How to Work Less and Get More Accomplished
March 18, 2008
Working less while accomplishing more isn’t easy. It requires creative thinking and a willingness to open yourself to the possibility that your methods aren’t as efficient as they could be.
The good news is that you CAN get more done in less time by working smarter, not harder.
These are some techniques that can help you increase your efficiency while actually working less.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule, also known as Pareto’s Rule, states that only 20 percent of your work accounts for 80 percent of your output. Be ruthless in cutting down the amount of time you spend on the less important 80 percent.
Parkinson’s Law states that “work will fill the time available for its completion.” Give yourself strict deadlines and cultivate a desire to finish projects.
Think of results as a function of energy, not time invested. Working intensely for a short period of time can accomplish more than working for days, tired and distracted.
Only Use Sharp Tools
Skill saves time. Don’t waste your time doing things that you can’t, or won’t, do well. Delegate them to someone else.
Rule With Numbers
Assumptions are the biggest waste of your time. When your intuitions don’t match the way the world works, you can never be efficient. Combat false assumptions by testing them, and paying attention to the numbers.
The Marginal Rule of Quality
Whenever the extra input you invest in perfecting something exceeds the output gained, stop working on that task.
Now, if you’re really serious about working less and accomplishing more, I recommend you pick up a copy of Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Work Week. It’s still one of the best resources I’ve read on the subject.
Tim is the Indiana Jones of the digital age, and if you follow his advice, you too can find the time to dig up the hidden treasures buried somewhere in your currently too-busy life.