What helps us to get more done and do work that matters?

Two things help us get more done.

Firstly, doing less. Secondly, taking breaks. That’s it.

We all try to do so much that we end up doing very little, we are a busymess of activity and very little to show on any depth. We are all doing shallow, repetitive and low-value activities. We go from one thing to the next in a whirl of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking, the myth that we have been sold to us, to keep us going with mainly irrelevant shit, that keeps our employers happy as we work like drones as giant human data servers, shifting endless bits of mainly useless data, to and from other human data servers. For what purpose? Not much.

If we do less, and sift through all the meaningless tasks and find the ones that matter, they will be the big ugly hairy tasks that we avoid by doing lots of meaningless shit. That is because the things that really matter are ugly, hairy, big and scary, so we avoid them. It means taking the plunge and overcoming the fear of showing up and making a difference. It means discarding the low-value tasks.

However, once we stop doing all the small low-value shallow shit, that frankly do not matter one bit, you know re-arranging the self-help books on the shelf at the home office, or cleaning the under-sink cupboard, or compacting down all the recycling in the bin (maybe this is just me and I need to get out the house more often). Then we have time to take on the big important things that will make a difference in our lives and in the world.

Of course, doing deeper and more important work means more focus, concentration, discipline, energy and focus, but hey, who said doing work that matters was easy?

This means that we have to take breaks, and allow ourselves to recharge a little bit. Using the Pomodoro method for example, where we work in focus distraction-free environment solidly for 25 minutes and then take a break of 5 minutes. Then perhaps, after a couple of hours, we need to get up, get the blood flowing through the veins, get some fresh air and so on. 

But like a battery that needs recharging so do we and we only have finite attention in any one 24-hour period, so if we have done deep concentrated work that matters for 2, 3 or maybe 4 hours, that’s it, we’re done. Of course, we can then do a few less important tasks afterwards. 

However, 3-4 hours a day of work that matters is so much more fulfilling and important than 8-12 hours of busy-bee shit that does not matter and is mainly about appearances of being busy as that is what we have created as the measure of hard work.

We need to stop that bullshit and do less and have plenty of breaks to enjoy life and experience other things than just being busy for the sake of it.