2012 was my “Hurricane Sandy” year. Business trips found me in the United Kingdom twice and spanning the continental US from California to Texas to Virginia all before September 1st. My husband and I both agreed I was on the road too much and started praying to have more clients located closer to the Nashville area. October of that year found me boarding a plane to fly in to New York and work with a client as Hurricane Sandy approached. The night the hurricane made landfall found me training in a circle of candlelight – punctuated by loud explosions and blue lightshows of transformers blowing up outside the window. Stuck in New York for a few days with time to reflect, I decided to take 30 days off at the end of the year to rest and reflect on what was most important in my life. I asked God to teach me His ways.
Toward the end of the 30 days, I read a phrase in Jesus Calling – “If you live this way, you will do less but accomplish far more.” Oh, how I wanted that, but didn’t have a clue what it looked like or how to get there. Fast-forward 2 years and 3 months and I can honestly say I’m accomplishing more by doing less.
For a type A, goal oriented professional like me, getting here has been a struggle. About a year in to my learning curve, I mentioned to my husband how I was working smarter with less hours – and his response was “Yeah, right!” He lovingly helped me see that as I built boundaries around my work, I also said yes to more volunteer opportunities. I might have been “working less”, but I wasn’t “doing less”. He was right!
I struggled greatly with feeling non-productive and lazy (still do sometimes). Those feelings forced me to look at the truth. I WAS accomplishing more, making a difference, and still having time for family, friends and fun. I had to learn to set boundaries, counting the cost of saying yes. I had to overcome the lie that I needed to do more—work harder—in order to have worth.
There’s been a three-fold benefit in accomplishing more by doing less.
- I have space in my life. When a unique opportunity comes along, I can say yes because I’m not overwhelmed. This happened in 2014 when I was asked to be a mentor for Miral Dera from Egypt as part of the Laura Bush Women’s Initiative.
- The quality of my work has deepened. More fruit is evident from coaching, teaching, training, speaking.
- Peace has been a wonderful blessing. In a 24/7 world that seems to constantly spin faster, an unhurried pace of living – the ability to accomplish more by doing less – brings a deep peace in the midst of the chaos of life. The ways of God are breathtaking.
Next month I’ll be writing about the first and second steps to
accomplishing more and doing less. Stay tuned!