I’m often asked how to get started with subtraction. So here’s my Letterman-style top ten list:

10. Throw out or donate to charity unused, useless, or obsolete items in your possession.

9.   Watch Graham Hill on “Less Stuff, More Happiness,” from TED 2011 in Long Beach, California.

8.    Burn a Stupid Rule. So many of our rules are unnecessary. In fact, they’re stupid. Here’s your challenge: First, list all the stupid rules that exist in your organization—your business, your softball team, your community, your family. Stupid has several flavors: excessive, confusing, wasteful, unnatural, hazardous, hard to use, ugly, Now, burn it. Banish it forever.

7.    Create a “stop-doing” list to accompany your to-do lists, in the following way: give careful and thorough thought to prioritizing your various goals and projects and tasks, then eliminate the bottom 20 percent of the list . . . ​forever.

6.   Ask and answer: What would my customers love for me to eliminate or reduce or stop adding?

5.   Ask and answer: What is it that my competition would struggle with if I were to cease?

4.   Ask and answer: What would those who matter most love for me to stop doing?

3.   Learn to “pulse” your work: take a short 10-minute break every 90 minutes–change your space, clear your head.

2.   Find a “Zen” place–somewhere that allows you to quiet your mind. Make a promise to go there whenever the noise and stress of our manic world gets to you.

1. Download the free companion playbook, entitled BOX OF LESS. Simply click HERE to download the pdf. Enjoy the exercises and extra resources, and have fun on the way to less!