Thursday January 16, 2014
Over the last year I have been testing out a new way of working: “Do Less To Get More Done.” I had heard of this concept many times before, however, it wasn’t until 2013 when I really started to put this into practice (most of the time… I’m a work-in-progress like everyone!).
Here’s what I had to learn:
- make decisions faster
- say “No” a lot more
- let go
- did I mention, trust?
For most entrepreneurs, who are “doers”, this concept is foreign. We live in a culture that celebrates hard work, persistence and “go, go, go!” Realistically, that is how a lot of success has happened for a lot of people. But I began to ponder: Is there a better way, really?
After years of running myself ragged, I decided it was time to find out.
What do you think? Can you really get more done by doing less?
I’m happy to say the answer is a great BIG, “YES!”
(This is me having it all.
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too!)
And here’s the big secret to getting more done by doing less:
—> YOU are the problem! <—
Yes, you read that right, “YOU are the problem.” If you are working way too hard (like most people), then you are the problem. Don’t get angry with me yet; hear me out.
This is good news. It is good news because it means that it is within your control to change. You don’t need to change your clients, the economy or world beliefs. You just need to change yourself.
Here are the changes and shifts that I made that helped me get more done by doing less:
1. I started saying, “no” to anything unnecessary.
This was true when it came to invitations to business gatherings, meetings, coffee, personal invitations, etc. I started saying ‘no’ when I really didn’t want to do something. No more would I allow myself to feel guilty about letting someone down. And I came to terms with the fact that they really wouldn’t miss me at that networking event anyway (sure, I am a lot of fun, but I highly doubt that anyone was crying in the corner because I wasn’t there… lol).
2. I narrowed my marketing tactics down to the most important ones.
Here is the deal: When you are a solo-entrepreneur, as most coaches are, you are lucky if you have a virtual assistant. What that means is you don’t have a lot of extra time to spare. It also means that you must do the things that you do really well. You don’t have time to do things half-as*ed. You just don’t. I had to decide what my most important marketing pieces were and I had to get those done really well. When I did, I had my best year in business yet.
3. I learned to let go and stopped trying to control everything (O.K., most of the time). I learned to trust!
When you decide to trust in the Universe and do less, you really need to believe that everything is always working out for you. This can be tough when you are used to being in control, having your lists and plans. I want to share something I discovered this year that helped me get out of my head and into my heart:
The universe really is in support of you.
We are not here to work, work, work, pay bills and die.
We are here to love, have fun and evolve.
We are here to be kind to one another, to explore, to see, to dance and to just be.
4. When you love yourself, good things happen naturally, without having to MAKE them happen.
To illustrate this point, I am going to give you an example from a client of mine who was having trouble closing sales. She has it all: a great brand and marketing, a super work ethic, lots of exposure and she really is an outstanding coach. There was just one problem: she was having trouble closing sales.
We tried a bunch of different things but it wasn’t until she did something really out of character and quite unnatural for this hard-core doer. She stopped working so hard. She decided to start listening to her body and giving it the rest it needed (literally, she takes daily naps and everything!).
Guess what started to happen? She got more business when she was napping than when she was awake! No joke. I can’t make things like this up! She started getting calls and emails when she was napping.
Now, if that isn’t the proverbial baseball bat to the head, I don’t know what else is! Nap more; get more business. HA! It cracks me up, but it’s true (in this case anyways).
The message here is: When you really listen to your body and to the Universe, it will tell you exactly what you need to do to get what you really want. It knows. It has always known. You just need to get out of your own way and let it give it to you.
5. Listen to yourself
Your true self knows what is best for you. Here is a case in point:
I knew that I needed to slow down. Everyone else knew it, too. One day, my mother said, “I wish you had a job where you didn’t have to work so hard.” Woah! That was big. Firstly, I never really saw my work as a job (I still don’t, honestly). However, I knew what she meant… life is suppose to be fun and I work too much! Message received Mom. Thanks. Almost immediately after that conversation with my mother, I received an invitation to join a meditation group. The commitment was 2 hours a few times a month. Not too bad, right? I felt called to join so I agreed.
Well, the first test came on the day of the first group meeting. I felt anxious. And then the inner dialogue began: Should I really go to sit, be quiet and do nothing when I could be getting, XYZ done? My old self said no, my new self said, yes. I decided to take my own advice (#3 above) and trust that everything is always working out for me.
What is interesting is that whenever a meditation is on my calendar, I always have something “pressing” on my plate. Yet every time I go, I always get more done. The first time I went, I was able to release a lot of pent-up emotion over a really big year. I know this is an important step in the process of moving forward; after all, emotions are energy in motion. After the second meditation I attended, I put together a 90-day course in less than an hour. Seriously, less than an hour! When does that happen? Hardly ever (well it happens all the time now!). You see, when I stopped long enough to gather with these other amazing women and generate an energy of love, abundance, acceptance and joy, I open the space to receive what the Universe had in store for me all along! It always knows what is best for you. Trust your instincts and start doing things that seem “out of the ordinary” but feel right in your soul. You will be amazed how you can get lots done by doing less.
6. I stopped being so serious about it all.
You know, when we are chronic list makers and doers we can get really wound up, pent up and worn out. Lately, I’ve been a lot more relaxed about it all. Everything always gets done. Everything always works out. So why get so bent out of shape about it? Laugh more, play more and have more fun.
If you can, get around kids more often; they will help you with this immensely. They NEVER feel guilty about having “too much” fun for “too long”. Can you even imagine? They really are our best teachers because they haven’t been conditioned to social norms and beliefs yet. When in doubt, go hang with a 3-year-old and remember what life is really about.
(This is me with 2 of my 3 siblings and their kids. Sliding was the order of the day!)
Working really hard because that’s what it takes to succeed is part of the belief system that many us of have adopted. Instead of following the herd, I suggest you adopt a new mindset (because – good news! – you can change the way you think about it) and test this out. Get more done by doing less!
Now, I want to hear from you. Does any of this resonate with you? Are you working too hard and need to do less? Have you found something that has helped you do just that?
I want to hear from you so comment below and let’s have more fun!
Here's to having more fun!