There was a time not too long ago when I overloaded my schedule and every time I crossed an item off my to do list, three more jumped on. Each night, as my head hit the pillow, my thoughts raced with what remained undone from today and how to fit it into an already jam packed tomorrow. Then I had a breakthrough…
I gave myself permission to not do it all and shifted focus to what mattered most.
I also determined to do my best but not insist on perfection. After a couple of months of imperfect progress on this, I discovered three surprising ways less led to more in my life.
I’ll warn you now: these three concepts run counter to prevailing culture. But if you struggle with:
- a jam-packed schedule,
- taking ownership of things over which you really shouldn’t,
- and/or perfectionism,
you’ll want to keep reading.
You’ll also want to grab the “Just Be” Checklist I’ve made for you. It’ll help you apply the concepts in this post.
Now, how can less lead to more?
Less Quantity More Quality
Putting fewer appointments and projects on my calendar led to more time devoted to those carefully chosen items. The additional time resulted in better outcomes.
And it wasn’t just more time per person, project, or appointment. It was a higher quality of time spent on each. This let me think more clearly, listen more actively, and give more freely of myself to the people and projects that matter most.
Less Ownership More Stewardship
Everything belongs to God (1 Chronicles 29:11, Deuteronomy 10:14). I know this, yet I easily forget that truth and think of this ministry, the relationships in my life, and the tangibles I use and have responsibility for as being mine, rather than God’s.
When I take on ownership where I really only have stewardship, it is no wonder things go awry. With less ownership thinking, I hold in open hands the people and things with which God has blessed me. I acknowledge they are not mine for my purposes, but God’s for his. With more stewardship thinking I focus on doing my best to accomplish what he asks me to do. I remember my job is obedience and his is direction.
Less Perfection More Action
This one has been the hardest for me. I can’t stand not getting something perfect. But, that elusive result is not only hard to achieve, it isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
I’ve discovered getting something done well, but not perfect, provides more value to my family, friends, and readers.
- Laundry imperfectly done is better than dirty clothes waiting to be laundered perfectly.
- A heartfelt note on plain paper mailed to a discouraged friend is better than the beautifully hand-crafted card with the perfectly worded message that remains an unfulfilled good intention.
- A video Bible study with some imperfections ministers better to someone in need today than waiting to film, edit, and post it until I can do it perfectly.
Less procrastination in pursuit of perfection leads to more active love and ministry to those around us.
A Counter-Culture Approach
Less is more.
It runs counter to our culture but fits right in with some of the other paradoxes found in God’s Word:
- If you want to save your life, you must lose it (Matthew 16:25).
- Humble yourself and God will lift you up (Matthew 23:12, James 4:10).
- Weakness is strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Those are just a few examples, but less is more seems to fit right in with those concepts. It sure has proven true in my life.
Don’t forget to grab the “Just Be” Checklist!
It’ll help you apply the concepts in this post.
How about yours? Where could less result in more for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.