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3 Steps to Doing Less to Achieve More

Three Steps to Doing Less to Achieve More

Nobody wants to work harder.

The one reason we shy away from setting big goals is the fear of becoming overwhelmed by the amount of work our minds associate with achieving them.

Yet so much of the “work” we do is completely unnecessary. We get caught up in being busy, but not necessarily productive.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to work better, not harder. Here’s what I’ve learned.

We all have limits to our time and our energy. Think of your day like a big pot that you fill to the brim.

The thought of putting more into it creates a picture of it boiling over.

The only way you can achieve more is to manage what goes into the pot and to control the temperature at which you boil over.

Here are three steps to doing less to achieve more.

Step One – Say no as often as you possibly can. Unless something can be directly tied to your goals, say no. Create the “stop doing” list.

  • Find at least one thing that is “dangling” or leftover from past expectations and stop doing it.

Step Two – Say no, not now. A common form of overwhelm is feeling like you have too much on your plate. The culprit is the never-ending to-do list!

  • Take 15 minutes to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Squeeze every drop of what is taking space in your head.

  • Take out a fresh piece of paper and transfer the three most important items on the list!

  • Complete those three things on the list then celebrate! That’s a HUGE accomplishment!

  • Throw away the long list! Don’t keep the long unfinished to-do list as it will only serve to discourage you. Instead, make a fresh list tomorrow. Eventually, your lists will get shorter, and far more compelling.

Stop making never-ending to-do lists.

Instead, make a high-impact Do List.

Step Three – Put the timer on the clock and dive in with friends!

When my son was struggling to get his homework done his math tutor gave me the tip of putting the timer on the stove. It made a huge difference. Knowing that he would get a break after 25 minutes was the incentive he needed to dive into work he was avoiding. The all the ice cream you can eat breaks didn't hurt either!

Shorter time limits create the important elements of both

urgency and rest.

In the popular Pomodoro technique, groups of people work “together alone” for ninety minutes. Every 25 minutes the facilitator prompts taking a 5-minute break.

What’s fascinating about this technique is that it helps you get started on things you might be putting off, as well as get them done faster. Check out this tip from

I meet every Monday with a group of fabulous entrepreneurs. We crunch through important projects. Everyone is working on something different, but we all get far more done than we would have on our own.

Well, that's it for me, I'm off for a walk or a bowl of ice cream - whichever comes first!

PS Coming Soon!! A Masterclass for Leaders! Join me as I share my best tips for engaging your team. Email me and I will send you the link! Please put Masterclass in the subject line.

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