There is no shortage of productive hacks. Most people equate more with better. To be successful, they sleep less, work longer hours, multi-task, work in airplanes, bring work home, and drink more coffee. But being uber-productive can ruin health and relationships. Is there a better way? You bet there is. Here is the greatest secret to success that no one is talking about.
The greatest secret to productivity is . . . LESS
By doing less you will accomplish more. Let’s begin by redefining productivity. When was the last time you finished everything? When was the last time you thought, “I’m so productive that I got it all done”?
A new definition of productivity
The common definition works well when describing assembly lines, but we are people, not machines. What if productivity was not about getting the most done, but by getting the most important done? What if productivity was not about doing it all, but doing the main things well? If your purpose in life is to churn and burn, and that’s really what does it for you, nothing here will help you. But if you want to do more with less – keep reading. These principles will work if your incorporate them into your life.
1. Learn to edit.
We mindlessly add things to our lives and rarely subtract anything. Make an extensive edit list to clear away the things that really don’t matter.
2. Make a love list.
What do you love to do and why are those things always on the bottom of the list? If you are waiting until you get everything done, until you work enough, make enough, and save enough, you will never do what you love most. Start now.
God created you for rest. There’s even a command about that in Scripture. Without rest, you can’t give fully to your family and friends. You are less creative and motivated when you don’t rest. Just stop. Rest.
4. Have fewer ends.
If you are constantly worried about how to make ends meet, it’s time to think about having fewer ends. What are you paying for right now that you don’t need? What if you got rid of those payments? Could you work less and make less? There are better things than to be rich.
5. Drop more balls.
More balls in the air requires more juggling and more ball dropping. When you forget to do something or you accidentally drop the ball, you feel guilty and unworthy. What if you intentionally dropped the ball, or simply removed a few balls from your juggling act?
6. Say no.
This may be the hardest for you, if you are a people-pleaser. I get that. I’m president of People-Pleasing International. Learn to say no to some things. Not every opportunity represents a green light. If you say yes all the time, you are letting someone else run your life.
7. Single task.
Multi-tasking is overrated. Paul said, “This one thing I do,” not “These many things I dabble at.” Author Brooke McAlary writes, “Make time for the one thing you are thinking most about. Let that purpose your life.” Do a few things well, instead of a bunch of things poorly.
8. Stop measuring your worth by your accomplishments.
At the end of the day, we have a bad habit of measuring who we are by what we have done. If our to-do lists don’t have enough check marks, we feel like we haven’t done enough. Instead of measuring yourself by what you get done, measure yourself by how you make people feel. Measure by what’s in your heart and not by what’s on your list.