Like many people, Charles struggled with work. He felt overwhelmed by too much information and tasks. At a certain point he knew that something had to change, and that wasn’t possible until he realized the failure in his way of approaching work. Through this change, he realized that time management and multitasking as he knew it was a lie.
Charles’ business greatly improved when he learned how to clear the extraneous tasks out of his mind, while focusing on the most important work. I’m here to share Charles’ strategy of how he accomplished more while ultimately doing less.
Don’t Waste Your Willpower
There was a study conducted at Western University where half the subjects have to complete a word problem while having access to cookies, while the other half had to wait to eat cookies until the work was done. In the end, the half that ate the cookies right away were far more successful because their willpower was not wasted on anything other than the main task.
Think of willpower as a muscle, something that can be worn out, and should not be wasted on trivial tasks like checking emails or engaging in pointless arguments. The most successful people are the ones that say “no” the most. Keep track of how much you say “yes” to, and how these tasks throw you off track. Find out what you can say “no” to, and your own time will suddenly be far more available.
Automate Everything and Delegate Your Tasks
When trying to help your businesses, write down everything you do in a day. I know you are going to say that you’re too busy to do so. However, doing this will inform you what tasks can be delegated to experts that know more than you, or technology (such as automated assistants) that can streamline your work.
Working with other people allows you to achieve more while doing far less yourself. Working with experts and assistants can prevent you from being overwhelmed and give your schedule more breathing room.
Every day we are surrounded by so many technological distractions that can throw off our focus, such as our phones or television. Your iPhone can even tell you how much screen time you have spent on it, and how you spent that time. This can be a helpful resource. You should use this function to set a timer so your screen time can be reduced, and more importantly, optimized.
The set timer will allow yout to engage in “Deep Work”, focusing on important tasks without distraction during the brief but valuable 1-1.5 hours of screen time. If your screen time is limited, you can achieve more things and will make better use of your time. Being successful is not about accomplishing everything all at once, but prioritizing your time and effort to what is most important.
This article was created from the conference Achiever Live II, and is rewritten from the speech given by Charles Alexander.
Charles works full time at a small business development centre at a community college. After the pandemic, his independent side business helping financial advisors and insurance agents has led to more net income than his full time job.