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Effortless

Updated: Apr 12


Last month, we discussed our madness of believing we must suffer today to get better things tomorrow. I mentioned reading "Effortless" by Greg McKeown and want to share some ideas in the book that offer an alternative way to do things. Even using a small handful of them makes an impactful difference.


The book emphasizes finding joy in our activities as a key to living life effortlessly. It is a sequel to "Essentialism," a book about only doing what is most important to you and dropping everything else. When you only focus on essential tasks, you are more likely to find some way to enjoy them as you drop everything else. You also feel less overwhelmed.


If I could stop doing our accounting or wasting time renewing documents yearly, I would do so in a heartbeat! In the meantime, I spent a week listening to my favourite book while sitting in queues or driving towards sitting in queues. I reward myself while taking care of a rather unenjoyable, necessary task. Behavioural economists call it Temptation Bundling. The key is rewarding during the activity rather than before or after. It worked for queues, but I am still open to ideas for accounting. Anyone?


A man in the office working late and looking tired

Another key idea is that good or productive work differs from hard work. Society teaches us that we must work hard and probably long. Instead, try to find ways to make work as easy as possible by asking, "How can I make this task easy?" or "What would it look like if this task was easy?"

This is an excellent question for design as well.


Related to the above, the final concept I want to share is "slow is smooth, and smooth is fast". Decide on the minimum and maximum work or tasks done in a day. You try never to do less than the minimum, but critically, you never do more than the maximum. The minimum is the lowest quantity needed for noticeable progress, but it leaves lots of space for the unexpected. Set the maximum as what you can achieve before your quality declines or when you can no longer recover. For reference, research suggests high performers do three stretches of 90 minutes in the morning. And that's it.


I used to spend days trying to power through a project till I got a mini burnout, feeling so fed up with the topic that thinking of it made me cringe. Generally, it meant I procrastinated for long periods after the push.


person walking in an empty snow filled landscape in the antarctic

Greg gives the example of the race towards the South Pole between a Norwegian team and a British team. The British pushed hard - to exhaustion - on sunny days, then hid/rested in tents on bad/windy/blizzard days. The Norwegian team set a maximum of 15 miles daily, regardless of the weather. Bad weather days were harder, but they finished near their goal every day and had longer rests on good days. They NEVER exceeded 15 miles. Every day felt like progress, and the team had the energy to tackle the next day. The Norwegians won, and everyone survived. The British team were not so fortunate.


This book is going on my "read again" pile along with "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser. I highly recommend reading " Effortless " and would love your feedback if you do too.


Charl

air yoga



YouTube

We're happy to announce our sequences on YouTube. You can now carry our teachers in your pocket as you travel.



The quality of our videos is steadily improving, and we currently post a new video every Saturday.



The Academy

Our next Yoga Teacher Training starts on May 23rd. It is a hybrid YTT-200 course that blends online and in-person.

It is certified by Yoga Alliance International, so your certification is valid everywhere.


Three weeks before each course, we host a free "Meet the Teacher" event where you can meet the teachers and ask all your questions. The event also includes coffee/tea and probably some butter cookies.


You can listen to Anca talk about it by playing the video.



This month's Inside Flow

This month, we practice the " Beautiful things" flow with all the beautiful things that visit the studio.


We have completed three flows thus far and spend the first week of every month revisiting the previous flows. If you want a crash course to catch up, the first week will keep you busy! The last three weeks focus more on the new flow.


If you have not tried Inside Flow, we highly recommend it. It is part of all packages, including the trial package. It combines traditional asanas with unique asanas as you work towards a sequence paired with a specific song.



Eid and Ramadan schedule.

Firstly, we will be open during Eid and welcome you to practice between family visits. Feel free to wear any new funky yoga pants when you come, and share where you found them.


We plan to use the Ramadan schedule during Eid. Any changes in plan will be communicated by email.


After Ramadan, evening classes will return to their original times and start at 6 pm, with the last class beginning at 8 pm. We will miss the earlier start times but know that many bosses think long work is good work. We'll be here for you after your long hours.


Three years of air yoga


This month we are three yearses old and can't stop talking. Maybe that explains the long post today.

To celebrate our birthmonth, we will host a free event on the 14th.


On Sunday, April 14th, you can join us for an "Inside Flow Concert". We will provide some minor refreshments and go through all the flows we practised this year. The music will be loud, and you are encouraged to come practise some creative flows to it.



What are we reading

Today I'll share both books from Greg mentioned in the post, along with one of the books the teachers shared with me this month. Once I figure out how, I will start sharing links to the audiobooks as well.



Effortless

Greg McKeown

book cover for the places that scare you by pema chodron

Who is reading it: Charl finished it earlier in the month.

Why: I want to achieve more and worry less


"Effortless shows that achieving more doesn't have to be as hard as we make it out to be". The book is a follow-up on Essentialism and works through personal experience and a lot of research to find easier ways to do our most essential tasks. And not feel guilty if life is easier.



Essentialism

Greg McKeown

book cover for the places that scare you by pema chodron

Who is reading it: Charl. New to his reading list

Why: The book "Effortless" builds on ideas in this book.


The Essentialist lives to pursue “less but better.” They want to get the right things done as opposed to getting more things done.



The Richest Man in Babylon

George S. Calson

book cover for the places that scare you by pema chodron

Who is reading it: Anca - Audiobook

Why: I want to be smarter with my money

Teaches the magic of saving even little bits of money when your money attracts compound interest.



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