Monday mantra: "Less is more"


Monday's are a good time to look at the last week and think about what you learned, taught, or felt. Monday's are a good day to start a mantra. Mantra's don't have to be a whole complicated sentence, something inspirational, or something wise; mantra's are simple. A good example of a mantra is "I am here.", or "I am pretty.", "I am healthy." "I am confident." "I have the power." Mantra's are a tool or device that you can use to remind yourself to be present in the moment, not get wrapped up in the business of everyone elses' drama, and to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground when things get too much to bear. That's exactly when you should pull out your mantra, like you're Optimus Prime and you need to speed off into the night to catch the bad Decepticon. Regardless of who you are, your religion, or what your profession is, and call it whatever you want but we all can use a mantra on a Monday.

I use mantra's a lot - and no, it's not because I practice a lot of yoga - because I have a Negative Nelly in my head and she's constantly screaming for attention, to create drama, to make something out of nothing. She's a Decepticon. Sometimes days are hard, expectations are too high, there is no balance, and that's when Negative Nelly come's out. She tells me to eat bad food, like chocolate, to behave like a snot nosed kid, to be arrogant and insolent. Yup, she's a force to be reckoned with and it takes a lot of work to stop her.

In the past couple of weeks I've been feeling pinched and pained by so many things, because I really want to do a great job. It's been difficult to design for a client when we don't speak the same language, trying to navigate the muddy waters of someone's ideas and implementing them, a project that went completely sideways, Japan, Libya, rain rain go away, and to have the sig-fig away from an extended period of time just permitted me to take the easy route and bottle it all up. Observing what was making the sleepless nights turn in to sleepless days was really hard to do, but I realized that there were just so many little things that seemed to be important and they just weren't. Less is more.

"Less is more" is a good mantra to have at anytime in your arsenal of design weaponry. It's a good way to look at a lot of things, such as:

  • Burning the midnight oil only to bomb in the presentation the next day. "Less is more" could have helped you stop when enough was just enough.
  • Overly decorative tile-work can overwhelm an already strong contrasting space. "Less is more" could have helped create the wow factor you're looking for.
  • Running that last 2 min. of the 45min run as fast as possible only to fall and hurt yourself. "Less is more" could have giving you the control you needed.
  • Ignore Harper's tirades on the stupid 'coalition' stance and think about how he is as a leader. "Less is more" may find you a swing vote, or not.

So, as you go into your work week ahead, observe about the things that you are working on - your A's, B's, and C's - and spend a little time thinking on how you can implement "Less is more" is you days to come. I've started by turning off the work emails on my iPhone, not responding after hours, and stopped working after hours. Am I further behind? No. Did I loose a client? No. Did the world come to an end? No. Am I tired? Yes. Tired of having, or thinking that I have, too much to do.

Did I really need that piece of cake?