How to Live a Fulfilling Life with Minimal Efforts?

What would you feel like if you were able to leave office with no tasks pending? You go home in time, have evening dinner with your family in a spirited atmosphere creating memorable moments.

In this super-connected world with at least 3 major communication mediums vying for your attention, this looks like a wishlist. The Yogic way of living in the present will help you fulfill it.

‘Yoga Sutras of Patanjali’ is among the most sophisticated treatises ever on the workings of human mind. Therefore, I have referred to it as the advanced engineering of human psyche in my previous posts.

The book had laid out a simple roadmap to achieve equanimity and maintain sangfroid in this complicated and wired world. The wired world discussed by Patanjali consisted of connected thoughts of people over White_spaces_devices that the modern world science is just unravelling.

SAMYAM SUTRA

“क्षणतत्क्रमयोः संयमाद्विवेकजं ज्ञानम्॥५२॥ Kṣaṇatatkramayoḥ saṁyamādvivekajaṁ jñānam||52||

Through Saṁyama on moment and its sequence or succession — i.e. krama — , a knowledge which arises from discernment or discrimination is acquired.”

Even in such a wired world of connected thoughts, using the principles of Yoga and “detached attachment”, people were able to do a lot with ‘minimal effort’ by just being in the present and following focused working. Humans cannot multitask and this has been clearly established by the modern science.

This PDF from a Stanford study shows the capacity of the normal person to work on a weekly basis. The declining productivity per person has been studied and confirmed. As you increase the hours per week, you add up less output in proportion to the additional time spent.

The Principle of Least Effort

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” -William Penn

The Principle of Least Effort actively regulates the behavior of every individual. So it is natural for you to seek new ways of doing things that involve minimal effort. No wonder all successful world leaders are able to get more done by doing less.

Work life balance is important. It helps to regularly recoup the creativity and energy levels. Besides, Success means not just wealth but also having the freedom to live the life you love.

I have handpicked and shared below some tips for the readers from my own weekends:

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः॥२॥ Yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ||2||

Yoga is the suppression of the modifications of mind||2||

Disconnect:

Unplug yourself from work once you leave the office. If you strain on making yourself available 24/7 at work, it is going to bind you up to an endless series of stressors. These will prevent you from recharging, thus reducing your productivity even more. You can get a lot of things done with minimum effort only through splitting your work and non-work life. This way you will also have time for other interests and adventures close to your heart.

Reflect:

Life is short so be mindful of what you value and what your time is worth. You work to improve your life and not other way around. Work that takes away your liveliness is certainly not worth pursuing. Determine priorities and eliminate time wasters that distract you from your purpose. Don’t postpone your dreams until the time you retire. Do not wait to live your life until you have earned xxx amount of money.

Follow the 80–20 Rule:

Also called Pareto Principle, the rule tells us that 80% of the outcome is brought about by 20% of efforts. This means you should delegate 80% of your tasks and instead be productive on those 20 %, where you add value.

Don’t clutter your checklist with unnecessary tasks that yield no real results. Ideally, pass on work to colleagues/subordinates who have the necessary skills and are motivated to get the job done right to achieve the required outcome.

“मैत्र्यादिषु बलानि॥२३॥ Maitryādiṣu balāni||23||

Through Saṁyama on friendship and so on, different kinds of strengths are acquired||23||”

Since your life is not just about being productive but also about experiencing a healthy family life that complements your productive efforts:

Maximize Family Time:

You are not really living if you have to wait for holidays to connect with family. Never schedule any outside activity when it’s your all important family time. Successful people begin early in the morning and make it home for dinner everyday. After all, it is easier to build a business or find work than a new family or relationship. Your dear ones are those people you are fortunate enough to love for a short period of time.

Stay Healthy and Happy:

An aware mind and a healthy body is one characteristic all successful and productive people have in common. You can maximize output with least effort through knowing your threshold and then planning the schedule appropriately. Your productivity is highest and the attrition is least when you have a balanced mental and physical health.

Bringing It All Together

How do you make your weekends great? Please share your thoughts in the comments as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.