Hard work pays off, and the only direction you can coast is downhill.
These truisms hardly need to be uttered.
That being said…there is a way to achieve more with less effort, and you would be well-served to try and figure out how. There’s always a way to do more with less, and finding it opens up all sorts of cool possibilities.
You have probably heard it in the context of the 80/20 Principle, according to which 20% of what you do leads to 80% of your results. And numerous variations of those constituents.
Sometimes ways to increase your effectiveness are obvious, and sometimes they require more digging and more figuring.
A few off the top of my head:
*Delegate to someone else the things you’re not so good at
*Automate certain processes once so you never have to think about them again
*Spend time on the things that you’re good at and ignore what you’re average at
*Do the one thing that if you did it, everything else would become easier
*Focus your efforts in one place, and stop wasting mental energy trying to keep separate projects straight
*Manage your energy better so that you will be able to not just make it through the day, but outperform your former self
It should also be said that this is a lifelong process. It would be ill-advised to just go through once and look for opportunities to increase your efficiency, and then just think that you’re done. There are always adjustments that can be made.
And it’s not always 80/20 either. Sometimes it’s 10/90 or 1/99. The exact proportions are up to you to figure out.
But the opportunities are always out there, and your life isn’t going to be long enough that you can afford to waste them.
A Little Story
In my own life, I figured out that it’s much better to manage your energy than your time. Both have their place, but if you have all this time and no energy, then you’re not going to be effective. You can have a perfect organizational system and have everything perfectly laid out in order for you to really make a big dent in the universe, but without any energy to follow up, that perfect system is going to go to waste.
Much better to have a good system and use it, than to have a perfect system and not use it.
This stuff is basic, but I’m still figuring it out.
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So I started drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more sleep, cutting out caffeine before bed, clearing my schedule and my to-do list, clearing away clutter…basically everything that was making me foggy had to go, or be optimized.
The difference this has made has been enormous, and I’m finally starting to achieve the things that I know that I’m capable of, and I’m finally starting to be able to help the people that I want to help.
To sum up: I found where I could make exponential improvement without expending exponential effort. I then followed up, optimized what I could, ditched what I had to, and then focused on a few key result areas.
And now I’m back.
All the best,
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Matt Karamazov is a human rights activist, boxer, and writer who reads 200 books per year and throws 300 punches per minute. His website, Godlike Discipline, is dedicated to raising money for causes like Doctors Without Borders, and Human Rights Watch, among others. It’s also dedicated to helping people tackle their biggest willpower challenges. He also like death metal, and so, consequently doesn’t get many second dates. Here he is on a horse.