Subtraction has the power to bring transformative change by helping us focus on what drives value in our professional lives and what matters in our personal lives. But humans are terrible at subtraction. In fact, we add and add and neglect subtraction as an option.
It’s an essential and indelible skill that is rarely practiced.
The Sophia Project changes that turning subtraction from a neglected option to a first consideration. Our core program consists of a combination three six chapters, each makes visible unique, insight discovered, often invisible expectations and obligations that burden and drain individuals and teams. Three chapter focus in subtraction in our professional lives, three in personal.
These areas were discovered through in-depth interviews over 300 working women and men, representing a diverse range of backgrounds.
The Sophia Project (TSP) offers various option tailored to different needs including TSP for Teams, TSP for People Leaders, TSP for Leaders and programs specifically designed for Working Parents. While the core concept of intentional subtraction forms the foundation of each option, the context, tools and experiences are tailored to suit each stream.
The following are the areas of subtraction areas corresponding to each chapter in the Core Program:
Chapter 1: The Supposed To’s, @life
Supposed To’s @life are the demands we put on ourselves that create undue burden, often based on unattainable goals and fantastical standards externally set through social and cultural influences, family, media, etc. Here’s the opportunity to see and subtract those that weigh us down and constrain our ability to focus on what matters.
Chapter 2: The Invisibles, @life
We introduce the “wow inducing” concept of Cognitive Labor to make the volume of invisible and complexity of invisible work in life visible, enabling us to then intentionally subtract it.
Chapter 3: “Me” Time Villains, @life
The emphasis all around us to shove more in by increasing our efficiency. Improved efficiency can be good, but we complement it with an additional, more satisfying solution: embracing Time Well Spent. We focus on subtraction of “time villains” that don’t contribute to Time Well Spent and pause to consider where we want to invest that newfound time. We suggest “me” as an option!
Chapter 4: The Supposed To’s, @work
The Supposed To’s we take on at work drain energy and create development and time traps. These unwritten rules or expectations that we think we’re supposed to follow often distract us from more important things. Here we pause to illuminate these Supposed To’s @work, and make subtraction choices to reduce our load and focus on value-driving efforts.
Chapter 5: The Invisibles, @work
The Invisibles shine a light on our own behaviours, seeing the work that we continue to do, often because “we’ve always done it (and it contributed to our success),” “it’s easier to do it myself,” or we don’t trust others to do it. We examine what is really essential (for us or anyone) to do and what to subtract.
Chapter 6: From Harder to Smarter, @work
Working hard is unassailably important to enabling success in our career. But we challenge some myths that contribute to overwork and introduce ways to focus our energies to get more.
As the culminating exercise @work, we also take the opportunity to gain clarity over our individual Super Powers – our distinctive skills – and how these skills can be aligned with what drives success in our work environment, to maximize personal impact.
By embracing intentional subtraction in these areas, participants can experience meaningful growth and unlock their true potential.