Do less, focus more

I’ve been following two blogs for about a month now and I really enjoy their message. They are The Minimalists and mnmlist blog.

They offer thought-provoking content in a simple, easily digested format. One of the most useful tips I’ve gained from reading their work is the idea of ‘doing less’. Sounds simple, but it’s actually very hard.

It means saying ‘no’ to a lot more things, it means bulk-deleting emails, unsubscribing from newsletters, going to bed earlier, closing down the laptop, leaving the phone in the draw, and at times, disappointing people.


The goal of doing less is to free up your brain, slow down, focus better, listen to conversations, improve memory, and appreciate more.

The deciding factor for me to start doing less was when I calculated that every 24 hours, there are:

  • 10,400,000,000 tweets posted
  • 94,000,000 blog articles published
  • 420,000,000 photos uploaded to Instagram and Flickr

(yes I included the zeros for better effect)

In my own Google Reader alone there are 120 new articles published every single day.

If I wanted to live a normal and sane life, there is absolutely no way I could be across everything that’s going on, so I’m cutting back.

So far it’s been working out well. I’m finding that I’m doing less of the “80%” work (the frantic stuff that achieves nothing) and more of the valuable “20%” work (launching a few online projects like this blog, taking time out, thinking about goals, helping family).

And most importantly, these things are getting done from start to finish — a huge achievement if you knew my typical working style.

If you’re interesting in this kind of stuff, have a read of focus by Leo Babauta. The free version is very good.

image: oxherder arts


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