Time, Discipline & Downstream Effort: How to Do More with Less

We live in a culture in which the busier we are, the more praise we receive. It’s all about the grind. Who doesn’t want to remain busy? It demonstrates to the outside world we are being productive with our life. Life seems good, but no matter how busy we are, we never truly feel like we are doing enough. So, is it possible to learn to do more with less?

In a TEDx Talk early last year, Bethany Butzer talked about how to achieve more by doing less. She said, instead of wearing how busy we are like a badge of honor, we can choose to start practicing a different way of engaging with our efforts.

Through downstream effort, and with a disciplined structure, nothing is impossible. Organization is key. Our passions and curiosities are the doors that can lead us to a less tedious lifestyle. When we realize the true value of our time, no one will be able to dictate our work agenda – or our dreams. Mix it all together like a sweet coconut cream pineapple curry (so good) and you create a smooth ride downstream on the current of life you’ve designed.

To create this downstream flow, it’s pivotal to follow through and stay focused. Doing the least important or smaller actions in our to-do list, rather than the more important ones, may be more attractive to us. But that’s a wild ride upstream; one that consumes our energy and time. To make the most of our resources, we must prioritize, strategize, set goals, and convert those goals into smaller, manageable chunks. Converting our to-do list by level of importance is of tremendous help. A good rule of thumb is, as Mark Twain once put it, to eat the frog (the thing you least want to do) first to help you be more productive, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

A daily planner filled out at least a week in advance is one way to better handle our work load. Our phones, always within a few feet of us, contain some of the most important tools, one of which is a handy calendar, complete with notifications and reminders – it makes sense to use it.

By sowing a few seeds of intention, and by following through and staying focused on the things we want to achieve, it’s possible to create an even more fulfilling life in 2019. See you downstream!

 

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