Doing Less Can Make You More Productive

Doing Less Can Make You More ProductiveWhen I heard this quote from planning and productivity mentor Josephine Brooks, it stopped me in my tracks. Doing less could make me more productive? Everything in me rebelled against this idea – surely being busy all the time and accomplishing more makes me productive?

Choose One Thing

Some people believe that their long to-do lists are badges of honour but when I stopped being busy for a minute and thought about it, I realised that my never-ending to-do list actually just left me feeling stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted.

I decided to try this “doing less” thing in my house which needed some serious attention after a very busy term. I would have liked to do a thorough clean and tidy, but time did not allow it so I chose to do one thing in each room that would really make a big impact.

And it worked! The house was not perfect at the end but it was so much better and I felt really good! Yes, I felt productive, probably more so than if I had tried (and failed!) to do all the house chores on my list.

I have put together a few suggestions for some rooms in the house if you want to give this a try in your own home. Remember, just do one thing in each room, choosing the thing that will make the biggest impact for you. You will feel satisfied, happy and inspired!


  • Clear surfaces of clutter and unnecessary items
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Put fresh linen on your bed
  • Wash those cushion covers
  • Place a scented candle on your dressing table to light whenever you spend time in there
  • Fill a vase with flowers or branches from your garden to place in your room
  • Put a foot balm or hand cream beside your bed to use at night before you go to sleep
  • Look through your cupboard and choose 3 items of clothing you no longer love, wear or fit to donate to charity
  • Place a soy melt in each drawer to scent your clothes


  • Clear surfaces of clutter and unnecessary items
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Wash blankets or cushion covers
  • Light a Metro scented candle to fill the room with beautiful fragrance
  • Recycle any old newspapers and magazines that are lying around and tidy any piles of books
  • Clear the coffee table of clutter and place a vase of flowers on it


  • Clear the countertops of unnecessary clutter and wipe them down well
  • Place a hand lotion at the kitchen sink to use after washing dishes
  • Have a QUICK clear out of the fridge – discard any items that are no longer fresh or passed their use-by-date and wipe any obvious spills
  • Pick ONE drawer or cupboard and tidy it


  • Put away any shoes, jackets and bags lying around
  • Place a reed diffuser on your entrance table to create an inviting fragrance when you walk in the door
  • Tidy out the key/catch-all bowl 
  • Finally, take that pile of “stuff” that you have been looking at to the garage/car/shed
  • Shake out your doormat or give it a good vacuum

The Most Important Things

These are just some suggestions to inspire you. I hope you will feel encouraged to do less and focus on the things that can make the biggest impact in your life, leaving more time for the people and activities that fill you with the most joy.

Click here to order any of the Little Olive Tree items mentioned in our lists above and we will get them in the post to you straight away! We love being able to help you make your life simpler and happier.

Leave a Comment