How To Get More Done While Doing Less (Yes, It's Possible)
Getting more done typically means checking as much off your to-do list as possible. But is that the right goal for us to have in the first place?
Not necessarily. In my experience, the pushy "do more" approach only leaves us feeling depleted, exhausted, frustrated, and increasingly stressed. I believe that true productivity comes not from simply "doing more" but from tuning in to our intuition and unique gifts more.
Inside each of us is unique wisdom, and learning how to tap into that is the real secret to creating magic and great success. Building a flow state into your day, where you are moving from a more intuitive place, will help you feel more fulfilled and satisfied and also help you achieve more of what really counts—the breakthrough ideas, the best content, the genius work that is inside of you.
So how do you actually get more done while doing less, day to day? Here are some practical tools:
Listen to your body.
Energy is always shifting. Notice what cues your body is giving you that day, which can be influenced by how well you slept, what you ate that morning, where you are in your menstrual cycle, and so on.
Instead of using your mental state alone to decide where to put your energy, see what your body feels drawn to naturally as you go down the list of your to-do's. This might feel like a sense of opening, a sense of constriction or being repelled, or a general "knowing."
While it's good to have a general plan and goals for the day and week, it's important to allow yourself some space to adjust your tasks to your energy in each moment and hour. This is how you will create the best quality, without creating something subpar that you might have to end up redoing later anyway.
For instance, maybe you're feeling a creative burst and feel pulled to harness more energy into writing or creating video content one morning. Or maybe you don't feel the creative pull, and so you go in the direction of answering some detail-oriented emails first instead. Listen to your own body's wisdom!
Meditate first thing in the morning.
This important principle was taught by the great yoga guru Paramahansa Yogananda, who brought yoga to the West and whose teachings focus on balanced, practical living. How we start the morning affects the flow of our energy for the rest of the day. It's important that we harness our energy right at the beginning of the day in order to create the most flow, and meditation has been shown in research to help improve attention and focus1.
It does take some time to integrate daily morning meditation as a habit, but the benefits are well worth it! You can even meditate sitting straight up in your bed shortly after waking, elevating your hips on your pillow. Even as a busy mom, I can say that making the effort to get up before my kids and meditate has allowed me to stay far calmer, focus my energy better, and yes, discern what really needs to be done. If you're looking for some support, try some of my guided meditations.
Notice "hurry mode" and slow down.
Trying to hurry through the day boils down to lack-based thinking, a sort of fear that there isn't enough time or other resources. And yet, in order to be our most truly productive, we need to allow more space for creative ideas. Pressure and hurrying only dampen creativity and quality.
Start to notice when your speech speeds up, your pace quickens, or you are literally running to get coffee. When you catch yourself hurrying, your breath is most certainly speeding up as well. Take a moment to do a mini-meditation, or at the very least take six or more deep breaths down into your lower abdomen, and remind yourself to stay present and calm. Remember: You don't have to rush.
Tune in to intuition and tune out distractions.
Intuition is born of more stillness and silence, and it does get stronger through regularly tuning inside. On the other hand, it's important we consciously tune out the outside noise in daily life as much as possible too. Researchers have found that consistently being around your technology is an endless source of distraction. Yet another reason to silence your phone, turn it facedown, or place it out of sight to avoid seeing visual notifications when you are trying to be productive.
The old idea of being in a constant state of busyness and always "doing" in order to get things done is obsolete. Instead, learn to tap into your True Self, your uniqueness, and the voice of your intuition that is beneath the mind chatter and fear. From there, your highest wisdom—and best stuff—can and will come through.
Kimberly Snyder is a 3-time New York Times bestselling author, spiritual and meditation teacher, nutritionist, and wellness expert. She has authored 6 books, including Radical Beauty, which she co-authored with Deepak Chopra. Her highly anticipated 6th book, You Are More Than You Think You Are: Practical Enlightenment for Everyday Life, (Hay House) just published earlier in 2022.
She is also the founder of Solluna®, a holistic lifestyle brand, Practical Enlightenment Meditation,™ Solluna Circle, and the host of the top-rated Feel Good Podcast.
She has worked with dozens of top celebrities to feel their best, including Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, and Channing Tatum, and has been featured by numerous national media outlets, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Kimberly resides in Los Angeles and Hawaii with her husband and children.
To learn more about Kimberly and Solluna, visit: @_kimberlysnyder and www.mysolluna.com.