Tag Archives: Doing less

Doing less rather than rushing

When you’re giving a presentation in a predetermined time slot and you realize that, if you continue at your current pace, your presentation isn’t going to end on time, you have two options. You can either speed up your pace by talking faster or cover less content by focusing only on the most important remaining content.

The former approach creates stress, and that stress impacts not only your ability to communicate your thoughts but also your audience’s ability to understand your message due to simultaneously thinking about your frenetic body language.

The latter approach means that you don’t cover some content. However, by skipping the content that isn’t a priority, you can get the key elements of your message across, thereby retaining your calm and increasing the likelihood that your audience understands your message.

The reasoning outlined above regarding what to do when you’re pressed for time when presenting can be generalized to other contexts. Specifically, when you’re pressed for time, it’s better to do less by prioritizing the important things than to do the same amount by rushing through it all.

Slowing down time

Sometimes you feel like life is passing by at a very fast pace and you want to slow it down. There are two ways to slow down time. More accurately, since time doesn’t actually objectively slow down, there are two ways to slow down your subjective perception of the passage of time.

The first is to do less. When you do less, you have more free time in which to think about the passage of time. This makes time pass more slowly.

While this approach works, it can lead to boredom and a feeling of missing out. Since we’re alive for a limited amount of time, most of us want to put that time to good use by being active rather than not doing much.

This is why I prefer the second approach. This consists of doing new activities that break the repetitive cycles of your daily life.

When you repeat the same activities over and over again each day, you get used to performing the activities without much active thought. You’re on autopilot and, as a result, time passes by quickly.

If instead you do new activities, or at least variations of your existing activities, you can’t do them on autopilot because you haven’t done them before. You need to actively think about what you’re doing. This immersion in the new activity slows down your perception of the passage of time.