How being lazy makes you more productive

My client Jacqui is always telling me she’s just had another Netflix afternoon, but here’s the thing, this is her reward for hitting her goals.  It doesn’t make her lazy, in fact, I think she’s found a really clever way to motivate herself to take action.

There’s no bigger incentive to take action then something fun planned for when it’s done! 

We all have the same 168 hours in a week – and pretty much all of us have more and more demands competing for our time.  How we use them makes a difference to how productive we are.

And taking time out to recharge is more productive than you realise.

It’s like recharging a battery, it’s important to have time out, without having to think or process, so that when we do head into a working block of time our minds are refreshed and ready to go again.

If you want to have a cheeky trip to the cinema (or spa) in the afternoon, or maybe for you, it’s lunch with your girlfriends, all of this is possible IF you get your MIA’s (your Most Important Actions) done first!

The Netflix afternoon example is actually brilliant, Jacqui says she knows what time the kids are due home from school, she knows she wants, say, 2 hours of Netflix, which means she is super clear what she HAS to achieve in her business and by WHEN to be able to pull it off, guilt-free.

She gives herself:

  • A reward
  • A clear action plan of what she has to get done to be allowed that reward
  • A deadline

It’s genius.

Those few hours losing herself in Netflix are vital to her success.

She is recharging, nurturing and to be honest gifting herself some creative space too (don’t you find that all the best ideas come when you step back and give your brain a break?!).

Cal Newport, author of Deep Work says it well:

“When you work, work hard,”

“When you’re done, be done.”

I have so many examples from clients of how working less reaps massive results.

Meet Tash – she was working all the hours, and then whilst on a family holiday last year she did an ‘experiment’ to only work 1 hour a day on her business.  (You can watch this interview for all the details).

What happened?  She made that 1-hour count by working on the RIGHT tasks, the ones that would have the biggest impact.  She ditched the scrolling of FB and wasting time on non-important tasks. She got so focused and therefore so much done that the biggest win, other than getting to enjoy spending time with her family, was that she now works way fewer hours and her business is quite literally on fire.

The biggest lesson for me is that we can not function at our best if we just sit at the laptop all day and all night ploughing through a massive To Do List.

So being lazy, (or more specifically taking time out to do something non-work related for yourself) is allowing you to be your most productive self.

And you at your most productive is pretty powerful!

The more time I step back, the more clarity I get around, well everything.

This was me yesterday – I worked until 3pm and then went exploring Marbella.  I knew this was my goal so I made sure I achieved my daily actions in time to head off stress-free.

We’ve all heard the message “Less is More”.  My one wish is that you truly realised JUST how mighty this statement is.

So what can you do to embrace your inner laziness (and therefore boost your productivity)?

First up – you need something planned – a purpose for your time out (read why you need a “Time Purpose” here).

Here’s some example:

  • Schedule in some well earned Netflix afternoons before the kids come home
  • Head to your favourite coffee shop with a book or journal
  • Meet friends for lunch
  • Have a massage mid-afternoon (I did that last week – felt so indulgent on a Wednesday afternoon!)

In order to justify gifting yourself the above here’s some tips on making the most of your ON time:

  • Use the Pomodoro Technique (read this if you’re not familiar with it)
  • Work in 90-minute sprints
  • Set specific weekly goals
  • Think of the 80/20 rule – if 20% of your efforts bring in 80% of the results make sure you are spending your time on the RIGHT tasks (the 20% ones!)

And don’t forget to:

  • Identify a time-off reward
  • Create a clear action plan of what needs to be completed for you to be able to enjoy the above reward
  • Give yourself a deadline
  • Take action!

Here’s to embracing our inner lazy girl!

Love Jo x

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