We here at ‘Monday’ like to do as little work as possible, and to that end I’d like to present some advice on how to do less in more time. Slacking is an art form, especially when it comes to make it look like you’re not slacking. A famous quote goes something like “Keep slacking, but don’t ‘look’ like you’re trying to slack. I don’t know slack casual.” That’s whole point of this, do less work and spend more time doing it.
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. So 80% of your work comes from 20% of your time. Now if you wanted to do more in less time, you’d probably focus on that 20%, but since we want to take more time and do less work, you need to figure out what takes 80% of your time, the stuff that doesn’t produce anything and focus on that. Focus on the 80% that doesn’t matter.
Parkinson’s Law is the adage first articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. So what’s the obvious conclusion? Allow more time for completion. The more time you add the more time you work. Of course I don’t know if this means you work more because you have more time, or work less. Actually we don’t care if we work less, just get less accomplished so that works.
Don’t do work in low intense bursts. You would accomplish more if you time boxed or essentially spent less time and worked harder. We don’t like working harder, we like taking it easy. Spread tasks out that should be done in a few hours to cover a few days. You want to work on low energy so you don’t actually get anymore done. Work slavishly until you’re so tired you’re about to drop. Basically when we’re refreshed we can work more effectively, so try not to work effectively by wearing yourself out.
Remember big large overwhelming goals and don’t split it up. The larger the goal the longer it takes. This is actually contrary to being lazy, however, not getting anything accomplished is just as good of a goal is being lazy. Remember busywork is your friend. Use it. Don’t take breaks either. Focus on doing work and not finishing projects. Don’t ever delegate, because it might make you more productive, instead try to do everything yourself.
Finally Clutter. Live in a messy house, and a messy desk. Keeping clean takes time; it also motivates you when everything is in its place. Instead be disheveled, disorganized, and disordered. If you can’t find anything, you can’t get any work done right?
These are just a few of the tips. There are more that I may introduce in a later article. So in summary, focus on what doesn’t matter, allow yourself tons of time, big goals you can’t possibly finish, work a lot but try not to get much accomplished, don’t take breaks, add clutter to your life and you’ll soon be doing less in more time.