Do Less


I recently had a conversation with a colleague from the lean systems world in which he reflected that many organizations are trying to do more and more with less and less.  He joked that his motto is, “Do less.”

Do less. Counterintuitive for those of us busy on the hamster wheel.  But it’s the essence of lean thinking: why are we doing more than what’s really necessary to move to the next step?  What’s important, and what’s embellishment? 

Some years back, I had an essay I wrote accepted by a magazine—on the condition that I cut it from 600 to 300 words. It was painful to let go of my words, sentence by sentence. But guess what—in the end, it was tight, it was polished, and no one but me knew what wasn’t there.

The key is to keep the focus on what we most need to learn. What’s the simplest way to get there? What’s even simpler than that? Do less.