In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his brilliant and revolutionary theory of relativity to the scientific world. For the three previous years, he devoted himself entirely to its creation, without being distracted by anything else. This approach to work - that is, when you are completely focused on a specific task - is commonly called the Einstein principle. An example of an outstanding scientist can serve as a vivid illustration of a new trend in the organization of working time, called doing less. Techniques that can help you get more done by doing less are hugely popular. New theory guru Peter Taylor is pushing us in the same direction.
Less work means more fun
Are you a swan or a chicken?
I'm a chicken, and even without a head. When I am going to do something important, I am constantly distracted by a bunch of parallel tasks, sometimes completely deliberately. All this leads to a monstrous waste of energy, and the effect is very unconvincing.
At the same time, I would like to be a swan, gracefully and measuredly move through life from one achievement to another, clearly seeing the goals and ways of their implementation. It's so nice to know that you are combining a successful career with a full-fledged upbringing of children, and even manage to lead a high life without making any extra efforts. You are not pressed by an excessive sense of duty or fear of rejecting someone, fear of saying the word "no" again. Everyone wants to be swans.
One of the leading time management experts Peter Taylor believes that the key to transformation is to be found in laziness. One must develop in oneself a tendency to idleness and slowness. Once you learn to use these dubious qualities, you will receive more than if you run around with your tongue out, doing a hundred things. You will become more productive, more creative, more enthusiastic about your work, and in addition you will have such a longed-for free time (really free).
“Tell me, how many unread messages you have in your mail? Peter asks. - I have four, and you?
I lost count. “Well, yes, this is a classic mistake, you use your mailbox as a closet. This is the funnel into which your free time flows. Once you start going down the list of unread messages, you are out of control. This is the basic rule."
The Rule is one of the things that help Peter to live an organized, stress-free life. He shares them in his book The Lazy Winners. With these rules, he promises to rid me of an endless list of things I have to do and teach me how to have the courage to say no. All I have to do is follow a few lazy principles.
The 80/20 rule
The bottom line is that eighty percent of our activity is initiated by just twenty percent of real need. To reformulate this more clearly, we can say that we wear 20 percent of our wardrobe 80 percent of the time, or spend 80 percent of the time with 20 percent of our closest acquaintances. All we need is to isolate those twenty percent of the most effective efforts and not engage in other nonsense.
This is theory in its purest form. But how can we implement it in practice, in the chaotic living space of an editor who, among other things, is raising two children? “You need to find what you spend the most time and energy on,” advises Peter.
For half a year I cannot choose where to arrange a huge children's party, I consult with all parents by e-mail, send them SMS. And all I had to do was send one letter with a request to express ideas, cross out the useless options from the list, and then give my sons the opportunity to choose from what was left. It's their holiday!
Learning to say no
I decided to practice this principle at a meeting with a demanding customer, for whom I undertook to write a long article. I understood that I would be given additional tasks that did not involve any payment. In my head, I played Peter's admonition, explaining that my cowardly consent could save me time now, but it would certainly result in a big waste of time in the future. Gandhi once expressed himself very accurately on this matter: "The hard-hitting" no "is much better than the" yes "said in order to hush up a problem or, even worse, to avoid it." The old man knew what he was talking about. The customer was unpleasant to hear that for additional work he would have to provide me with an assistant, he gritted his teeth and … agreed. To behave this way, you first need to earn a reputation as a person better than whom no one can do this job. While you earn it, you will have to sweat, working as an assistant yourself, but then you can harvest - make luxurious, precise, ingenious two hand movements, and blame others for all the time-consuming routine.
I stop writing my to-do list
This alarmed me. I always rely on to-do lists (also read: How Making To-Do Lists Boosts Your Brain (Even When You Don't Complete the Tasks)). But Peter explained that this is just a list of things to do, many of which are not worth even tackling. He suggested writing a list for the trial, sorting the cases by importance and then, stopping at each item, ask yourself: "Do I want to do this?" and "Do I need to do this?" Are both yes? This means that the matter is really important. The method did not strike me as convincing. I remember very well the things that I like to do. I go to the bathhouse without reminders. But a yellow piece of paper about the unpaid tax on the car does not hurt at all. Anyway, I edited my list. There are only three important things left in him: fix the camera, call dad and go to the chiropractor. All these things I wanted and had to do.
Peter didn't think that was enough: "All these things need to be done now, why keep them on some list!" I felt ashamed. On the way home, I called my parents, drove into the workshop and the chiropractor. And all evening I was twitching because of the unexpectedly empty list of tasks.
Schools doing less
In modern coaching, the philosophy of doing less is very popular. Various theorists offer original approaches. One such approach, based on the mystical practices of Zen Buddhism, is described by Mark Lesser(he is both the head of a coaching company and a Zen cleric) in Achieving More With Less. The experience of a Zen teacher - a successful businessman. " “We are too often mistaken in thinking that reducing workload makes us lazy and bad for productivity. However, by doing less, we allow ourselves to enjoy what we really achieve,”- with these words begins his manifesto“Less”. The author recommends setting aside some time for meditation in the midst of the working day, to arrange for "calming the mind." Even in the intervals between reading and sending emails, you can even out your breathing. This will allow you to relieve stress and focus on a specific task, as well as find balance with yourself and the world around you, separate really important things from what, by and large, we do not need.
Tomato method (timer)
Doing less includes a lot of interesting techniques, such as the "Method of tomato» (Pomodoro Technique, www.pomodorotechnique.com). This method of scheduling work time was developed by Francesco Cirillo (it got its name from the mechanical kitchen timer, made in the form of a tomato, popular in American families). It is based on the principle of 25-minute work without interruption. But after 25 minutes, you should definitely pause.
How it works:
From the list of tasks, you choose the highest priority. Start the timer and work on this task for 25 minutes without distraction until the alarm sounds (each 25 minute chunk is called a "tomato"). Rest for five minutes and get back to work until the next "tomato" ends. Every four “tomatoes” take longer breaks of 10-15 minutes. If the task takes more than five tomatoes, it should be divided into several parts. The tomato method allows for better grouping of tasks, increases focus, and makes planning easier. He is especially good at helping programmers.
As long as you have free time, you are open to new interesting proposals.
Of the popular methods doing less, the following really increase productivity and save time and energy:
Don't do unnecessary work. It's like in the golden rule of a bureaucrat: "Every piece of paper must lie down." Some things are not worth taking on.
Say no. This, of course, does not mean that you should kick all tasks (so you can quickly find yourself out of work). But it often happens that you really shouldn't do something - your inner voice will tell you this.
Eliminate distractions. Sometimes for the sake of business, you need to turn off your email and even your phone.
Take a break. Some even advise taking a nap during the workday. You decide how and how much you like to disconnect.
Manage procrastination. By deliberately putting aside something you least love, you can accomplish a lot of useful things that you have never been able to do before. For example, clean up your desktop.
Photo: Getty Images
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