I first heard about Kate Northrup and her book on a Marie Forleo podcast. I loved hearing about Kate’s approach to time management and quickly ordered ‘Do Less’ to arrive the next day.
Weeks rolled by and the book stayed on my side table, a haunting reminder that when I had “less to do” I would make sure to read this book!
When I (eventually) started reading this book I was really glad I had made the time to start. ‘Do Less’ is written in bitesized chapters and the practical tips for doing less are helpfully broken up into separate “experiments” for the reader to see what works for them.
I appreciated the understanding and warm tone that the book was written in. Even though ‘Do Less’ has been written with busy mums in mind it was not preachy in the slightest.
Reading this book felt like getting a pep talk from your kindest friend. It was easy to pick up from where you left off and to dip in and out of the book as you wanted to.
Overall, I found the tips shared in this book to be well researched and refreshingly novel. There were multiple occasions where I felt like I was able to view my responsibilities and to do list from a completely different perspective.
‘Do Less’ is full of suggestions to try and I’ve shared my favorite three below:
1. Make a list of what matters to you
Think about what matters to you and check in with how you spend your time. For anyone that feels like time spent not being productive is “wasted time” this exercise is helpful to show that some down time is still just as important as working hard.
2. Make a weekly to do list
Once you are clear on what matters to you, make a to do list for the week rather than a daily to do list. This practice can help take the pressure off as we feel like we have more time and allows for flexibility if something pops up unexpectedly in our day.
3. Get really honest
Make a list of the things that you do and the things that you constantly think about doing. I know for me, thinking about having to do things can sometimes take up more time, headspace and energy than actually doing the task!
(For us it was constantly thinking and talking about what to make for dinner….so boring, repetitive and time consuming! Gousto deliveries have helped with this!)
Write a list of all the things that you feel you have to or want to do. For each task ask:
Does this need to be done? Is this task really necessary? Does it relate to my goals and how I want to feel?
Does this need to be done by me and me only? Is there anyone else who is capable? Is there anything I can make simpler?
Sometimes we take a lot of our self worth from the things that we believe have to be done by us and us alone, especially as parents. Remember, we are not just what we do for others. Friends and family will still love us even if we don’t do everything for them and we’ll probably be a bit more relaxed too knowing everything isn’t on us to sort out!
Does it really need to be done now? Is this a task that needs doing right now or even this week? Is there a better time for this to happen? If so, make a plan on how and when you’d like to do it. If not, let it go from your to do list without guilt. Remember priorities and dreams evolve and that’s ok!
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone feeling overwhelmed or for anyone wanting to simplify. I have implemented some of the tips and have enjoyed the time I have saved and the guilt that I have let go of after realizing I really don’t need to do it all on my own 🙂
As always, thanks for reading.
Do Less by Kate Northrup
Marie Forleo’s podcast “How to do less and accomplish more with Kate Northrup”