When is Less More at Work?

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Having it all doesn’t necessarily mean having more.

In the daily grind, as we strive for success, we often measure this in terms of things we possess. A nice car. Check. The latest iPhone. Check. A new pair of Jimmy Choos. Check. 

The sentiment carries through at work as well. A sweet Keurig for the perfect custom cup. Check. Taking on more assignments to appease others. Check. Printed handouts for everyone at the meeting. Check.

We CAN accomplish the same results with less.

The reality, however, is that doing these things doesn’t make us happier. It doesn’t even increase our success, nor make it easier for us to climb the corporate ladder. However, these things do all drain resources and suck away our energy. We can have the same level of success, and often even greater success, by simplifying.

We CAN have it all at work with less too.

Having it all at work, or anywhere else for that matter, doesn’t mean we have to have more. It just means we meet our needs and let go of the excess things that aren’t really necessary. 

In a recent blog, Katie Mehnert pitched the following solutions: 

Go paperless (or close to it). The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. If all the paper used for businesses was stacked, it would reach halfway to the moon in a year. With cloud-based tech and tons of devices to choose from, it’s easy to cut back on paper.

Do less. Sometimes, it’s good to lean out too. Delegation and outsourcing are great options as well.

Write less. Test yourself to see if you can keep emails quick and set a limit, such as five lines or 200 words. If a message is going back-and-forth repeatedly, pick up the phone instead.

Meet less. Only hold them when absolutely necessary and try to keep them to ten minutes or less.

Work less. Research shows that taking short breaks throughout the day can boost your productivity, increase motivation, enhance creativity, and improve your memory. Similar benefits are seen with vacations too.

Waste less. In our fast-paced world, we consume single-use items at breakneck speeds; water bottles, coffee pods, coffee cups, batteries. The list is endless. Not only does this overwhelm landfills, but it doesn’t really save us time or money. (Seriously… it takes 41 pods to equal a pound of coffee, which works out to $30-40 per pound with K-Cups, as opposed to $10 for a pound brand name coffee sold the traditional way!)

What have you cut back on at work?

Going with the "less is more" concept, what have you cut back, simplified, or streamlined at work that led to better results or improved happiness? Let us know in the comments!

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