We are without a doubt, living through a time when we are being asked continually to do more with less. My feeling is that many are becoming fatigued with the requests to do so. But as I’ve thought about it, I really believe that much of the fatigue comes from the absence of a road map explaining how. Is it really possible or just a pipe dream? Can I do more with less? I believe we can, but we need to consciously address the how in a concrete actionable way!
Who Are We Asking?
Let me suggest to you that as simplistic as it sounds, there really are only two kinds of people in the world – those who believe there is a way and those who don’t. So in your workplace, who are you asking if doing more with less is possible? If you are surrounding yourself with people who have decided that there is no way, the answers will be as predictable as the setting of the sun. But, if you set about to ask and discuss with people who always seem to find a way, your discussion will most assuredly be completely different!
Further, why we are asking is as important as who we are asking. Admit it, you know people who always ask opinions of people they know are like minded on a topic, just to reinforce their belief that things are hopeless. So be honest with yourself when you ask for answers. Are you looking for a way to make things happen, or are you simply stacking the deck in favour of your preferred answers?
Make Time to Think
Find a way in the business of life to make time to think. Every morning, with few exceptions, I carve out 15 minutes to put the day ahead of me into perspective, and to prioritize what I need to get done. I do this knowing that there will be 100 knocks on the door, and as many or more phone calls and emails, all seeking to distract my focus from what I identified as priority for the day. In most cases, it means the difference between busyness and accomplishment.
To get more done we actually have to do less. Less wasted time, less unfocused activity, less reactive and more proactive. Those 15 minutes in the morning, and they may be 5 or 50 for you, lets me focus on what I need to do with what seems like less and less time. Moving forward, as we rely on our focus rather than what grabs our attention, we find our work to be more consistent and productive.