set boundaries for others, and what’s more important – for yourself.
3. Rearrange your schedules
Attempt to balance your schedule. You may be using much more energy than you think to recover from unevenly planned days. Maybe you think it’s more efficient to accomplish as much as possible in one day and have less to do on the next. But the reality is that your body and mind will consume much more energy to recover from an extremely long and busy day rather than constant effort divided over a few days.
4. Reduce your commitments
Yes, those outside work too.
5. Simplify your tasks
As human beings, we like over-complicating things for many different reasons. Usually, when we’re stuck at the moment and stressing out, we do not consider our happier and healthier life. Simplify your tasks and gain a less cluttered mind.
6. Automate recurring tasks
Many of the recurring tasks can be easily automated. Bank transfers, appointment reminders, shopping lists, and more. Use the tools you have to take the pressure off your mind having to remember everything.
7. Delegate your tasks where possible
Or simply ask for help!
8. Stress less
I can imagine what you’re thinking now: easier said than done. But if you won’t start to manage stress levels in your life, the chances for them going away are small. When you have fewer possessions and obligations to worry about, your mind will start balancing your stress level and reducing tension.
9. Sit less
Be more active to heal and relax your body and mind.
10. Own less
Life isn’t only about collecting material items. Life is about enjoying moments and simple pleasures, learning new things, sharing, and feeling at peace with yourself. Having fewer possessions creates space in your mind and gives fewer reasons to worry about. You can start relaxing more.
11. Declutter your home
Calm down space around you and reduce visual clutter. Create more space in your home and your head. Fewer items mean less maintenance, less cleaning, and less worrying.
12. Declutter your digital life
Yes, the apps on your phone too.
13. Borrow or rent
You do not have to own everything, especially the rarely used items.
14. Compare less
Ask yourself what you want and need. Start fulfilling your own and not the marketing or your neighbor’s objectives. Once you stop comparing yourself with others, you will free yourself from the discontent and worry that comes with unjust comparisons.
15. Consume less
Contribute to your own and environmental sustainability. When you consume less, you gain more time to enjoy the present and think more about the future – yours, your family, and others.
16. Eat less processed food
By eating less processed food you are healthier and live longer.
17. Waste less
Producing less waste, including food waste, saves resources and energy. We do not have to join the zero waste movement. Being more conscious makes a difference!
18. Use and repurpose what you already have
It’s true that more now than ever we have access to all to goods that we can only imagine. But does that mean that we need or should use have them all? Is it our or marketing’s goal that we use different jackets, socks, cars, tableware, jewelry, … for every possible occasion?
19. Throw away less
Before you get rid of an item, consider giving it away to somebody else, donating, or finding a different function for it. And if it’s used or broken, check if it’s suitable for recycling.
20. Focus on quality and not quantity
Quality is more important than quantity. Think of time, friends, words, knowledge, work. Quality is an investment in the future.
21. Enjoy what you already have
If you’re spending most of your time in the pursuit of having more, doing more and engaging more, do you actually have the time to enjoy what you already have?
Enjoy the life of less and be happy!
Do you agree that less is more? Or do you have a completely different point of view? Share your thoughts in the comment below.