Saturday Share with ACHUCKAllen
Most Saturday’s I enjoy sharing another author’s work. I read and consume a massive amount of data. I truly believe that when you stop learning, you surrender your right to lead! Here is this Saturday’s Share from Leon Cho, the founder of LifeHack.
Today, I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to show you how working less can often lead to achieving more.
Sound too good to be true? I used to think so.
Back in the days when I was a fledgling entrepreneur I worked all the hours under the sun – and often many hours under the moon, too!
I bought into the often-preached theory that success only comes from hard, relentless work. And as a result, I put virtually all of my time, energy and efforts into my work.
However, it wasn’t long before I discovered a major problem…
Despite being young and healthy, I began to feel the effects of burnout. To be honest, I didn’t notice this at first, as it crept up on me like a wild cat stalking its prey.
However, years of working hard – eventually hit me hard!
My strength, my positivity, and even my creative juices were depleted.
It was during this period of time that I reassessed how I was working and why it was proving to be unsustainable. I spent weeks researching the issue, and what I discovered was startling to me.
Namely, working too much kills productivity and often leads to less getting done!
This information was like dynamite to me. I instantly realized that I had been trying too hard to reach my goals and achieve success, when I should have been taking a more balanced and smarter approach.
If you suffer from similar problems as I once did, then here are two things I recommend you adopt immediately to begin moving to the ‘work less get more done’ model:
1. Set time limits on your tasks
Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? You may not recognize the name, but I’m sure you’ll recognize its description: ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’.
Strangely enough, most people have heard about this, but seldom act upon the information!
Trust me, if you want to get work done quicker – make sure you always set deadlines for your tasks. Without deadlines, it’s just too easy to lose your focus and drift into procrastination.
Let’s take a look at a quick example:
Your boss has asked you to create three PowerPoint presentations that they’ll use in upcoming sales events. However, they haven’t told you when they need the presentations to be completed.
Without a deadline, you immediately file the work away as non-urgent. But worse than that – you actually forget about doing it!
A week later, your boss asks you if the presentations are ready. Your face gives you away!
Clearly, if your boss (or even yourself) had originally set a deadline for the presentations, you would have found the necessary time and effort to get the work done.
2. Prioritize tasks in order of importance
Another technique I strongly recommend to you is sorting your tasks into order of priority before working on them.
Adopting this method will see your productivity levels skyrocket!
Here’s how it works…
Imagine you’ve just arrived at the office on Monday morning. You switch on your computer, start going through your emails, and then begin working on tasks from last week that you had failed to complete.
After spending most of the morning on the above, you eventually start to work your way through your daily and ad-hoc tasks, choosing to pick out the easy ones first – as you’re still suffering from ‘Monday blues’!
Now, do you think that working in the above way is what super-efficient workers do?
Of course not!
Super-efficient workers have learned a little-known fact, namely, it pays to work on essential tasks first.
For instance, in the example above, they’d have taken 10 minutes or so in the morning to look at the tasks they needed to complete. And by just spending a few minutes in this way, they’d be able to quickly sort the tasks into essential and non-essential categories.
Finally, they would begin to work through the tasks, starting with the high-priority items first. By doing this, they’d have direction and focus, and would be able to complete the essential tasks on (or ahead of) time.
Try this technique, and I guarantee that you’ll get more done. Colleagues will wonder how you are achieving so much – and in so little time!
Thanks for a great read, Leon!