When Less is Better

Editing the dross out of your life.

Karen Banes


Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

In my quest to do less, but better, I’ve had to look long and hard at how I’m living my life. You’ll have to do the same, if you have the same aim. Only you know the areas in your life where you’re taking on too much, over-committing, over-stretching, and burning out. Only you know how much dross there is in your life, and how your life might need to change to get rid of it.

Dross /drɒs/


Something regarded as worthless; rubbish.

Only you can decide what you need to do less of, in order to do everything else better. To give an example though, I’ll share my own goals in my ongoing (and inconsistent) quest to do less, but better:

As a writer, here’s what I’m aiming for:

  • Less writing produced, but better quality
  • Fewer freelance clients, but higher paying ones
  • Less time spent working, but better work produced
  • Less generalising, but better — and more targeted — specialising
  • Fewer words, that better express what I really want to say

That last one is key for a writer. Sometimes we need to write a long article, essay, or book to express our ideas, but we should never forget that more words don’t tend to equal more impact. The Gettysburg address is 272 words long. The Lord’s Prayer is only 66. Some of the most impactful song lyrics are just one or two lines. And some of the most important phrases you’ll ever say or hear are just two or three words:

I love you.

I do.

It’s a boy.

I’m leaving.

It’s over.

He’s gone.

As a writer, saying less, and saying it better, is a constant challenge. In life in general, there are some other things I’m aiming for:

  • Less busyness, better productivity
  • Less waste, better resourcefulness
  • Less activity, better vision
  • Fewer daily tasks, done better
  • Fewer friends, stronger bonds



Karen Banes

Freelance writer sharing thoughts on life, society, creativity, and productivity. https://karenbanes.com