Doing Less With Less

By Raylene Moses, HR Manager

Pacific Quest Wilderness Therapy ProgramIt took one or two gray hairs to learn this principle: Doing more with less is the swiftest and most reliable path to failure. Yes, I said it: failure. On the surface and for the short term, it looks, at least on a spreadsheet, that doing more with less is exponentially efficient and profitable. Like the rest of America, I believed that by so doing I was maximizing my resources. Incidentally, I was the resource, and I was not maximizing it, I was depleting it. I was hopelessly exhausted and utterly stressed. Burnout is anti-productive in every sense. Passion has always driven me. But burnout implies a flameless life, a life without passion, without creativity. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how illogical the logic of doing more with less really is. After all, if a loaf of bread calls for four cups of flour, and all I have are four cups of flour, then I can’t make two loaves of bread.  I know what some are thinking, five thousand were fed with “five loaves of bread and two fish,” but that was accomplished once over two thousand years ago by the son of God.

Instead of doing more with less, I’ve learned to do less with less. Incidentally, doing less with less does not equate to mediocrity. It simply means that with my four cups of flour, I cannot expect to produce two loaves of bread. However, I can expect a golden, ’onolicious’ loaf, at least the best I am able to produce. How do I do it?

First, I uncluttered my life and reduced things that wasted my time and resources. To me it includes not wasting energy–mental, physical, emotional–on things that are out of my control or in the grand scheme of things really does not matter.

Second, I priortized the things in my life according to their value. For example, one of the things that I’ve learned to value is my health. Thus I’ve incorporated exercise into my daily routine so as not to take additional time (because time, of course, is also of great value to me). On the other side of that ledger, I eliminated the things in my life that really had little or no value to me. It sounds self-centered, but it is not. It helps me to continue to produce one golden, ‘ono loaf of bread, if you will, instead of two small, undesirable loaves that no one really wants.

Finally, I have learned to tap into my left-brain hemisphere more. It’s true that I take pride in my right-brain strengths, but I realized that my left-brain capacity was an underutitlized resource. I allow myself to be creative! Not limited to only artists, creativity is liberating and exhilirating. I know I’m overusing my bread metaphor, but what the heck! Chop up my favorite candy bar, add it to my bread recipe, and now I have a one-of-a-kind loaf of bread. I may be the only one eating it, but that’s okay. I’ll enjoy every morsel.

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