Success can be deceptive. We often think that the route to achieving what we want in life is by piling more tasks on our already full plates–and then grinding through them says Peter DiCaprio. However, when it comes to attaining success in any area of your life, less truly is more. And the sooner you embrace that, the better.
I recently spoke with Josh Spector, who writes about achieving success through simplifying one’s life on his blog The Road to Done.
Here are some of my favorite tips from our conversation:
Multitasking might make you feel like you’re getting more done–but it won’t help get your work completed faster or better. A number of studies show that people who multitask get less done in a shorter amount of time, have a higher level of stress and decreased levels of satisfaction in their work. “People think they can do two things at once,” says Spector,” but they really just switch back and forth between tasks.” That doesn’t result in more done–just poorer quality work and a lot more stress.
Embrace the power of “no.”
Creative’s will often try to say yes to all sorts of demands on their time: requests for new projects, clients, etc.–because they want their work to be seen and enjoyed by others. But saying yes to everything just means you’re doing mediocre versions of many different things, instead of focusing on what matters most. Creative’s need to find ways to turn some requests down–and that’s okay. Successful creative’s are not necessarily the ones who take every project that comes along–they’re the ones who focus on what is best for them and their business.
Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day.
Most creative’s are not morning people. But that doesn’t mean they should just stay in bed all day, waiting for the muse to tap them on the shoulder says Peter DiCaprio. The key is to understand your energy patterns throughout the day and make sure you’re doing higher-level work when your energy is at its peak (typically later in the afternoon), according to Spector. “It can be hard to go from sleeping late and working late into waking up early and getting down to business–but its well worth it,” he says.
Don’t feel like you need to respond right away.
The faster creative’s try to respond to demands on their time (emails, phone calls, etc.), the less time they have for work that really matters–and can help grow their business. Instead, block off a certain number of periods during the day for responding to emails and phone calls–and then leave the rest of your day open for doing deep-level work. Say “no” to people asking when you’ll respond–those who are eager to work with you will be understanding when you tell them that you’ve blocked off time during the day for emails/phone calls; others likely won’t want to work with you if they see that you lack focus in your communication.
Avoid meetings unless absolutely necessary (or productive).
Meetings might feel like an unavoidable part of doing business, but they’re often anything but productive–rather, they’re use as social gatherings by office workers hoping to chat about non-work-related topics. If you’re require to attend multiple meetings per day, you’re not doing enough deep work–and your creativity is suffering as a result, according to Spector.
Don’t be afraid to decline new projects or opportunities that aren’t the right fit for you.
Creative’s are often so desperate for their next opportunity that they’ll say yes to just about anything. But saying no might be more important than saying yes–especially if it means you can focus on honing your skills in one area instead of continually trying new things. According to Spector, creative’s should ask themselves these questions before agreeing to take on a project or opportunity: “Is this going to challenge me? Is this place I want to get to? Is this going to make me better?” If the answer is no, you should probably turn it down.
So, what are you going to do to put these into practice in your own business? Let me know in the comments explains Peter DiCaprio.
Lastly, if you want more tips on how to get ahead of your competition and get discover by bigger brands.