5 Reasons to Work Less (and Get More Done)

Why is it we think the solution to getting something done is to throw more time at it? You know what I mean. Just 5 more minutes. If I just keep pressing through I will actually get it done.

Five more minutes turns into 2 hours, and we are no closer to finishing than we were before. Then, of course, we usually think there is something wrong with us. What’s wrong with us that we can’t get through this? And we can’t even think straight we are so tired!

I have had this conversation with every single client this week. Every. Single. One. Which leads me to believe that there is an epidemic of busy-ness going on. Frankly, I’d rather see BUSINESS happening.

So here goes. Since you seem to need someone to give you permission, here are 5 reasons to work less:

You are not a machine

Machines are designed (if they are well designed) to work continuously once they are turned on, until they are turned off. Humans are not designed that way! We work best when we work in pulses – periods of focus and concentration, followed by periods of rest and renewal. Even the best of us – those at the top of their game – can only work at peak intensity for about 90 minutes before needing a break. Plan out your day to include brief breaks at least every 90 minutes.

You get your best ideas when you are relaxed

It is only when you stop concentrating / focusing intently that your brain begins to make all kinds of connections. Those connections are what produce those lovely sparks of insight. That’s why so many of us get genius ideas in the shower, or while taking a walk, or doing something other than sitting at our desk trying to force the idea!

You can focus on your unique area of genius

When you stop trying to do everything (and everyone else’s job) you can focus on what you do best. That is also usually what gives you the most satisfaction, and what produces the most significant results for your business. Imagine: how much extra time you could have if you only focused on your job?

You will be more productive

When you allow yourself to focus on just one thing at a time, for a short period of time, you will get more done. Multi-tasking only gives the illusion that you are getting more done. Study after study has demonstrated that it actually takes longer to finish tasks when you are multi-tasking than if you just did one thing and then the other.

You will make more money

For most of us, being more productive will mean more revenue for our business and more money for us. Who doesn’t like that idea?

Now, when are you taking your first little break?

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

What do you think you can’t do?

At a workshop last week, a participant challenged something I said with “Yes, but, with budget cuts the work still has to get done! How on earth am I supposed to get it all done?” And, there was a lot of agreement in the room for what he was saying. (Full disclosure – this was at one of my favorite parts of the exercise – where I expect people to begin challenging my assertions!)

He was challenging an assertion I had made that he (and everyone else in the room) had total control over where he put his time and effort. And, that the best place to put that time and effort was into the fulfillment of his goals (whatever they may be).

Yes, but – this paperwork has to be done. Yes, but – this other thing has to be done. Yes, but – how am I supposed to get all of this done? Yes, but – I have a family, another job, a mother-in-law, groceries to buy, a house to clean, bills to pay, filing to do, calls to make, appointments to keep…

You get the picture?

Then, another person said “maybe we need to start spelling TIME as TEAM!”

Brilliant! Exactly!

Why on earth would you want to do it all yourself?

And don’t tell me you can’t afford to build a team! There are resources you can’t even see when you are thinking that way.

Start asking yourself “How can I …?” and see what happens…

Does your schedule work?

Some comments I have been hearing recently are “I never get through my list” or “there aren’t enough hours in the day” or “if I only had more time.”

There always seems to be far too much to do – when looked at in relation to the hours in the day. And when viewed that way – there really IS far more than can be done in that amount of time – usually. There is everything you need to get done at work, plus everything you are responsible for at home, what needs to happen with the kids, and with this committee and that organization, and let’s not forget the things we should be doing for ourselves (but we do tend to forget those).

There is a reason why there are personal conceirge services starting up every week! These services are made up of people who will do anything from running your errands, to preparing meals, to handling your paperwork. And there are thousands of virtual assistants out there to assist you with paperwork, research, travel planning, scheduling – almost anything you can think of.

What are the benefits of having someone else take over some of your to do’s? You get more hours in the day to use for what is imporant to you.

If your schedule is crammed full you might consider looking at what you could give away…