How to Be Less Busy

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Book Review of Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less

When busy, find the one that is not busy.

In today’s fast-pased, gizmo-infested, uber-multitasking world, it is safe enough to say that everyone could use a bit more zen. Written by Marc Lesser – a Zen priest CEO with an MBA – Less offers practical and insightful methods for doing less while achieving more. This does not mean sitting on your couch watching TV while a monkey does your laundry. But it does mean staying present when doing all the things that you do during your day, while cutting out distractions and habits that reduce the quality of your activities and work.

This book will be more accessible to people who understand that improving our life starts with improving ourselves. While there are a few quick-tips throughout the book (scheduled email checking time!), most of the material involves delving deeper into our minds and developing practices such as mindfulness and meditation. The mere mention of such commitments might lose a few folks who think they don’t have time to just sit for 20 minutes a day. However, meditation is one of those mysterious, esoteric things that only people who do it daily know that living without it actually makes life far more difficult.

Overall, Less is a fast read with a strong message that most of us should hear. I happened to read it during a week where I felt quite overwhelmed by all the things I had to get done over the next few days/weeks/months, and the ideas in the book helped me shift into a calm and focused groove almost immediately.

In the end, how we spend our time each day (be it work, chores, errands, leisure, etc) is how we spend our lives. Knowing how to stay present during everything you do means knowing how to experience life. Focusing on the process is far more interesting, vivid, and inspiring than zooming ahead in your mind to some future when the work is done, because in reality, the work is never done. Our daily lives and all we do are part of life’s ebb and flow, where weekdays and weekends come and go, and dishes get cleaned only to get dirty again.

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