Whether you own a successful business, are just starting out and trying to figure how to navigate the seas of the business world, or are simply looking to take your professional career to the next level, increasing your productivity while working less is something that anyone can find extremely beneficial in life.
One of my favorite books of all time is the 4 Hour Work Week, written by Tim Ferris (someone I refer to throughout my posts often).
His book has really helped rewire my mindset both professionally and personally. It’s crazy to think of how things would’ve turned out (as well as how trivial my thinking was looking back at it), had I not come across this book and immediately implement his innovative concepts into my life.
A specific seed that Tim planted into my mind is the difference between being effective and being efficient.
A fair assumption amongst the masses is that working efficiently is key to success. That by doing tasks swiftly, you’re completing work that must be done.
The truth is, efficiency isn’t really optimal.
It’s possible that you can do (and have been doing) unimportant tasks efficiently.
While these tasks may be necessary to be completed, if they aren’t the most important tasks that must be done then you’re not using your time effectively.
F the BS: It’s time to work EFFECTIVELY, not EFFICIENTLY.
The Pareto Principle (sometimes called the 80/20 rule) is a concept that you may have heard of before. It states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
This means that 80% of your productivity comes from only 20% of your time put in (when you’re being effective), while 20% of your productivity comes from spending 80% of your time (when you may be working efficiently, but not effectively).
Think for a moment about all of the tasks that you may have to do, and instead of trying to go after all of them at once try to make it a new habit to consider the questions below first.
-By doing this specific task, am I being productive with my time or just being “active”?
-Is it possible to shorten my work time and limit the number of tasks that I do to only 1-2 super important tasks?
-By doing these 1 or 2 highly critical tasks, can I be satisfied with how my day went?
By being selective of what we do (which it’s ideal to get these done during the morning hours), we allow ourselves to work less while increasing our productivity and effectiveness.
Simply being active and busy is a form of laziness. For the other 80% of time that would be spent achieving 20% of productivity, learn to accept that you cannot and should not do it all.
Hire an employee, sub-contractor, virtual assistant, etc. Delegate these tedious tasks to someone else.
These less important tasks are distractions that can interrupt, prevent and limit you from ultimately accomplishing your goals (just like scrolling through your social media feed can be a waste of your personal down time, versus spending those hours being productive by reading books, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries to help better yourself personally and professionally).
Stop multitasking and trying to juggle between important and unimportant tasks. Get your shit together, and personally focus on ONLY what’s going to move the needle the most.
Learn to be EFFECTIVE with your time so that you can get to where you want to be sooner rather than later, or potentially never!
“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” ~ Peter Drucker