Health & Well-being

If Want To Get More Done, Do Nothing But What Is Necessary

Macro Photography of Yellow Flowers during Sunset
Photo by Tim Eiden

Make your actions good and few.

You can get more done if you can make your actions good and few. Do not do many things at the same time. Simplify your life. Simplify your work. Do not start what you cannot finish. And do not start what you know you can’t do. When it comes to your work, always be honest with yourself.

As the great Marcus Aurelius once said, “Do nothing but what is necessary. … by this rule a man has the double pleasure of making his actions good and few into the bargain. For the greater part of what we say and do, being unnecessary, if this were but take away, we should have both more leisure and less disturbance. And therefore before a man sets forward, he should ask himself this question, “Am I not upon the verge of something unnecessary.”

If what you are doing is not contributing to your life, to your work, if it is not making you better than you were yesterday, then stop doing it. Because you are not going to get different results. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.” So if you want to be great, then you must simplify your things.