Why The Secret to Success Isn’t Doing More – It’s Doing Less
We live in times where hustle is praised more than it should be. I constantly hear entrepreneurs bragging about how busy they are and I’m not gonna lie- for the first years of running a business, I was obsessed by letting everyone know about how hard I’m working. However, through my experience in running several businesses online, I’ve come to realize that success does not come from working 24/7. It comes from making the right decisions at the right time. Let’s talk about this.
Let me be honest with you here for a moment, I have to admit that I still work more than 40 hours a day & I still haven’t found the power within myself to try the popular 4-hour-week approach. Yet I’m constantly trying to find better ways to optimize my work. I noticed that the fewer hours I work, the more I’m actually able to accomplish during the week.
We’ve been told that productivity is all about our time management, when in fact it really is about finding better ways to manage our energy.
I’m typing this on my flight back from Italy where I’ve spent the most relaxing 5 days. During the mornings of my holiday, I still got to open my laptop & discuss the tasks needed to be completed with my co-workers, reply to my clients & I even managed to accomplish some new goals. Put together, I don’t think I’ve spent more than an hour working each day tho.
The truth is that when I have to do this right here and right now, I’m able to complete my tasks way quicker yet with the same passion as I would when working 12 hour days.
You still need more proof? Here is why I think that the secret to success is not doing more, it’s actually doing less…
You Need To Rest In Order to Perform Your Best
Have you ever felt stuck in doing one task and as soon as you take a break you suddenly come to a solution? This, my friend, is the power of rest.
Did you know that many extremely successful people actually allowed themselves to take breaks during the day for sleep? Leonardo Da Vinci, Tom Edison & John F. Kenedy are all famous for their afternoon naps. They all made a significant mark in history, so I bet they knew what they were doing, huh?
If it helped them, why do we all feel like we need to drag ourselves through endless hours of work in order to feel like we’re being productive?
The truth is, sleep deprivation actually makes you work slower, according to neuroscientist J. Duffy:
Recognising the important role that sufficient sleep quality and quantity play in health, safety, and performance could not only improve worker productivity but also worker health and safety.
“Deciding What Not To Do Is As Important As Deciding What To Do”
I’m titling this paragraph by the famous quote of Steve Jobs because this guy had a lot to teach us about productivity and optimization.
After returning to Apple in 1997, Jobs offered to reduce the number of products offered within the company’s range by 70%. Apple was made to produce only four products: one desktop and one portable device aimed at both consumers and professionals. The main task here was to focus on building four great products only, all other products had to be canceled.
This decision raised a lot of questions but as we can see now – simplifying Apple’s range of focus actually saved the company and turned it into the phenomenon we all admire until today.
I’m sharing this because I truly believe in finding what you do best. Focussing on the particular tasks instead of trying to figure out every single task affecting your business can help you make better decisions in a long run.
Not sure what to give your undivided attention to? Try to record & really make notes on the tasks you do every single day to see what products/content you create bring you the most value. Those are worth all of your attention, focus on them.
Great Things Can Come From Doing Absolutely Nothing
Allowing yourself to be bored from time to time can actually bring you game-changing ideas.
When I’m extremely busy, I rarely get to work on anything new. Instead, I’m spending all of my time doing one thing after another and my brain shuts down.
I get my top ideas from taking long showers, walking my dog or spending time with the people I love. My creativity sparkles when I get to travel, sleep in and read that book I’ve been holding onto for ages.
Great things can come from doing absolutely nothing too, just give it a try!
Optimization Is The Key
You need other creators, you need tools, you need help, my friend.
I’ve been a one-player-band for far way too long. For the first few years of running my business, I held to every single corner of my business just to find myself exhausted and trapped.
Things started to shift when Tomas joined me at kotrynabassdesign.com & we’ve started sharing tasks depending on what we do best. He now develops and codes majority of the themes for us, while I focus on the design and marketing part.
As for my other business, where I handle e-commerce, admin & marketing tasks, I feel lucky to have a wonderful partner that carries a huge load of content creation and brainstorming on her shoulders. We also recently started hiring other people for shipment management, social media management, paid content creation, accounting and all the things we feel fresh minds could do better than us. My goal in the company is for everyone to have a particular area to blossom in rather than run around doing a tiny bit of everything.
I also always recommend looking into using scheduling tools etc. to make your day-to-day tasks easier. But in all means, just get some help friend, you know you need to!
Success Hides In Happiness
To feel successful, you first need to understand what success actually means to you personally.
To me, it’s finding time to do what I want to do. It might be working on a project I feel extremely passionate about or it might be taking a few days off to visit the seaside in the middle of the week. When I don’t feel myself, I don’t feel happy, therefore, I can’t do my best at work too.
Putting myself first has always proved to be the best medicine for boosting my productivity and if you’ve been always prioritising your work on top of everything else- go ahead and try the opposite approach. At least for a day, a week or a month, you might be surprised to see the results it will bring.
Let me know what approach towards improving your productivity helps you out the most!
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