It seems like a weird thing to say, but less is more. Counterintuitive, right?
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before, and I think most of us can understand what it’s trying to say from the perspective of clutter and noise. For example, if you’ve ever sold a house, you can bet that your real estate agent has encouraged you to declutter your home of too much furniture, wall hangings, ornaments, stuff, etc.
You may have also stumbled across the internet sensation of The Minimalists and their book and documentaries called Minimalism. This work is all about focusing on the important things in life. Some people have conflated these two paradigms, but they are different.
Minimalism is not about having less, rather it is focused on removing the excess to make room for more. More space, more time, more friends, more happiness. Less things, more meaning. Less is more.
Having embraced the book, the movies, and the soundtrack (yes, I was quite a fan,) I was primed to apply this lens to my work.
In what ways have I, or could I achieve more with less in my group work?
Achieving More with Less in my Programs
I have been aware for a while now that I rely on very few, if any, props in delivering my programs. Yes, I still have and sometimes carry with me a bunch of awesome props & resources, but to be quite honest, I have discovered using fewer props has helped me achieve a whole lot more. This spirit could be why I have written 3 x No Props activity books?
I was frequently guilty of cramming too much into my programs because there was always so much good stuff to share. But, once again, when I let go of this ‘more’ mentality, I could leverage the full value of fewer activities, and everyone was happier. Better still, I always leave a program feeling refreshed rather than exhausted.
I have learned to shut up when I invite my groups to reflect. Fewer questions allowed for more time for my group to converse with one another.
This is akin to the power of less talk and more smiling. Always a powerful antidote to many difficult situations.
Professionally, I have also discovered the sheer joy of having fewer clients. Significantly fewer. It wasn’t that long ago when I (somehow) delivered 120+ professional billable days (plus travel) in a year.
For a few years now, I have strategically limited the number of training (billable) days to less than 25 per year (or roughly 2 days a month.) This is more than enough for me (and the business,) but most importantly, it allows me to focus on my clients’ needs more thoroughly. That is to say, at any point in time, I have one client, one priority.
My latest priority has been to restructure my business so I can spend less time in it
A Final Word about Priorities
Priorities, we all have them, right? Yeeessssss, but we shouldn’t.
Now, stick with me. I’m not saying you should not have important stuff to do. You do. We all do.
This is just a little rant about the word ‘priority’ because most of us do not really know what the word means.
The root word of priority is singular, ie a condition of being more important than all other things. Therefore, you cannot possibly entertain multiple priorities because, by definition, there can only be one priority.
So, the next time you hear someone talk about “priorities,” please let them know – in the nicest possible way – that they don’t understand what they’re talking about 🙂
Now, I’m interested, how might doing ‘more with less’ become a priority for you?
How does this approach of less is more manifest itself in your programs?
Please share in the comments below…