Lifting - programs like Starting Strength and Wendler's 5/3/1 have become very popular and there is a reason for their popularity. Simplicity. It's not 12 exercises per day with unique and weird and wonderful combinations. Simply they focus on Squat, bench, deadlift and overhead press. Very simple. My favourite is Wendler's triumvirate 5/3/1 protocol- 3 movements per workout. Eg Squat, stiff legged deads and lunges as an example or bench, DB incline press and Dips.The number of exercises and the simplicity of those selected are where the less is more really takes on the value. When it comes to less the one caveat where this doesn't apply in lifting is actual weight and volume. One fact of lifting is that hypertrophy is improved with improved volume (provided you also get the commensurate required rest and recovery. Similarly adding weight to the bar, not less is something you should be seeking to do at every reasonable opportunity. Taking into consideration volume and intensity (% of 1RM) as something you should periodize and continually look to improve is critical. What isn't critical is this notion that you need to incorporate every weird and wonderful exercise there is out there. If you stick to the simple "less is more" type programs and begin to apply the concept to time you really start to understand the power of less is more. For that hour you in the gym you only focus on lifting. Don't try and do your emails or update your twitter account on the phone. for that hour you focus on those 3 lifts. Each week you go in you look at simply add 2.5kg or 5kg to each lift. You don't start adding things and cluttering over the course of weeks. Remember less is more. complete the program and only the program. Ok, now think in regards to months.What if you continued following this less is more template for 6 months. adding 2.5kg to 5kg every 4 week cycle could mean simply that for your squat you have started repping for 5 reps anywhere from 15-30kg (2.5kg x 6 = 15kg to 5kg x 6 = 30kg) more than you were 6 months previously. Simply then if you extrapolate to the full year you could be looking at as much as 60kg improvement on the squat as an example. Now of course if it was this simple most people would be walking around jacked and strong. Of course issues can surface, injuries, illness, business travel etc, these things can at times lead to barriers to maintaining that sort of growth in your numbers. That's life. The secret is that when one of these issues arises you don't start adding more.... in fact you keep to what you are doing, less is more, stay the course and work hard.
Business - biggest mistake I see is people trying to do 300 things at once ....Focus is another way of thinking of less is more. Particularly in business, if you try and multi task you might think you are achieving more in less time. Fact is this is a myth and you are fooling yourself.Every time you have 3 different computer screens on the go, that report you are to read in your lap and you are having a conversation with an employee at the same time, you are doing yourself a disservice and the people around you.This concept is simple. Complete a task, move to the next one. I like Leo Babuta's concept here which is at the start of the day have your 3 "must do's" and start working on those before you do anything else. When you apply the above principles around time frames as well, think of what you can accomplish if you knock off 3 critical things each day. In one work week that is 15 items. in a month you are looking at >60 items.....a year your looking in the vicinity of 800 items. Again sounds simple I know. Truth is some items may take you weeks or months to complete, however I assure you they will be completed to a high level of quality and the satisfaction of your colleagues, bosses and customers if you break those big ticket items down and each day you chip away at the "3 must do's" that help you take the step to completion.
Life - Final application for "less is more" is your life. the insatiable appetite people have to continually seek more and more material things is futile. Again less is more. You don't need 5 pairs of jeans. You don't need that 34th T shirt in your drawer. Too many material items only clutter your life. This same concept applies to every social media application out there. Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Pintrest the list is endless and if you are burning hours each day mindlessly looking at the latest post from some dude you don't even know it is time you could have better spent getting your "3 must do's" completed. No one is saying you have to be a monk or some recluse. However I can assure you if you reduce the wasted time on these social applications, learn to focus when at work and you lift each week with an eye to less fluff but more heavy, intense lifting, over the course of a year you will be amazed at what you have achieved.
Everyday, when you wake up, ask yourself...."what is critical for me to be a strength machine and a success in business?" and then proceed to obsessively focus only on the things that will help you achieve this and wipe out all the fluff and clutter that surrounds you. Only then will you truly see the power of focus and the concept of less is more.
Deep and Meaningful Lifting......Get to it!