Take a look at the Lego structure pictured above. If someone were to ask you to "Improve this project so that it can hold a brick above the storm trooper's head without collapsing,"- how would you go about it?
If you are like the majority of participants who were asked in a study to do exactly that, your first inclination was likely to add more Legos to prop up the roof as it stands, not to take away the one block that is destabilizing the roof.1
Enter Leidy Klotz, author of the book Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less. Klotz asserts that when faced with the opportunity to improve upon something, whether it be engineering physical spaces or even designing our lives, our default setting is to add. We systematically overlook subtraction as an option, even when it could be the most efficient pathway to an even better outcome.2
"Subtraction is the act of getting to less, but it is not the same as doing less," says Klotz. He flips the whole notion of piling on to your To-Do list to feel productive and instead suggests creating a "Stop-Doing" list to make space in your life for things that align with your values and where you want to be in life.
Counter to the way our "wired to acquire" society works, Klotz writes "Less may be the key to more good, for more people, for more time." Since we here at GTS Financial are always interested in ways to do more good, for more people, for more time, we thought we'd share this video about the Science of Less:
Sources and Footnotes:
1. Weforum.org, April 21, 2021
2. BehavioralScientist.org, April 12, 2021