10 Ways to Do Less, Better.

Inspiration from Marcus Aurelius.

5 min readMar 3, 2018

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If you seek tranquility, do less. Or (more accurately) do what’s essential — what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: To do Less, Better. — Marcus Aurelius.

Is achieving success mean doing more? That seems to be the message of late. But what if being successful can be achieved by doing less? Focused work on what’s important and removing excess can not only get you results but peace of mind. Let’s explore what you can achieve less but better of.

1. Less, Better Social Media.

Facebook, Insta, Snap, Youtube, LinkedIn, Medium and on and on and on. You can spend time and money trying to become influential on all platforms or you can focus on one or two. Engage and provide the best content on your strongest social media platforms and you will have better, more genuine reach and connections.

2. Less,Better To-Dos.

That long task list only gives you stress and anxiety. What’s important now? What will give you the biggest return on your investment of time? Cut your list down to those things. Make better use of your time. The rest may not be as important as you think.

3. Say Yes, Less.

I had a co-worker who said Yes to every task that was asked of us. What happened was an overwhelmed guy who ended up getting no work done. Saying Yes to the things that are most important to you and your mission gives you a better chance of success. Say Yes to Less!

If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a NO — Derek Sivers

4.Less, but Better Reading.

The average CEO reads 60 books a year. So what? What’s most important is the quality of books you read. What if you read one book a month that profoundly changes the way you think, or behave? I read over 40 books in 2017, but I wished I focused on the quality of reading than the quantity. There were other books I abandoned because they did not add any value to me. Smaller works such as Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and The Alchemist by Paulo Cuelho had a greater impact on my life in 2017. Those books and other smaller works I will re-read in 2018.

5. Less, but Better Exercise.

In Tim Ferriss’ book, The Four Hour Body, he states that it’s possible to change your body in a few short weeks or months with less exercise. Taking care of your body is one of the cornerstones of success. If you aren’t exercising and want to start, less is better. This simple quote sums up less, better exercise.

You should sweat like you are being chased by the police, daily — Jocko Willnik

If you spend a lot of time at the gym or working out, you should work on optimising your time and work outs. Are the things you were doing still working? Try smaller, more intense workouts to improve your results.

6. Less, but Better Focus.

In 2016 my day would start by me waking up, taking up my phone and going though my social media and email. This eventually took a toll on my focus. I would not be able to do a few minutes of work without defaulting to checking my phone and social media. It was reading a blog post by Tim Ferriss where he suggested using the Headspace app for improved focus. Using meditation has helped in so many ways. Making better use of fifteen minutes for sustained focus has improved my productivity. Take a few minutes of quality time daily to be mindful and watch your life improve in all other areas.

7. Less, but Better Consuming.

It’s easy to get into a Netflix hole that you can’t seem to get out of (Star Trek: Discovery, anyone?). We could spend hours of our day consuming and then beat ourselves up for wasting our time, especially if we have our list of things to do, financial and personal goals to achieve. There’s nothing wrong with consuming, but try less, better. One weekend a month, replace 8 hours of binging with two hours of TED talks, Audible books or podcasts. Over time, you come out a more intelligent person having consumed less.

8. Less, Better Spending.

If becoming financially independent is one of your goals, watching where you are leaking money is a great place to start. How much do you spend on food? Entertainment? How can you spend less and maximize your value in these areas? Investing money into learning is one of the best values for money. Allocating small amounts on learning platforms such as Udemy, Skillshare and Edx.org can give you a better ROI as you can multiply your ability to help persons, a higher paying job or increased revenue for your business.

9. Less, Better Relationships.

If you are looking to advance in life and career, look no further than your social circle. Who are the persons you interact with every day? Are these persons encouraging you and helping you to be a better version of yourself? Are you comfortable telling them your goals without a fear that they will shoot them down? Are the persons in your network ahead of where you want to be? This may be the hardest but best thing you can do for yourself but you have to remove the relationships that do not add value to your life and cultivate the relationships where you can both help persons excel and be encouraged and inspired by them.

10. Less, Better Skills.

Writer, speaker, author, social media maven, entrepreneur, coach. There are so many hats we want to wear and so many projects we want to pursue. We’ve been somehow convinced that specialisation is dead. Yet we will still hire the person who is more experienced in the skill we are looking for, than the jack of all trades. In the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, chapter one has a diagram that basically shows the progress we could make if we focus our energy into one project. Focus on becoming the best at one or two skills. Less, better skills can give you more opportunities, more income and more influence.

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Call to Action

Take a look at the things you do, the people in your network and the life you live. What can you eliminate right now? What can you do less of? Write down a list of the tasks and responsibilities that take up all of your time. What brings you the most joy? What brings you the most peace? What brings you the most influence? Do less of the things that do not bring value and work on what brings you joy, better.

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Personal Development, Fereelancing, and Writing. Becoming a better person. You should too.