If I told you that you get 5 times more things done, make a load more money, be more productive… and do it all by taking an extra 14 hours a week off you’d call me crazy. But you can – and I’m about to show you how.
We call this Being More Productive By Doing Less.
To show you how this works, I want you to do a thought experiment right now.
Think about the last time you went on vacation. I mean a real vacation, not a crazy wake-up-at-5am-to-see-everything vacation.
Now think about what it was like, what you did, what you enjoyed… then think about when you got back. How did you feel when you got back to the “real world”?
Did you grumble that you were back at work?
Or did you feel energized, refreshed and ready to go?
What if you micro-scale this?
Go take a 20 minute break right now. 20 minutes, no work, no computer screens. Go outside, get some air, get some green tea or coffee or just go for a walk. Go do it now, then come back.
OK, now how do you feel? I’ll bet you feel better, have better clarity and and more capable of doing quality work than you were 20 minutes ago.
Here’s What’s Happening
Whenever you take a break, be it 20 minutes or 20 days, you are doing something called restoring your willpower.
Willpower is a finite resource that lets you work productively – and it’s something that we have to take care of.
Say you start the day with 100 units of willpower. Every hour you work normally, you burn 10 units of willpower. So after a long day at work (8 hours), you have 20 units of willpower left to drive home, eat dinner, do a couple of things and then fall asleep, where your willpower MAYBE goes back up to 100.
This is what every average person does – steadily burn willpower throughout the day. The problem with this, is that with every hour that passes, you KNOW your willpower is going down and you feel less and less motivated to work, and the quality of your work suffers.
What if we changed this a bit?
What if instead of using 10 units of willpower, you used 20 in a concentrated and focused effort to deliver maximum results. Well, then you’d have 5 hours of willpower left before you’d literally said “I’M DONE” and left for the day. But what if you had ways of hacking your willpower – say every hour that you spent 20 units of willpower, you added back 5, 10 or 15 units of willpower?
You could get more done with the hours you do spend working, and still burn willpower at the same rate.
This means that you could work fewer hours, get more done, and feel better about it as you go about your day.
So how exactly do we do this?
Well, the immediate answer is to schedule in those willpower hacks and do them. But that’s really a subset of 3 different ways you can optimize your willpower. And they are:
- Increase your willpower capacity. We talk about this in the Productivity Blueprint.
- Burn fewer units of willpower per hour by leveraging systems. We also talk about this the Productivity Blueprint.
- Restore your willpower faster using hacks and leveraging quality of experience. That’s what we’re going to focus on here.
Restoring Willpower Faster
The simplest way to restore willpower is to take a break. But why not get the most bang for your buck while you’re doing so?
How do we do this? Be using (and abusing) the force multiplier effect. We want to increase the QUALITY of our willpower restoration.
For example, you can take a break. But what if…
- You went for a massage during that break.
- You went for an aromatherapy massage during that break.
- You listened to your favorite music during your aromatherapy massage during that break.
- You had a warm cup of smooth herbal tea after listening to your favorite music during your aromatherapy massage during that break.
You got the idea. By adding in layers of experience and detail, you are using the Force Multiplier Effect to increase the quality of your experience and therefore the quality of your willpower restoration – all within the same short break period.
The Magic Key: Be More Productive By Doing Less
We live in a culture that glorifies workaholics – which is just plain silly.
You don’t need to work 16, 18, 20-hour days to be productive. Because after 5-6 hours, you’re going to be tired and low on willpower anyway and just dragging your feet.
The real solution is to do less, work productively, stay within your willpower capacity, use breaks and hacks to keep your willpower high… and take the rest of the time off to enjoy yourself and restore even more willpower.
In real life, this looks like a 4, 6, 8-hour (max) work day that has regular breaks, then taking the rest of the time off to restore your willpower levels. And when it’s restored – you’re ready to get back to perform at an optimal level.
We have a whole section dedicated to breaking down and optimizing willpower in the Productivity Blueprint – you’ll also learn about handling procrastination, getting focused and dealing with distractions.
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