Do Less

By Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C

Change is hard (at least in my house). Daylight Savings time is the worst.  A few years back, it dawned on me that the entire experience of springing ahead (like that’s a positive thing) put the whole family into a tailspin.  Falling back was no better on us.  We didn’t really have the choice to opt out of the entire process, but we did have options: Accept it and roll with the punches, or adapt, change, and do what we could to improve the experience.

So we declared two new family holidays. Each year, the Monday post-springing ahead and falling back, we opt out. (I have another policy about opting out of lots of other things–email me if you’d like templated and tested language that works in 99.9 percent of situations.) We opt out. The kids get a free pass on school, I take the day off.  We sleep in and start to adjust.  We DoorDash whatever we all want.  We tread lightly, and hopefully, with a greater kindness for each other.  We do less that day and that week. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.

The idea of doing less seems almost heretical to our professional and personal mindsets. But hear me out: we all have limited time.  (To really dig in, I highly recommend Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman.  Yes, most of us only get about 4,000 weeks. It’s a shock to the system.)  That said, it is your choice to do in that limited time the things you really want to do.  Doing less creates white space–quality space, time, and resources to focus on and dedicate to what matters most to you, your family, and your work team.  Occasionally opting out actually allows you to opt in to the more important things.  And if you need to opt out of Daylight Savings too, I’ll be happy to write you a note!

Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, is IPMI’s vice president of program development.