Not long ago, I was reading an article from Chris Guillebeau in which he draws a bold conclusion:
Productive people never have free-time.
That statement gave me pause and – after reflecting upon it in detail – I came to my own bold conclusion:
Chris is right.
As mentioned before on the podcast, my workdays are basically Mondays and Wednesdays. I work long and hard on those days – this past Wednesday featured 11 meetings back-to-back – which means there is approximately zero opportunity for anything remotely resembling free-time.
Yet in spite of the loaded schedule, I hardly (if ever) feel overwhelmed.
That’s because even though I may never have freedom of time, I maintain my freedom of mind using the principles of Less Doing.
At its core, Less Doing was developed to empower people to get back to doing the things they want to do. By optimizing, automating and outsourcing 95% of the everyday, Less Doing allows us to silence the cacophony created by life’s trivial details. Once successfully muted, we can invest all our mental effort into the 5% we do better than anyone else.
Right now, it’s 9 PM at night. My wife is out with friends but I’m here working. Am I laboring to churn out replies to emails or achieve inbox zero for the day?—No. I’m sitting here in a state of calm, expending energy on things of great personal interest because I’ve taken care to delegate 95% of the tasks “I need to do.”
And that’s really the secret; understanding how to separate “I” from “need to do.” Just because a task needs to be completed, doesn’t mean it needs to be completed by you.
That is the art of Less Doing. It helps us optimize, automate and outsource so we can think freely about the abundant possibilities around us.
Free your mind.
Stop going through the motions and start accomplishing the things you want to do.