Doing Less to Be More Productive?

Can you get away with doing less??

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has written a guest posting for Scott H Young about the benefits of doing less to be more productive.

At first this looks like a vain promise of ‘More For Less’; but the article reads well and seems to make sense. Until, that is, I came upon this statement:

Cut back on the number of goals and tasks you have on your plate, so that you can focus on the most important ones.

I think that the vast majority of us are not in the position where we can arbitrarily decide we’re not going to do a whole rake of stuff. The company I work for mandates what needs to be done though the year and I don’t think I’d get a very good merit review if I decided I wasn’t going to do some of it.

If, on the other hand, you work for yourself or in a position where you make the rules then I would agree that if you can cut out some stuff and focus more then the quality of the finished product will probably be higher and the satisfaction and rewards greater.

One thought on “Doing Less to Be More Productive?

  1. Leo

    Hi David … you make an excellent point. I’d like to share a couple of my thoughts on this:

    1) Even if you don’t control your goals at work, you do control your personal goals and commitments, and often we overwhelm ourselves outside the workplace too. That can represents a major area where we can cut back in order to get more done.

    2) At work, while you might not be able to arbitrarily drop your goals, you do have the option of giving your boss some feedback about what you can realistically accomplish, especially if quality is an issue. I know I’ve told my boss (at a former job) that if I try to accomplish everything on my to-do list, not only will they have to pay me overtime, but quality will suffer. I showed them my to-do list and suggested that we prioritize and focus on only the most important goals. My boss appreciated this candor, and let me tell you, I was able to produce much more by cutting back … and was offered a raise. Well, not everyone’s bosses are like that, but it’s something to consider.

    Great point, David, and thanks for the link to my post.

    Reply

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