» » Essentialism ~ The Art Of Doing Less?

Essentialism ~ The Art Of Doing Less?

Essentialism
When Kate and I started the Balance Campaign, it truly was a journey for us too, in fact if we’re completely honest it was totally about us and we just invited you guys along for the ride! The great thing about the campaign is that I feel as though I’m learning as much from our community as you are hopefully from us. As more and more mamas jump on board, the journey gets richer. Not just from fellow mamas sharing their stories with us, and realising that we’re not alone, but by being challenged every step of the way too.
So, Balance ~ what does it mean? I’m excited by a recent theory Kate drew my attention to, and which we immediately included as one of our weekly themes.
Essentialism – “the concept of living by design, not by default”.
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Essentialism is about doing the right things, in the right way, at the right time. It’s about the choices you make, that are authentic to you and what you want to achieve.
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According to Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, essentialism,
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  • Strips back that notion of being all things to all people and encourages doing less, but better.
  • Rather than the undisciplined pursuit of more, is the disciplined pursuit of less.
  • Instead of saying “yes” to people without really thinking about it, is saying “no” to everything except what is essential.
  • Changes “I have to” to “I choose to”.

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Don’t confuse this with achieving less, it’s just concerned with how you go about achieving what you need.

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“To discern what is truly essential we need space to think, time to look & listen, permission to play, wisdom to sleep & the discipline to apply highly selective criteria to the choices we make.”
~ Greg McKeown

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This isn’t simply about the art of doing less either, in fact it’s not necessarily about doing “less” at all. It’s about looking at the way you do things, period. Looking at the way you do things and exploring whether there is another way that’s more effective, that allows more space, that makes you feel better whilst still achieving what you set out to achieve. Essentialism is a mindset.

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It’s about exploring how to do things better.

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The thing I love about the concept of Essentialism is that it’s not about doing less or doing more in less time. It’s also not about fitting into a mould of what society has decided “balanced life” should be either. Essentialism is about getting the right things done based on a selective criteria for what is essential. The key though is that the selection criteria is not prescribed by anyone but you. The image of your balanced life is not one picked for you from an instagram feed, but rather one composed with you behind the lense. Basically, you decide what you want to achieve and then work out your own list of essentials based on a selection criteria that you have devised.

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Have you worked out the key word here? YOU.

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One thing I have discovered thus far on my journey to creating a balanced life, is that I like being busy. In fact, I love it. I thrive on it. I only recently realised that it wasn’t so much the “busy” element of my life that needed changing, it was my attitude towards my busy life. That’s not to say that there are things that don’t need changing, in fact I’d like to change a lot about the way I do things. But essentially, I like everything I do, so that’s not going to change. Make sense?

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When I began reading about Greg McKeown’s theory on Essentialism, one question that really resonated with me was “do you feel motion sickness instead of momentum?”.

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Bang. That’s it. That really hit home.

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I like everything I do. I don’t want to change or remove any part of my life as such, but I feel like I’m in a tail spin and I know I can’t continue like this forever. So, if I’m not going to change the things I do, I need to change the WAY I do the things I do.

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I don’t have the answers yet, I’m still on this part of the journey, but a weight has lifted feeling that I’m on the right track. For example, I spent almost 45 minutes yesterday deliberating on the wording for a Facebook post. 45 minutes. An entire nap time. I changed the wording 3 times before returning to what I originally had. Are Facebook posts essential to my business? Yes. Do they need to take 45 minutes? No.

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My first step, stop doubting myself and just get it done.

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