French press tea pot and cup

Why is it we think the solution to getting something done is to throw more time at it? You know what I mean. Just 5 more minutes. If I just keep pressing through I will actually get it done.

Five more minutes turns into 2 hours, and we are no closer to finishing than we were before. Then, of course, we usually think there is something wrong with us. What’s wrong with us that we can’t get through this? And we can’t even think straight we are so tired!

I have had this conversation with every single client this week. Every. Single. One. Which leads me to believe that there is an epidemic of busy-ness going on. Frankly, I’d rather see BUSINESS happening.

So here goes. Since you seem to need someone to give you permission, here are 5 reasons to work less:

You are not a machine

Machines are designed (if they are well designed) to work continuously once they are turned on, until they are turned off. Humans are not designed that way! We work best when we work in pulses – periods of focus and concentration, followed by periods of rest and renewal. Even the best of us – those at the top of their game – can only work at peak intensity for about 90 minutes before needing a break. Plan out your day to include brief breaks at least every 90 minutes.

Multi-tasking only gives the illusion that you are getting more done

You get your best ideas when you are relaxed

It is only when you stop concentrating / focusing intently that your brain begins to make all kinds of connections. Those connections are what produce those lovely sparks of insight. That’s why so many of us get genius ideas in the shower, or while taking a walk, or doing something other than sitting at our desk trying to force the idea!

You can focus on your unique area of genius

When you stop trying to do everything (and everyone else’s job) you can focus on what you do best. That is also usually what gives you the most satisfaction, and what produces the most significant results for your business. Imagine: how much extra time you could have if you only focused on your job?

You will be more productive

When you allow yourself to focus on just one thing at a time, for a short period of time, you will get more done. Multi-tasking only gives the illusion that you are getting more done. Study after study has demonstrated that it actually takes longer to finish tasks when you are multi-tasking than if you just did one thing and then the other.

You will make more money

For most of us, being more productive will mean more revenue for our business and more money for us. Who doesn’t like that idea?

Now, when are you taking your first little break?

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About The Author

Terry Monaghan's picture

Terry is the CEO of Time Triage

With over 30 years of business and entrepreneurial experience, Terry’s unique technology has dramatically increased the productivity of Fortune 100 executives and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. Whether it’s a corporate executive or a “solo-preneur,” the outcome of Terry’s methodology will give you an expanded level of freedom and productivity with results you can measure.

Terry’s clients find themselves working on what is most fulfilling and what really matters in moving things forward rather than what they previously thought they “had to do.” The things you hoped to get to someday become the things you work on today.

Terry’s work was recently featured in the New York Times best-seller Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time by Brigid Schulte (Sarah Crichton Books, March 11, 2014).

Eliminating overwhelm, giving clients more time to focus and clarity about where to focus, and implementing what it takes to produce results beyond what is predictable are what Terry’s efforts are all about. Her high integrity, no-nonsense, practical approach to business operations has helped build trusted relationships with many high performing professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives.

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