1-Sentence-Summary: Work Less Finish More is a hands-on guide to adopting a more focused frame of mind and developing habits that will enhance your productivity levels, give you a sense of accomplishment and put you in the right direction in order to achieve your objectives.
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Favorite quote from the author:
Being productive is something that many of us strive to achieve every day. Contrary to the general perspective, productivity is not about how many hours you work, but rather how to get more of the hours you spend working.
Moreover, the reason why people want to be productive at work is, ironically, to have more free time outside their job. Once you learn how to get the most out of your input, you will see that both the professional and personal areas of your life improve as a result of better time management and higher work quality.
Now, many of us fall into the trap of working longer hours, in hope that we will get more things done. Keep in mind that being busy does not necessarily mean that you’re also productive. Although accomplishing things might feel rewarding, you don’t want to become a workaholic, right?
Work Less Finish More steps in to help you find the proper work-life balance by offering great advice on how to understand productivity. The book reveals ways through which you can work fewer hours and raise the quality standard of your output.
Here are my favorite three lessons from the book:
- Follow the six principles of productivity to get more out of your work.
- Learn to prioritize tasks during the day and avoid spending too much time on meaningless activities.
- Take every aspect of your life and organize it to create a sense of control and tidiness.
Lesson 1: There are six principles of productivity that everyone should follow.
Similar to science, productivity works based on principles. The first one is the Pareto principle from mathematics, which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the cause. Identify what is it that matters most in your work and focus on that. For example, stop checking emails more than twice per day, as they are not relevant for your ongoing work.
The second principle states that motivation doesn’t matter. Work because you’re disciplined, not because you feel motivated at that moment. Keep in mind that motivation is the result of hard work, not the cause of it.
Thirdly, learn that your willpower doesn’t work. Create an environment that fosters learning and allows you to focus on your work, not one that is filled with distractions, such as a phone or sweets, as you are extremely likely to give in once you see them.
The fourth principle is that multitasking is a myth. Focus on just one chore at a time, and you will notice how you’ll become more productive. Big achievements come from small actions, according to the fifth principle. Shape your future by taking action in the present, and notice how small actions, such as making your bed, will make you more disciplined and productive in time.
The last principle is that your success comes from your habits. Similar to the fifth principle, accepting this truth can make you more productive. Learn that past habits shaped your personality and who you are today, so take action and work on the person you want to be tomorrow, starting now.
Lesson 2: Being productive implies prioritizing and giving up meaningless activities.
Every day we have to make choices. Even if we don’t realize it, we make dozens of choices, from where to have our coffee, to more important decisions, such as the ones related to our job or family. This lesson is about how we make our choices and how we prioritize our activities.
If you use the six principles to achieve everything, you will end up achieving nothing, the book says. So you have to be careful with what you start, as you have a limited time in a day. Learn to be focused and when to say no to what doesn’t matter to you. But first, you have to know what to focus on.
Carefully set your objectives by working backwards. Picture your ideal life in detail. Then picture your current life. The gap between the two is what you should focus on. Then, don’t let anything distract you from achieving your objective. Moreover, try to split it into micro-objectives and a deadline for each.
Oftentimes, when we are really ready to take charge of our life, many obstacles pop up. Haven’t you noticed how whenever you’re free, no one calls, but when you start working, you get dozens of messages? When this happens, learn how to say no and communicate your boundaries. This will help you create healthy relationships as well.
Lesson 3: Tidying up your life, from the mail inbox to your space, can enhance productivity.
Our environment sets the tone for us. When our house is clean and our space is organized, it is easier for us to get things done and become more efficient. Therefore, this is where you should start your journey towards being more disciplined and productive. Keep in mind that Americans need less than ten percent of what they use, according to the book.
Consider becoming a minimalist, or at least, living a simpler life. How? Well, start by observing your space and see what fills it without adding more value to it, or your life. Then, get rid of it by donating the item or simply throwing it away if it’s of no use. Moreover, try leaving the space empty and not going to shop for more items with the first occasion.
If you’re not convinced yet, you should know that minimalism not only reduces your expenses, but it also saves you time, as you won’t have that many items to carry around and take care of. Still, tidying up your space is more than just becoming minimalist. Organize every aspect of your life, even your computer.
When was the last time you went through all your emails and sorted out your inbox? Or optimized your computer not just because it crashed? You should consider clearing your virtual space too, if you want to become more productive. Lastly, declutter your space and design it in a way that speaks to you and helps you engage with your work.
Work Less Finish More Review
Work Less Finish More is a valuable book about productivity and how it can be achieved, as it offers top-tier advice that everyone can implement and see improvements right away. The author explains the principles of productivity in a manner that makes any reader understand what it is that stands in their way to achieving their objectives and how to overcome that. The readers will feel empowered to take charge of their life and improve many areas of their life after reading this book.
Who would I recommend the Work Less Finish More summary to?
The stay-at-home parent who wants to use productivity for parental duties and household chores, the student who wants to organize his coursework and learn more efficiently, or the person looking to become more productive in their everyday life to reduce the time and money input used in their activities.