First of all, if you didn’t start singing the Charmin song when you saw the title of this post, we can’t be friends. Now that that’s out of the way…. Recently, I’ve been evaluating my priorities and commitments and have come to the decision that for me, less is more. I’m manifesting less in my life. I want to really streamline my life in every way: emotionally, physically, professionally, interpersonally… all of it. For the longest time, I’ve felt really proud of all the things I’ve managed to keep on my plate. But guess what? I’m burnt out.
Last night, I was finally able to put into words what I have been feeling in my heart for quite some time: I would much rather do a few things with excellence than many mediocre things. The days of me bragging about holding down 3 jobs are over. Trying to be friends with as many people as I can make time for is done. Overcommitting myself is out. I’m done with all that. Less is more.
I keep bringing myself back to one question as I’m planning my day, my week, my month, my life:
What do I need less of?
Seriously. You ever catch yourself saying “man, I don’t need this.” Or something to that effect? Well… what is “this“? That’s where I’m at right now. Identifying all of the “thises” that need to be cleared from my life. Here are some of the things that I’ve started to purge.
Yeah. I cut off about a foot of my hair. It was still healthy and lovely but taking care of it everyday was such a hassle. I’m a messy sleeper and the whole thing gets tangled and knotted and just frustrated me to try to deal with it. I brought it down to a bob and I actually really dig it. Guess what else? When my hair is short, I have to wash it more often. This has lead to an improved personal hygiene routine. Not the goal but an awesome side effect!
Whether we’re talking clothes or project supplies or just random tools around the house… I have far too much stuff that’s taking up space and serving no function. I’ve started inventorying the things in this category of value and listing them online for sale. I went through and purged my dresser of clothes that don’t fit properly anymore or that I just don’t really wear. The kids have done the same and now we have 3 full garbage bags ready to be donated.
This one sounds silly, I’m sure, but I’m so serious. I went through a giant pile of mail I had on my desk and found every last old bill and invoice that I had open with someone and just turned it into an actionable list. As I went through these things, I found subscription services I had signed up for but wasn’t actively using (like this great Leggings of the Month club where I was starting to get duplicates of the leggings I already have…) price checked all the essential services I wanted to keep and even found some better values for myself out there. I left Verizon and T-Mobile and consolidated to one bill with Xfinity for home internet, cable TV and mobile phone. My cell phone bill is 1/3 of what it was with T-Mobile. My internet plan is $10 cheaper with just as good of quality and comes with a small cable package. Literally guys, less is more.
I spent the better part of 2 hours going through my personal email inbox to methodically clean it up. I started with just under 800 unread emails and cleared my inbox down to zero. I set a few guidelines in place for myself to make it work well. First, unsubscribe from newsletters. There’s an easy button on the bottom to do it with, so just unsubscribe. Copy the “from” address on the email and put it in Gmail’s search box. Select all from that sender and bulk delete. Bam. Down a handful of emails. Rinse and repeat until you’re unsubscribed from all the garbage. If something is worth keeping, it’s worth sorting. Using the label feature, I broke down the reason for why I was hanging on to a particular email. Was it an important receipt or log-in information? Something actually useful? Label it.
I’m working on getting myself back up to peak performance. But I don’t thinkI’m going to achieve that goal by keeping my plate overly full or by ignoring the pile of things that need to be tackled. What do I need less of?
Less mess. Less stress.