When you work, work with the highest degree of efficiency. If you can’t work with the highest degree of efficiency, don’t (pretend to) work.
There are leaders who preach a hardcore work ethic working hundreds of hours and never leaving the office. Then there are leaders who believe time and income ought to be separated. The former must be freely available. The latter must be automated. And then there are leaders who approach work differently.
Note: most employees will not have the freedom to structure their work. Let alone their work hours or days. If you are an employee, stop reading. Go back to work. Tim Ferris’ “4-Hour Workweek” is minimalism on steroids centered around living large and in the moment. It’s a concept that isn’t universally applicable, but it contains a few cherries ripe for the picking. Notably, the concept of focused, deep work is something I adopted, but slashed in half. Two hours of work with the highest degree of focus suffice to identify, arrange, and mitigate all of my important tasks. It doesn’t matter when those two hours occur. If you’re a morning person, get after it in the morning. If you’re a night person, get after it at night. The only thing that isn’t negotiable is a free-of-interruption session of two hours. No phone. No email. No nothing distracting. In order for me to get things done, I tend to first identify the most complex problem that I am trying to solve. I scribble down all possible things that concern me. Everything. No matter how minute it may seem. As I’m writing this post, I think I use a Pugh Matrix to arrange, or better defer, delegate, and eliminate tasks. It’s a cool system to make priorities. Eventually, I mitigate by either executing part or – if possible – all of the solution. Until I fail. If that happens, I shelf and reevaluate my approach and whether I missed an important metric and information. Once the two hours are expired, I end my work.
That’s really it. I repeat this process seven days a week. With the time reclaimed, I tend to find myself outside hiking, running, cycling or playing shenanigans ultimate on the beach. With the energy conserved, I observed more work with the highest degree of efficiency done. I feel I get more important things done. Does it work for you? Likely not, but give it a try and make it yours.
This post originated on my substack Codifying Chaos.