Do Less, Be More is a student initiative created by the Dean's Advisory Council. Meant to help students and faculty alike first recognize the drawbacks of today's incredibly busy, not-a-minute-free lifestyle, and then begin to make small, simple adjustment that will start to make a difference.
This initiative is based on the premise that small changes can make a big difference.
Here are some of the areas identified by the DAC that have a detrimental impact on a healthy, balanced life:
Busy-ness. Lawrence is an amazing place that encourages students to explore their dreams and follow their passions. The problem is that it is easy to do too much at the same time. While at Lawrence should you take physics, German, orchestra, gender studies, entrepreneurship, comparative religions,. run track, and join 6 clubs? YES! Just not all in the same term. You are here for 4 years. Spread out your explorations. Do fewer things and engage with them more deeply. If you want to explore this further, check out Dean Pertl's blog on the topic of busyness.
Nourishment. Because students are so busy and because it takes a whopping 5 minutes to walk to the campus center to eat, many Con students choose to skip meals. When we get too busy, too stressed out, our brain doesn't always make the best decisions. Spending an extra 30 minutes in a practice room instead of taking a break to nourish our bodies and our minds seems perfectly logical, even necessary. WRONG! Take the time to disengage from work and practice and engage in food, conversation, and fun.
Reflection. To make the most of a Lawrence education, or even life in general, we need time to reflect upon all the new things we are learning about. Going from one thing to another from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed is a recipe for surface learning and understanding. You need gaps in your schedule to let your mind wander, make connections, ponder all of the ideas of the day. Try making 10 minutes of "ponder time" each day. Let your mind have a recess. Let it out to play!
Too Swamped for You. You've been working all day doing homework, reading books for tomorrow's classes, practicing for the next lesson, and you've reached a point where you feel like you have caught up for the day. You go to take a break on the Con couches and guilt sets in. You can hear the sound of practicing drifting down the halls, and you think "I don't have time to sit around! I need to get back in the practice room and get to work!" The fact is that there is always going to be an endless amount of practicing you can do, reading you can do, studying you can do. Now is the time to value you. Actually put time in your schedule just for you. No work allowed. Do whatever you want. "You Time" each day will make you much more productive at everything else you do.
Techno-overload. When is the last time you were waiting in line, waiting for a class, or waiting for a friend when you didn't look at your cell phone? Our gadgets ensure that we are fill every gap of our day bombarding our brain with more and more information. What if we took those same moments and used them as micro-breaks? What if we used them to truly engage with out surroundings? What if we opened our ears and listened deeply? Opened our eyes and noticed the detail of our surroundings? Try stashing your phone and opening your ears the next time you walk across campus. You will be amazed at what you hear and you will be astonished at the experiences your phone insulates you from.