Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Achieve More by "doing less"

One of the biggest lessons I've learned recently has been that sometimes by doing less, you accomplish more.  

In college and with the start of PerBlue I had always been working on multiple projects and lots of other things.  In general, I was good at multi-tasking.  These projects were always fun, educational, and exploratory. Since then, I've learned that in order to do something very well you have to focus on it.  And this means you have to do less.  What I have found is that everyone wins when you do less. Your team is happier, you're less stressed, the "thing your doing" turns out better, you have fewer conflicts of interest for your time, you invest more of yourself into it, you do indeed accomplish more, and you're happier at the end of the day.

What could this mean to you?
  • You are going to get rid of your least profitable customers which maybe make up to 60% of your customer base.
  • You are going to tell some friends and family "no" to being able to see them on the holidays.
  • Instead of building all 5 features, you're going to choose the 2 most important or critical ones, and cut the other 3.
  • You're only going to be part of one student org this semester.
  • You're only going to work on one volunteer project at church.
  • When your first kid comes, you're going to stop having LAN parties.
  • Your child is only going to do one sport at a time.

We have a culture where it is the "more you do" the "more important you are" and the "better you are." And this is false. Doing more doesn't make you a better or more important person. It just makes you more stressed out and perform poorly at what you choose to do.