The Simple Secret To Getting More Done In Less Time

Have you ever had the experience where you’re about to leave town on vacation, or business trip or something… and all of a sudden you get a lot done right before you leave?

Now, recently I just went through a whole remodeling and we just moved. Literally, as I’m recording this…  just yesterday we moved all of our furniture into a different house and the place is still a disaster. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get everything ship-shape in this house and we still got to clean up the one we came from. It’s just a colossal amount of work.

And during this entire process, my business is pretty much taken a back burner.

One of the interesting things that I realized is that, when I have a lot less time to get things done, I’m incredibly efficient!

Perhaps you’ve noticed the same thing in your own work. When I have a deadline, I get a lot done. When I have a lot less time to work with, I get a lot done. And one of the things about it that I find is that I tend to focus on just the core things that HAVE to get done to keep the business operating.

Now, obviously, there’s not going to be a lot of brainstorming going on, perhaps not a whole lot of new efforts or new things coming out. But the things that need to get done to keep things going – they happen. I also tend to think in terms of systems because I want to get these things off my back for later.

So, one of the interesting things here (and you probably realized this too) is that, again, when you have a lot less time to work with, you tend to become a lot more efficient. Whether it be because you’re just getting rid of all the wasted stuff that you were doing or because you were just working on a deadline and you see that pressure coming.

How Can We Apply This Every Day?

So, how can we apply this normally? How can we keep that same level of efficiency going all the time even we don’t have a vacation or when we’re not moving?

Well, give ourselves less time to work with!

Set yourself some deadline. That could be the easy thing. But it needs to be a deadline that means something. If it’s a deadline that you see coming and you’re like… “Oh, this is just playing a mind job on myself and if I don’t mean it, who gives a crap?” well, it may not work for you but you need to find some way that does work.

One of the interesting things about time management I have found is – when you want to get really efficient and you want to get more done, you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with what you’re already doing; do more things!

Yes, it’s a little bit counterintuitive. We tend to think “Oh, my gosh, I’m so overwhelmed, I got so much to do…  I want to do less” so you start trying to shed tasks and do less things. And that’s fine, but in reality I find that when you take on more things, you start to get a lot more done. You start to get used to a higher level of activity and, not only that, your skill of actually getting a lot done increases. Therefore, your normal work load becomes easy because you are so used to the newer work load.

So, that’s just my little piece of advice for you today.

This is just something that I’ve been reminding myself of this week while we’ve been remodeling and moving and everything. When you have a lot less time, we get a lot more done and we need to be looking at how we can do that to ourselves all the time because you’ll find you can get a lot done in the amount of time that you have.

We All Have 168 Hours

We all have 168 hours to work with every single week. Now, you need to be asking yourself… what are you going to do with those 168 hours to further your goals and be efficient and get a lot done to further put you down the road of where you want to be?

168 hours. That’s a lot of time to work with.

Think about it.

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Got a Question or Comment?

  1. “Do more things”. In other words, forget about the time management notion and just get into a maker mode.

  2. Great tips, David! I am the same way; when I know I have a lot less time, I get more things done and I’m most efficient!

    Thanks again,
    -Alex

  3. Good to have you back David. Glad you got everything done. Hopefully you get the paint out from under your fingernails soon enough :)

    I like the “stuff that matters” approach to help stay focused. For me it streams from goal setting and top down strategy. For example if my goal is to grow my online business (which it of course is) then I want to focus almost entirely on the things will contribute to that the most for me at this point.

    For me, those things are list building, product creation, and building relationships. Nothing else is going to make nearly as large of an impact.

    So if I get a wild idea or find myself working aimlessly, I ask myself that question – is this going to help me with those efforts. If it doesn’t ill likely push it out, outsource it, or eliminate it.

  4. hi david,
    great points. you are right – we all have the same amount of time. and although i am sometimes more efficient when i´m under pressure i can tell that things i really want to do well and without any errors simply need their time… so i prefer to do some general tasks under pressure while writing my blog posts usually takes some time :-)

    • You might try putting your blog writing under the gun as well. I think a lot of people spend a lot of time second-guessing their own writing. Plus, you can concentrate on the form of content which works best for you. For some, writing is an ordeal while they could probably bang out a solid piece quickly be recording it in audio and hiring somebody on Fiverr to transcribe.

  5. David,

    First, congrats on your new space & LOVE the audio blog posts – I am inspired and will do the same for my new blog (In progress).

    Well, on the other side, I have found the “Do more to do more” not effective and largely a tiresome way to waste time (IMHO). True, I agree that under pressure we get much accomplished and you have presented a good argument for time management. However, I’m discovering that outsourcing tasks – hiring the people who specialize in such (Movers, painters, designers, et al) is the most effective way to be productive. Yes, one may save money with the ‘Do-It-Yourself” approach, but at what cost as it’s valuable time away from what could be considered more important.

  6. I love the post and the comments. I also found that with a dead line and a list I get a lot done. I recently put my house on the market and all those things that I procrastinated about have come back to haunt me. I also learned to farm some things out and when to ask for help to meet the deadline. Best of luck with the new digs and have a great Thanks Giving.

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