There seems to be a need, indeed a yearning, for many of us to simplify our work lives. In our quest to do it all, and do it “right”, we’ve somehow managed to clutter our vocational world with amazing amounts of activity in the hopes that all that activity will get us what we want. Have you found yourself wondering if that is indeed true, if the blur that has become your vocational path the road to real fulfillment? And if not, what can you do about it—what could simplifying your work life look like?
Author Leo Babauta has an answer. In is recent book, “The Power of Less”, he offers simple, concise steps for working simply while actually getting more done. May sound counter-intuitive at first but he makes a strong case for increasing your productivity by doing less. As you might guess, it’s all about focusing on the right things versus everything in order to bring real value and results to your work, and to your life.
One of his challenges is to look at the commitments in your life, across the board—work, family, hobbies, civic, spiritual, etc. Essentially, make a list of all of them. Then determine which are essential and begin eliminating the non-essential. I did this a few months ago. First, my list was much longer than I imagined. Second, the elimination process was difficult because I thought everything was important, of course. So out of a list of 12 commitments I eliminated 4. I can tell you now that the process was liberating, the stuff I eliminated I don’t miss and frankly, those 4 things were basically just feeding my ego. I indeed do have more time for value-based activities and life is a little less hectic—I am more centered than before.
Leo’s book is a quick read and written, not suprisingly, very simply. But it is powerful in my judgment.