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You will be tempted to do more. Don’t.

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The options are infinite. And people will never stop asking you to do things.

Opportunity will not stop knocking.

There’s not some distant day in the future when your inbox will stop filling up, the Tweets will stop coming in, and the notifications will no longer be glowing red.

Space will not create itself.

You have to create it.

You will be tempted to do more. Because there will always be more to do. And it will never be done. You will never be done.

The minute you check off the last item on the list, you’ll think of another thing you haven’t yet done. And then another. And then another.

I don’t tell you this to make you anxious (though you may be feeling that way as you read this).

I tell you this because I want to remind you of the truth.

The truth that the temptation of information and possibility and options will never end.

The only way to keep it from burying you is to build a little dam. Or a big dam.

You build the dam like this:

First, take a deep breath.

Then, decide what matters to you.

Then, put things in place so that less things come your way (like turning off notifications, putting your phone on Do Not Disturb, closing your door, and unsubscribing).

Less input + fewer decisions = more freedom. twitter-logo

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Lastly, you weigh everything that makes it over the dam it into your awareness against what matters to you.

If it fits with what matters to you and you get a full body yes, then you know what to do. If you get anything less than that, be ruthless.

Your attention is too precious to give to things that don’t really matter to you. twitter-logo

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You will be afraid that you’ll miss something if you don’t see every single opportunity that’s available to you.

And you absolutely will miss things. But you’ll miss out on way more of what matters to you if you’re constantly putting your limited attention on making sure you’re aware of all of the possibilities, whether they’re important to you or not.

I promise, when you heavily filter the offers and possibilities that come your way, you won’t miss what you missed out on. Because, first of all, you won’t ever know about most of it. And second of all, because your life will be so full of things that matter to you that you won’t really care about the things you know that you missed that didn’t really matter in the first place.

Get it?

Decide what matters.

Build a dam to keep out what doesn’t.

Do less of what doesn’t matter so you have more space for what does. twitter-logo

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OVER TO YOU:

What matters to you? What are you committed to carving out sacred space and attention for? What will you do less of in order to create more space for what matters? What practical things could you do to build your dam? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

What if you had the wisdom of a group of amazing entrepreneurial and change-making mothers to guide you in how to create space for what matters most this year?

Well, you do, because I compiled it for you! Mothers who run businesses and are working to change the world while growing families are some of the most effective, awe-inspiring people on the planet, in my opinion. I reached out to 30 of the women I admire most who fit this category for their answer to the question: “How do you create space for what matters most to you?” I compiled their wisdom in a guide for you (and me). It’s called Create Space for What Matters Most in 2017 and you can download it here. The guide features contributions from Danielle LaPorte, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Carrie-Anne Moss, and more. This is the kind of wisdom you’ll come back to as a touchstone for years to come. Grab your copy for free here.

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  • Suzana says:

    What if I am forced to do things that do not matter to me, like showing up for my job because I have a mortgage to pay and parents to support?
    How can I do less without negatively impacting my regular income?

    • Kate Northrup says:

      At work you can absolutely put your attention more on what is vital and less on what is not. And you can find ways to insert more of what matters to you in your day and also choose to see the aspects of your job that you do enjoy like someone you enjoy working with, someone who’s helped by what you do, etc. A lot of it is about shifting where you put your precious attention.

  • Suzana says:

    Hello,

    I have tried to download the Create Space guide, but the link which appears after completing the quiz seems to be broken…

    Please, can you check this?

    Thanks,
    Suzana

  • Stephanie says:

    I am creating space in the evening just for me. Ideally, I do a small yoga practice, meditate, write in my journal and read. However, if the time is short I just pick one or two with the journal being the mainstay.

  • Dawn says:

    Money Love Challenge started me in this direction of taking on less, focusing on what is important to me. Here’s a couple of tools I use to keep life simple: Tuesday night is my date night with my finances;
    I use the PAUSE button in my mind instead of responding immediately;
    I use the phrases Maybe, You may be right, Let Me think about it and get back to you… and
    I use Unrollme.com to collect all those incoming emails for review at midday…

    Thank you Kate & Mike xxoo

  • Steffanie says:

    Thank you, thank you for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • Beth says:

    Really looking forward to Do Less!!!! I really see how my people pleasing and meeting up with friends or maybe I should write acquaintances hinders me from starting my business and creative projects running in my head.

    Thank you and again can’t wait!!!

    peace & love

    Beth

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