in entrepreneurship

Work Better. Not Harder.

I’ve said it before, “There’s nothing worse than feeling overwhelmed”

I’ve also said:  “The key to success is simple: Do the work. Be better. Be the best. Hustle.”

So the question is, how can you hustle, work harder than everyone else, create, and do amazing things without feeling utterly and completely overwhelmed. How can you catch your breathe? When will you come up for air?

You do it not by working harder, but working better.

Which brings me to one other thing I’ve said: “There IS time if you MAKE time.”

Today’s Godin nugget-of-wisdom sheds some light on the topic of working better. “People have discovered that after hour 24, there’s no more hours left”, says Godin. And he’s right. Which is why now, more than ever, we’re rewarded not by how hard we work, but rather, how efficiently we use our time, which in many cases, means working much, much less.

You’ve probably heard of Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week. You might have even seen Sarah Bray’s breakdown of her 90-minute workday (which still blows my mind – major props to you, Sarah, but I’m not quite there yet).

The point? Making the hours work for you instead of being a slave to the day is the only way to truly get ahead. As Godin puts it, “Time doesn’t scale, but bravery does”.

“Just in time, the economy is now rewarding art and innovation and guts. It’s rewarding brilliant ideas executed with singular direction by aligned teams on behalf of truly motivated customers. None of which is measured on the clock.

John Cage doesn’t work more hours than you. Neither does Carole Greider. Work/life balance is a silly question, just as work/food balance or work/breathing balance is. It’s not really up to you after a point. Instead of sneaking around the edges, it might pay to cut your hours in half but take the intellectual risks and do the emotional labor you’re capable of.”

How are you spending your day today? How many hours do you work? Probably too many.

It’ll take some bold steps to step back and work less. But you know as well as I do, when you’re over-worked, the work suffers.

Maybe today’s the day you start working less, and in turn, start working better.

(Photo credit)

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  1. This is something I am struggling very much with right now, Matt. I am super overwhelmed with everything I have on my plate, so I am working on coming up with a system to allow me to be productive, yet still have some hours left in the day.

    • I hear you, Marshall. Part of me writing this was a form of self-therapy. I’m the first to admit that I’m over-worked, but I’m taking steps toward getting that balance back. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting there, with the understanding that MORE work doesn’t always mean better results.

  2. Definitely agree. Productivity and time management are huge problems for people. When you start telling yourself you don’t have time to do things that take 30 minutes or less, there is a problem. I think people believe they are working, when they are really getting distracted. Like right now, I need to go for my run (still training for half marathon – are you running??) so I’m going! :)

    • Exactly. We all fall into the trap of “working” when we’re really not. It’s amazing how much you actually get done when you are 100% focused on actually getting that thing or those things accomplished. We’re capable of doing a LOT in a much shorter period of time than we think.

      And yes, still running. Been having some knee trouble which sidelined the marathon training for a bit, but trying to get back in the swing and still HOPING to run the marathon in late April. But I’ve got a long way to go – and my knees need to stop being a bitch. :)

      • Oh yes. Rest rest rest. I had some foot pain so I took three weeks off and now I’m back to normal. When you start running crazy distances and progressively get better, your body starts aching in all kinds of places.

  3. What i have to say Matt is that, your website life without pants is very much a resource for real life lessons. Not to mention your blogs. You’re doing this work with purpose. Thumbs up Matt!
    Juma,