Doing less to become more productive sounds appealing, but it also goes against most productivity concepts.
One definition of being productive is the ability to do more, in less time. The more productive we are, the more we should be able to get done.
The challenge with this concept is that it’s highly unlikely we’ll run out of things to do. As we get more things done, there will be more things we’ll want to get done.
The Costs of Always Doing More
Being in a mindset of always doing more to be productive can be costly because:
- We’ll generate more stress because of the pressure to get things done.
- It can affect our health and well-being.
- It can cause us to work more, to the point of becoming a workaholic.
- We won’t have as much time as we’d like for other things in life.
- It will affect our ability to stay focused, which will lead to poor performance and results.
There is a more intelligent way to be more productive, while doing less, and still achieving our outcomes.
A new mindset we need to adopt to be more productive by doing less is, “Less but better.”
Apple offered many products that took their focus away from their core market. Jobs believed in the principle that less is more.
Apple shifted their focus to the following four product lines:
- Desktops for consumers.
- Desktops for professionals.
- Laptops for consumers.
- Laptops for professionals.
As Apple focused on fewer products, they created better products, and could bring them to market faster.
It was only after they had re-established themselves as a leader in the computer niche that they could expand their focus to other niches.
As a result, they could introduce music players, smart phones, tablet devices and many other axillary products.
Apple is a great example of why doing less will lead to more success over the long-term.
5 Reasons Why Doing Less Will Result in Better Productivity
Adopting the mindset that doing less is a better way to be more productive is highly beneficial. Here are five reasons why doing less will make you more productive.
- You will have higher clarity on your priorities. By cutting back on what we do daily, we’ll automatically give more attention to our priorities. As we focus more on our priorities, we’ll get done what’s most important more often.
- There will be fewer opportunities to get sidetracked. As we’ll have greater clarity on our priorities, it means our level of urgency to get them done will increase. When there’s more urgency, there’s a higher level of commitment to complete things.
- You won’t multitask. Multitasking does not correlate to high productivity. By reducing the number of things we can work on, there won’t be as many opportunities to switch tasks. Fewer things will increase attention and focus.
- It will reduce feelings of overwhelm and anxiousness. When there is a lot of things to focus on, it can generate higher levels of stress. When we focus on fewer things, we’ll cope better, which means less stress and anxiety when we’re working.
- You will be more decisive. Too many options or things to focus on can lead to indecisiveness. When we have a lot of decisions to make, it will lead to decision fatigue. That will cause reduced levels of concentration and poor quality work.
Simple Actions You Can Take to Do Less in Order to Be More Productive
- Find your natural work rhythm. Aim to do your most important work when you’re most alert or focused.
- Eliminate what’s not essential. Determine your priorities by identifying what’s urgent and important, what’s not urgent but important, what’s urgent and not important, and what’s not urgent and not important.
- Set up “If/Then” rules. This means if you get one thing done, only then, do you start the next thing on your list of priorities.
- Give yourself less time to get things done. The more time we give ourselves to do something, the longer it will take. We can get things done faster by adding deadlines and holding ourselves accountable to meet deadlines.
- Focus on one thing at a time. We’ll produce better quality work if we learn how to focus better. This means we should always avoid multitasking and work on one thing at a time.
We can be a lot more productive if we do fewer things. If we get into the habit of identifying and focusing only on our priorities, we’ll be more productive.
If we continue trying to do many things at a time, our output will not be high. This means it will take longer to get things done, which isn’t what we want.
Question: What are other reasons why doing less will make us more productive?
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