This might sound a tad stupid, but I firmly believe we should all strive to be as Productively Lazy as possible. In ALL aspects of our lives.
If you just put some constructive thinking into your biggest time consumers, you could find ways to dramatically reduce the time you spend on them. Initially it sounds impossible, but often, by doing less you can achieve more, or at least achieve the same amount much quicker.
I swear I have not been smoking my socks, or anyone else’s for that matter.
Most of you know what I’m talking about – Work Smarter Not Harder. But what does that actually MEAN? In simple terms it means find easier / quicker ways to do what needs to be done. I don’t know about you, but I would be strongly in favour of finding a way to do a 2 day task in half a day. Stop slogging harder to achieve more; rather figure a way to streamline your tasks to give you more time to deal with improving your lot in life. Just think, if you could free up half a day (or 2 whole days) every week what would you do with it?
- Spend time with the family?
- Improve your current skills?
- Learn new skills?
- Get pampered at a day spa?
- Catch up with friends?
- Volunteer at a shelter / hospital / fire department?
If you are the owner, you could find ways to improve your business. If you are an employee, you could improve your position at the company or start your own company. Don’t limit your options by thinking small.
Interruptions are normally the biggest time wasters because, after the interruption is gone, there is generally a period of getting back into the task. This “restart” time could be seconds or minutes or even hours. Normally, the time lost to each restart is insignificant, but load them all together and you will be surprised how much time you spend just getting back to where you were. Many of your interruptions are caused by YOU. For example, when do you check your email? Every time a new message arrives? Cut it down to every one or two hours (or less).
Limit or avoid interruptions
How much time do you spend each day on useless things, things that actually give you zero benefit? Stop doing that. Newspapers? Stop reading them or read only the front page and business section, or entertainment section, or whatever section applies DIRECTLY to you and your job or your passion. Celebrity gossip in magazines and on the web? Get real and stop rotting your brain. Stop getting your kicks from some reality star’s antics and go out and do your own thing. Create your own interests. Taking kids to school and fetching them again? If there is a reliable bus service then let them use it. If there isn’t, try to team up with other parents in the neighborhood to take turns with the kids. Use that time each day to improve yourself in some way. The better you become, the better you can serve your family.
Cut Out the Unnecessary
Do you send time on things other people SHOULD be doing? Stop it. They need to do their own things. Here I include colleagues at work AND family members at home.
Do you spend time doing what others COULD be doing? Take a step back and decide what can be delegated. You could delegate down to subordinates and kids, sideways to colleagues and family members, and even upwards to your boss if you are careful how you do it.
Stop Doing Other People’s Work & Delegate Where Possible
Which of your duties / tasks causes you the most stress or unhappiness or worry etc.? THAT is the one you need to look at next. Why is it stressful, worrysome etc.? How can you get it finished quicker? If you can’t complete it quicker, how can you make it more pleasant? The most important thing, however, is absolutely vital that you NEVER postpone doing this unpleasant task. The more you put it off, the longer you’ll have a stress point hanging over your head. You have to do it anyway, so do it quick and move on to more pleasant things. Remove the yuck and enjoy the rest of the day.
Do the unpleasant things as quickly as possible and as soon as possible
What repeatative or repeating tasks do you have? There just HAS to be some way to take advantage of the repeating nature of these tasks.
E-mail filing? Set up some filters and rules to deal with the filing at the push of a button.
Daily jogging? Use an MP3 player and listen to some e-books or training materials.
Gathering update information? Set up a template. Send it out for update, and merge the responses. If you don’t know how to do this, find out – learn a new skill.
Repeatative work in a workshop? Set up jigs for easy duplication and reduced set up times.
Find a way to have these repeating tasks perform themselves automatically to some extent.
Automate, Template and Duplicate
Do you work 6 or 7 days a week? Stop it. You need to break out of the normal routines regularly and give your brain something different to deal with. You could veg out in front of the TV or go mountain climbing, It doesn’t matter what, as long as it is different. You mind and body need a frequent change of gears in order to perform at their best. A change REALLY is as good as a holiday.
Rest and Recuperate
In summary, you could achieve more by doing less if you
And then with the work that is still left to do, work HARD.
With the extra time you have on your hands … … … … WORK HARD to improve your life in whatever area you choose.