To do MORE you must do LESS

Do you feel like you are expected to DO MORE with LESS? I catch myself feeling this way all the time. At work, with my family, around the community and in society?

Most people I work with feel this way. They explain to me that they have less time, limited energy, less people helping doing the work, more information and a faster pace!

“The Truth is we are DOING LESS with MORE

Think about it, we have a super computer in our pocket, we have access to almost any information we want 24/7. We have technology that can transport us to anywhere in the world at anytime, but it can sure feel like we are trying to do more with less. I believe we are at a crossroad, a crossroad where we can either become busier and busier or we can be become better and really DO MORE.

The way you can do this is by giving yourself some space, some periods of REST. It is time we stop thinking of REST as weakness and start using it as an edge. We can get by being busy, but we can only be our best when we get more REST.

In today’s workforce, whether you work for yourself or for an organization there is so much MORE to do. There is more information, there is more communication, there is more competition to fight. The one truth is there is never not any work. But what if I told you there is an opportunity for you do actually DO MORE. You may be thinking, I can’t possibly do more…I am not talking about doing more quantity, I am talking quality.




We live in a world that judge’s productivity and success on volume. This is what has created the WORKFLOW CIRCLE OF DEATH. We value time over energy, we value hours over impact and we value entertainment over boredom. We should value energy over time, we should value impact over hours and we have to realize boredom doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

WORKFLOW CIRCLE of DEATH: (Email, Phone, Phone, Internet, Email, Social Media, Email)

Thinking back to my k-12 years, I had wonderful teachers and I was far from a perfect angel student. But they made a common mistake that I see over and over in todays workplace. They never let me REST, zone out or day-dream. They wanted me to focus, they wanted me to pay attention and if for the occasional couple seconds I did nothing, that was being lazy. I never had peak performance, because I never was allowed to pause and rest.


I was getting a massage at 9:00am on a random Wednesday last month and felt guilty. Guilty that my wife wasn’t getting one, guilty for my team that I wasn’t at work, guilty about all the other stuff I could be getting done, but I needed one. I had spent 6 of the last 7 days speaking and traveling, I needed some R&R. I needed some REST so I could give my best. Accepting this is as a necessity will help you prioritize your REST!

If you study the top musicians, physicians and athletes. They all understand the power of REST for peak performance. This graph below shows the power of MICRO-BREAKS. The beige line is how we are working. (Meeting to meeting, email after email, maybe a lunch break and by the time you go home they have nothing left to give.) The Red line is using micro-breaks throughout the day to DO MORE (QUALITY). Micro-Breaks are periods of rest where you give your mind and body a break. The brain can only work at a peak level for 90 minutes before it needs a break. These breaks are true breaks-no phone, email, text, social media. Try giving yourself 3-4 micro-breaks throughout the day and watch what happens during and after work!


How to start DOING MORE by doing LESS:

  1. REST– micro-breaks, belly breathing, 1/2 day vacations, day at the spa, sleep 8hrs, meditation and laying on a foam roller.
  2. BE QUIET– think about your last 7 days, have you had a period of 30 minutes where you didn’t say anything, watch anything, read anything and just had complete silence? Like actually listening to the leaves blow in the wind or watch a bird fly from tree to tree. Try to go 30 minutes of being quiet and just daydream. I will guess you haven’t in a long time, so give it a shot. Maybe you will uncover some answers that will allow you to do MORE.

Cal Newport wrote in his book Digital Minimalism:

“we sacrifice long-term meaning for short term satisfaction.”

Stop sacrificing the long term by just being busy. It is easy to want to be busy, get more done, spend more time, but this doesn’t mean we are DO MORE (Quality) The way we actually DO MORE is by slowing down, not being in such a hurry and thinking about what the next project should be? Dreaming of what will make the biggest impact!

I challenge you, I challenge your company, give yourself more space, allow yourself some more deliberate REST and watch what you can create. My best ideas happen when my mind is clear. Allowing yourself to REST allows you to create space in your life and in your mind to DO MORE.

“To do MORE you must do LESS”

Matt Johnson is the Co-Author of the book, CAPACITY, and the President of On Target Living, the world’s leading authority on Human Capacity Training. Matt is a sought after Keynote Speaker specializing in unlocking high performance, driving engagement, and empowering leaders by radically expanding their human capacity. 

The Well Blog comes from a universal belief in the power of words, and their proven ability to help change lives and to lead, work and live better.

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