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Doing Less to Achieve More

By Stacie Chadwick

Recently, on my way to meet a friend, I found myself racing down I-25 with curlers in my hair, a mascara wand in my non-dominant hand making questionable contact with my lashes, and the other on the steering wheel making equally questionable contact with the lane lines. When I showed up, several minutes late, I found her on a second cup of coffee. Of course, she was early. And I was behind schedule. I was mortified because normally, that’s not who I am.

Whether you have a full-time job, are a stay-at-home parent, or manage to do a little or a lot of both, we all share common denominators. Deadlines, timelines, appointments, pick-ups, and drop-offs. No matter where you are or what you do, the never-ending and always growing “to do” list is universal. I have one a mile long, and the satisfaction of crossing an item off is often eclipsed by the 10 things that seem to take its place.

I don’t know whether it’s genealogy, technology, or some achievement-inspired combination of the two, but I can’t stop trying to do all the things that need to be done.

And so, how do I attempt to get ahead? I multitask. I answer emails while on a zoom call. I write notes in front of the TV. I voice text with Siri (who clearly hates me because she always gets my name, among other things, wrong) while barreling down the road – chasing seconds, counting minutes, all while trying to get it all done. And done well.

The reality is, the more I try to do, the less I accomplish, and my attempt to “do it all” ultimately sends the message to people who matter that my time is more important than theirs. Like my friend, who, thankfully, was gracious and kind when I arrived late, feeling badly.

To resolve this addiction to always doing more, I’m now starting each action of my day with the person on the other end of it in mind. When I take this first easy step, each one that follows lands the right way. And now, as an added bonus to everyone who lives on my street, I shower and get ready long before walking out the door so that I don’t scare the neighbors with my Velcro curlers and raccoon-inspired eyes.

To read more from Stacie, check out her blog at





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