It’s a common misconception that we have to do more and work hard to achieve success. A lot of the time we exert too much energy and effort on things that aren’t necessarily personally meaningful to us. So, in this newsletter I want to break the misconception of ‘do more to achieve success’ and help you achieve more by doing less!

Here are 5 ways you can achieve more by doing less:

  1. TAKE MORE BREAKS – When faced with a task we often think that it’s the best to just sit down and smash it all out at once, with all our focus and concentration until it’s done. But actually, this method is not so effective. When we’re really focused on a task, we only access one part of the brain. That means staying focused for too long shuts off the other parts of the brain–such as the parts that allow us to be creative. By doing something different, other neurons in the brain to fire up, allowing us to access more of our brain and making our brain more powerful.
    When a friend told me about the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ I was amazed at how productive I was! TRY IT! Concentrate only on one activity for 25 minutes. You can set an alarm or a timer so you can glance at it for motivation. Then, take a five minute break (to reward yourself and refresh your brain) before you start another 25 minute cycle. You’ll be amazed at how productive you can be this way!
  2. STOP MULTITASKING – Multitasking divides our attention. This can be draining and stressful for the brain and can often lead to more procrastination. When we procrastinate, the brain sends warning signals that cause stress, as generally we’re worrying about the end product rather than the process. Instead, think of only one task and the process you need to accomplish that goal, and you’ll feel less stress more often. Directing less mental energy to those stressors in the brain helps us increase overall efficiency and achieve more! This is where the Pomodoro Technique I mentioned above can come in real handy!
  3. GO HARD OR GO HOME – By now you’re hopefully convinced that doing things for a shorter time with greater intensity is the most beneficial. Whether it’s a mental task or a physical one, science is continuing to show that this method of ‘less time at greater intensity’ is a surefire way to get results. Let’s take the latest exercise fad as an example… The 7 minute workout blew up because the world is full of busy, sick people wanting to become healthier. Now, ruling out weight loss – because most of weight loss comes from what you put into your body – it really can be more beneficial for the body to do short bursts of intense exercise, rather than spending an hour at the gym, going at a moderate pace. (Let’s go deeper into this topic another week.) By going hard, mentally or physically, for short periods of time can be so productive and a huge time saver!
  4. AUTOPILOT MORNING ROUTINES – Willpower is a depleting resource that disappears as we’re forced to make decisions throughout the day. Reserving willpower for our most important work, is key to ensuring we don’t run out of fuel too early. The problem is, most of us wake up and immediately check our phones for notifications from social media, emails and texts– all of which use up some of our willpower even before we’ve rolled out of bed! To save up your willpower for those important later-in-the-day decisions, keep the phone away from your bed or keep it on airplane mode like me (I sleep with mine on airplane mode) and put your morning routine on autopilot. When you do the same things, in the same order, every single day and you don’t make a lot of decisions in the morning, you free yourself to start working totally fresh with the ability to focus.
  5. KEEP POSITIVE – Positive emotions set us up for peak performance. A load of psychological and neuroscience research has proven that our brains work significantly better when we have a positive outlook. According to this research, when we’re positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive – and can even make us better leaders. As discussed in some previous newsletters, some things you can do to help boost your mood is to keep a gratitude journal, writing down three things you’re grateful for each day, you can get in some daily exercise (even if it is only 7 minutes a day), or develop a regular meditation routine or just do nothing but just stare into space with your thoughts, in the present moment without being stimulated or distracted by your phone while sitting on the bus, standing in a line or drinking your morning tea or coffee – just to name a few! These moments of mindfulness can really help us see the world through rose-tinted glasses 🙂

That does it for this week! I hope you try some of these and can achieve more by doing less!