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02 May 2010

Power of Less

Assume that you are given a job of placing few dozens of framed pictures on the wall. You have frames, a hammer and few nails. You have to strike the nails and put the frames on the nails. Also, the time given to you is limited. How do you go about with this activity? Obviously, we tend to take a nail, strike it on the wall and hang the picture one by one. While we will be thinking of putting as many frames as possible, it is unlikely that we do this task of striking few nails in parallel all at once. Moving from one nail to another without completing it doesn't sound like an idea. Because the time it takes to move from one nail to another nail eats up half of the total time and you have less time to nail/hang the picture. We don't have an option of putting more seconds in a minute but we have an option of deciding how to spend each of those 60 seconds in a minute.

So far, I have been leading a life of doing more. I spend more time on context switches than the actual tasks. If I look back, my life is full of context switches and this shows that I didn't apply much of common sense. I spend lot of time in preparation than the actual work. The power of more is less than power of less. In order to be blissful and successful, it is enough if we understand only one thing. I need to spend less time on doing less things. The idea of spending less time is to optimize the execution of a task (nothing is free in this world, even time too) and it does not signify the laziness or not trying. The idea of doing less things is to pick up things that are important. If you put both ideas together, the idea of optimizing your execution together with lesser number of things in your to-do list will help you to focus your energy on few things and get it done.

I would like to leave this idea for now and let us dig more deeper in future posts. Meanwhile, if you are  seriously thinking of optimizing your life, here are two (great) websites that I feel help a lot in personal effectiveness.


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