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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Less=More #2


This is the second post in my little series to help you explore the concept of less=more.

A little journey I have been on for a while too. I am not claiming to be an expert or try to persuade you to do anything. But something I might share could resonate with you and help you make some changes that you are looking for. 


If you can:
- do less, 
-have less, and 
- need less 

you will have 
-more time, 
-more energy and 
- more resources 

for YOU and your students or family!



Let's further our exploration!

Lesson #2 - facts

Time to find that second layer of skin, because this one might be brutal.

Humans tend to exaggerate. Especially about the time it takes to do something. 

For the next week, take a cold hard look at your time. The time it takes you to do things, the time you  have been given and how you are spending your time. 

Time is one thing we cannot change, so it the most practical to start any approach to adjusting your lifestyle with that. 

A few years back I was honestly surprised to learn that my 'teaching day' was 4 hours and 45 minutes. That is, the time I was on my feet, with the children, delivering or fostering content. 

A huge amount of effort and additional hours goes into preparing and enabling those hours, I know. 



But just think about it honestly. 




  • Is it really the teaching day that is hard for you to manage at the moment, or is it the hour and half you spend before school trying to present yourself like a supermodel with perfect hair and 15 outfit changes? 



Sorry, I told you, thick skin required. 


  • Is it really the teaching day that is hard for you to manage at the moment, or is it the hour and half commute? 


  • Is it really the teaching day that is hard for you to manage at the moment, or is it the 30 minutes you spent trying to prep something gourmet and delicious for lunch, at the last minute, with nothing in your fridge because you have not been grocery shopping? 



  • Is it really the teaching day that is hard for you to manage at the moment, or is it the 30 minutes you lined up for pipping hot expresso coffee at the cafe on your way to work?



  • Is it really the teaching day that is hard for you to manage at the moment, or is it the 2 hours you spent getting your lashes, fingernails and toenails tended to on the way home from work?



I'm not saying there is anything wrong with doing any of those lovely things that you truly deserve. At all. But you must be honest about them. To yourself. This will have a huge impact on your mindset and your approach to work. When you are honest and reflective with how you spend your time, you will naturally start to make better choices and prioritise your time, without too much additional planning.

Could it be these things making your life harder, not the 4 hours and 45 minutes you spend doing something you know you were born to do?

Last year I decided to face the huge, seemingly insurmountable mind block I had created in myself that preparing and cooking dinner for my family was something I hated. I could not understand how and why I had started feeling so negative about something that I have always loved. I had convinced myself that I was too busy, too tired, too-everything to devote time happily to this task.

I broke it down. It was the washing, peeling, chopping and preparing fresh vegetables that was the most frustrating for me. It sounds cuh-razy but in my mind it was a huge deal and something I spent a lot of time through the second half of my day dreading. 5 o'clock would loom and I could feel myself getting more and more negative, frustrated and cranky as I anticipated meal preparation.

I set the timer on my phone and timed how long it took me to peel and chop a carrot.

45 seconds.

I had built a huge chunk of negativity in my mind for 45 seconds of my life. Granted, meal prep take a lot longer than this - but after the first carrot, you tend to get into the flow. Now when I find my mind drifting to the comfortable 'I hate cooking dinner' mindset, I recall the absolute truth of how long it really takes me to make dinner, and what little effort it really is.

Another example is my computer work. I have had the computer on most of the day today, completing a few projects. It would be very easy for me to say 'poor me, I've worked all day and I am so tired, this is too hard'.

But I don't, because this timer (downloaded from Mac app store) is on my computer screen and I flick it on and off when I am working. I was truly amazed to find that today I really only did 2 and a half hours work, when it felt like much more. Upon reflection, I  did potter around the house a lot, spent time with my family, did some housework, went for a short brisk walk and had coffee with my dad.

This timer has helped give me perspective and clarity about my days, and when my daughter says 'you are always on the computer' I show her this and she also understands within an honest context.


A timer, although hard to face in many ways, will always tell you the truth. Spend some time this week looking at the facts about how you spend your time and what you are choosing to devote it too, and then be honest with yourself about your choices. 

You cannot start your journey of becoming more efficient with your time until you are honest and reflective about how you currently use it. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, I look forward to sharing more things that have worked for me to make more from less over the coming weeks.

- Mel x


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