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August 2010
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9 steps to help you work less and do more

 

Okay, so who doesn't want to work less and do more? Unless you're doing what you love every single day (and, seriously, how many people have the luxury of that?), you probably would like to work less and do more with your life. I know I would! So I was thrilled when I recently was asked to review Stever Robbins' book 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More. When I saw the request for a review come up in my email in-box I thought to myself, "Sounds perfect! I'm all about productivity and this book seems like it's right up that alley." And, no surprise, it really turned out to be a great book about how to get more done so that you will have more time to do what it is that you truly want to be doing. 

According to the book's back cover, the book "will help you break the bad habits slowing you down and holding you back. Work less and do more -- your free time is waiting!" And those words ring so true. Life is short and we all want to be living the best life we can be. With the help of Robbins' advice, I found that there are so many ways to be working more efficiently so that I can have time to do what I love to do. Below are the nine steps featured in the book -- a little taste of the influential content you'll find if you pick up a copy of the book. 

 

 

 

The Nine Steps

Step 1: Live and work on purpose

If you're anything like me, a lot of what you call work has very little to do with getting anything important done in life. Like when I compulsively check my social media sites every hour. That kind of thing must go.


Step 2: Stop procrastinating

What is procrastinating except the very art of not doing the very stuff you know is most important? We'll cover how to nip this in the bud, or at least arrange for someone to kick you into action when you're delaying. And just in case you're someone who claims being kicked into action doesn't work for you, we'll get out an Ostrich feather and tickle you into action instead.
 

Step 3: Conquer your technology

Our supposed savior, technology, is for many of us, the greatest obstacle we have to being truly productive. You'll learn how to use your technology to help you focus, instead of   hey, hang on a second. There's an instant message coming in.


Step 4: Cultivate focus

Do you have any idea how much time is wasted multi-tasking? A lot. If you keep yourself focused and eliminate distractions, you can toss yourself into the kind of flow where the results come fast and easy. And you'll do it entirely without the use of pharmaceutical supplements.


Step 5: Stay organized

When you have a place for everything and everything in its place, it's no work at all to find what you need, when you need it. I'm not just talking about physical clutter; this is also about organizing your thinking, your projects, and your processes. Reclaim all that time you otherwise spend hunting for the next step, the next paper, or the next person by knowing exactly where to go and what to do when you need it.


Step 6: Don't waste time

Sometimes you appear to be doing exactly, precisely what you should be doing, but are actually wasting time that could be spent doing something more meaningful, like eating bon-bons and sipping fruit flavored beverages in a hammock strung between your computer and your doorframe.


Step 7: Optimize!

As I mentioned before, doing things twice bores me silly. Especially when it comes to making mistakes. In Optimize, you'll learn how to do things once or twice, streamline them to the point where the task is completely brainless, and   Let's just say that I'll leave you to connect the dots. Think, "brain-eating Zombies." The implications will jump right out.


Step 8: Build stronger relationships.
 

You can't get there alone; you need someone to program the GPS while you're trying to read street signs. Relationships are, ultimately, how everything gets done. Together, we can do far, far more than we can alone. For example, one of us can measure while the other mixes, and then we can both eat the cookies when they're ready. You'll learn some excellent ways to create and deepen the relationships that matter most.


Step 9: Leverage!

The ultimate in Doing More, our final destination of leverage will give you several ways to make sure when you do get results, you get better, stronger, and faster than you'd ever dreamed possible.




As anyone with a busy schedule knows, it can be hard to find time to get all of your work done and still have any time (or energy!) left over for doing the things you love. If you got value out of the 9 steps listed here (and I know I sure did!), you should check out Robbins' book and get some more great advice on how to make the most of your time so that you, like Robbins, can work less and do more. If you want more advice, pick up a copy of the book, check out this interview with Robbins, or check out some audio samples from the book. You won't be disappointed with the great, entertaining content that will certainly help you to work less and do more. 

 



 What advice would you add for working less and doing more?
Do you have any great work-less-do-more resources?  


7 benefits of being open-minded

 
   

Being open-minded can be really tough sometimes. Most of us are brought up with a set of beliefs and values and, throughout our lives, tend to surround ourselves with people who share the same values and beliefs. Therefore, it can be difficult when we're faced with ideas that challenge our own and, though we may wish to be open-minded, we may struggle with the act of it from time to time. 

I'd like to say I'm a fairly open-minded person, but, like most people, I do have some pretty strong views about specific topics and find it hard to sway from those opinions -- no matter how others might try to persuade me. Of course, I fully believe that having strong beliefs can be a wonderful thing and I believe we should all stay true to what we believe in, but having strong beliefs doesn't have to mean having a closed mind. 

Though it can be tough to do sometimes, I've always found that when I open my mind, I've reaped a lot of rewarding benefits. There is much to be gained from opening the door to your mind and letting new ideas and beliefs come in. Here are just a few of the benefits I've uncovered when I've taken the time to view the world around me with an open mind... 



The 7 Benefits of Being Open-Minded

Letting go of control. When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. It can be very liberating to look at the world through an open mind. 

Experiencing changes.
Opening up your mind to new ideas allows you to the opportunity to change what you think and how you view the world. Now, this doesn't mean you necessarily will change your beliefs, but you have the option to when you think with an open mind. 

Making yourself vulnerable.
One of the scariest (and greatest) things about seeing the world through an open mind is making yourself vulnerable. In agreeing to have an open-minded view of the world, you're admitting you don't know everything and that there are possibilities you may not have considered. This vulnerability can be both terrifying and exhilarating. 

Making mistakes.
Making mistakes doesn't seem like it would be much of a benefit, but it truly is. When you open your mind and allow yourself to see things from others' perspectives, you allow yourself not only to recognize potential mistakes you've made, but also to make new mistakes. Doesn't sound like much fun, but it's a great thing to fall and get back up again. 

Strengthening yourself.
Open-mindedness provides a platform on which you can build, piling one idea on top of another. With an open mind you can learn about new things and you can use the new ideas to build on the old ideas. Everything you experience can add up, strengthening who you are and what you believe in. It's very hard to build on experiences without an open mind. 

Gaining confidence.
When you live with an open mind, you have a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor are you confined by the beliefs of others. For that reason, you are able to have and gain confidence as you learn more and more about the world around you. Open-mindedness helps you to learn and grow, strengthening your belief in yourself.  

Being honest.
There is an honesty that comes with an open mind because being open-minded means admitting that you aren't all-knowing. It means believing that whatever truth you find might always have more to it than you realize. This understanding creates an underlying sense of honesty that permeates the character of anyone who lives with an open mind. 

 

For some, being open-minded is easy; it comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, having an open mind can be more of a challenge, something that they have to work on and make an effort to obtain. Whether or not you consider yourself to be open-minded, you can certainly see from the list above that there are great benefits to viewing life with an open mind. It's not always an easy thing to do (believe me, most people struggle with this), but the effort to think openly and embrace new ideas will be worth it when you're able to take part in the benefits that come from opening your mind. 

 


Do you strive to be open-minded?
What additional benefits have you found from
opening your mind to new ideas?