A neighbor of mine writes an inspirational note each day on a whiteboard hanging on a fence. Sometimes the messages are quite long, but the other day all it said was, “Less is more.” Which, of course, got me thinking.
How can it be that “less = more?” It’s not logical, not rational. But does it have to be logical or rational to be true? How often do you find yourself rushing through a day overflowing with meetings and tasks, and yet have no sense of fulfillment at the end of the day? And if this starts to happen day after day? It’s easy to fall into a pattern of busy-ness that gets in the way of meaning and purpose.
How to break out of that cycle? It may seem counter-intuitive, but one way is to set aside time for reflection. Intentional, focused reflection. You may find that as you think about your experiences you discover insights and meaning that you might have overlooked while racing on to the next item on your “to-do” list. You may realize that some less-important tasks are eating up most of your time, keeping you from accomplishing those that are more meaningful. Your time is limited and valuable. It’s worthwhile to use some of that precious time for reflection to help you make the most of the rest!
If you’re not already in the habit of reflecting, it may seem foreign to you at first. Find a method that works for you, and be persistent about it. Perhaps writing in a journal at the end of every day is ideal for you, while someone else might benefit more from taking brief moments throughout the day for reflection. And another might get more from having a deep conversation with a friend or colleague.There is not a single right way – all of these have been useful for me at one time or another.
What about you? Have you found reflection to be useful? Have you experienced situations where “less” was actually “more?”