10 problems solved by doing less (inspired by Ron Banks)
I watched a video by Ron Banks called 10 problems solved by owning less, and I created this to-do list version inspired by his video, because I’ve noticed very similar benefits to doing less.
While I don’t consider myself a full-on minimalist when it comes to my possessions, I do think of my tasks and what I do with my time like a minimalist.
The 10 problems follow Ron’s points (I had to tweak some of the wording of the subheadings to fit doing less instead of owning less), while I talk about them in the context of to-do lists.
1 — feeling discontent
Getting more and more done doesn’t ultimately make you happy. It might feel good for a little bit, until there’s another thing to do. Or maybe you were already thinking about the next thing to do even before you finished the previous one, instead of feeling glad that you got that task done.
But — getting the things done that actually matter to you will make you feel good long term.
2 — comparison
When you make the choice to do less, you also reject the idea that you need to keep up with the people who are doing “all the things”. Maybe you’ll even realize that they aren’t doing too well on the inside either, because they might seem like they’re doing “all the things” while they are neglecting the parts of their life that really matter to them.
3 — searching for social acceptance
As Ron says, everyone’s so focused on themselves that they don’t really pay too much attention to what the people around them have. So if you stop accumulating things — or tasks — just for the sake of impressing others, chances are that no one will even notice.
4 — not feeling at peace
When you have a lot of things to do, and no way of doing them all, you never really feel at peace. You’re always just looking to that “someday” when things will feel better, and you tolerate it. But when you have made the choice to do less, and you know that you have time for them, you feel more at peace when you’re not tackling your tasks.
5 — overwhelm
Knowing there’s a lot to do might make you not do anything at all.
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6 — stress
It can’t come as a surprise, but when you expect less of yourself — or when you expect a sustainable and realistic amount of yourself — you have less stress.
I’m not saying you will never experience stress. But when you do less, you notice it easier when stress starts creeping bback up, so you can re-evaluate what you’re doing and bounce back from that stress faster.
7 — not knowing what to do
When your task list is too long, it’s easy to get flummoxed and do nothing at all — or do something that you just always do because at least that’s safe. When your task list for the day is short and clear, you know exactly what to do.
8 — not having time for something that pops up
When we’re doing too much, we start saying no to things that pop up even when we’d really, really want to do them or when it’s something that benefits us. When we do less, we have more white space where we can add in things that we really want to do — for example, self-care.
9 — needing more time
Are you really out of time — or have you just filled it up with clutter? Doing less means that it’s easier to work within your very real time limitations — and you stop wishing for more time. We can’t get more time from anywhere — our only option is to do less.
10 — wait… I forgot I had this
When you have a never-ending to-do list, you feel weighed down and overwhelmed by it. But there might be things on there that you didn’t even realize are still on there! Those extras are making the list cluttered, which makes it overwhelming to find the tasks that really matter.
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