Ironically, doing more isn’t always the best way to get more done. Sometimes less is more…
In between planting churches, I worked for a while for a marketing company, and there was one axiom I heard over and over when people were looking at the ads that companies would send in to us and that was that “Less Is More”.
It was super common for companies to design ads, like for a magazine, that were packed full of information, they wanted to let people know what a wonderful product they had and to communicate, all the benefits so that people would buy. Unfortunately those ads often didn’t work, they had so much information packed into them and the page would get so crowded, there was no place for a reader to focus, so they wouldn’t even look at the ad and just turn the page.
Less Is More we’d say when we saw an ad like that. The best ads usually had a strong headline, a good picture or graphic of some kind and a few lines of copy, and although there was a lot less information, those ads will do better because people would stop and look at them. They had a focus and weren’t just cluttered.
Now the same principle applies to life – Less Is More. One of the biggest things that stops people from being really effective, from making the impact that they could have, and from having the life they could have, is that they’ve just got too much going on.
Less is more is means intentionally choosing those things that are most important. The things your best at, those few things that really make a difference, and let the rest go. Delegate it or drop it, but don’t put any more effort into it than you absolutely have to. Then do real quality work on the most important things.
In the book the 5 Choices, the authors put it this way; the key to true productivity is not to get more things done, but to get the right things done, the important things, with the highest quality you can achieve.
It’s not about doing more with less but doing more about less, it’s about concentrating more of your very best attention and energy on those few priorities that really matter and getting them done in the midst of the new or the inevitable gravel that’s in our lives.
I know this isn’t easy, especially at the beginning; you may get resistance from other people and resistance from inside your own head. It can seem like it’s selfish. It will take courage and determination and discipline, but it is worth it.
The end result over time will be that higher productivity and more satisfaction in life with less stress; and the people around you will notice a difference and they are eventually going to want to know your secret. Focus on the most important things and do those really well, you will see a huge payoff.
Less really is more!