Do more by doing less

You can do more by doing less. Save time by cutting out less important things and you'll have more time for what's important. Here's what I did along with some of my struggles.

<img src="/sites/default/files/NoClutter.jpg" alt="No Clutter" width="300"/>
<small>De-clutter your Life
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4927034897/">Image by smemon</a></small>
<h3>Identify your priorities</h3>
Sometimes you can achieve a lot more by doing less. At the end of your day, what matters is not how many things you've done but if you've done the most important things. Identify you priorities in life and ensure that you work towards to them daily. Here are ideas on <a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/priority-setting-101-using-t... you can set your priorities</a>.

<h3>Do the most important things first</h3>
It helps to get the most important things done by doing them first - <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XWsaqmAoLg">get the big rocks in first</a>. I aim to get my spiritual input and some exercise in the morning before I get to work. If I try to get important things done in the evening, there are lots of times that something happens (issue at work or a family commitment) and I can't get to it. If I do it in the morning, it is more likely to happen every day.

<h3>De-clutter you life</h3>
At one time, my life looked like this... Salsa dance lessons (twice a week), cycling training (twice a week), gym (three times a week), lots of Church activities and assisting with a Youth Group. I had a job as a programmer where I often worked long hours and often on the weekend too. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep and pushed my body hard. I was doing lots of things but struggling to do them well. The first thing I cut was the Salsa, even though I loved it. Firstly, being a dancer was not a priority in my life. Secondly I realised that to do the Salsa well, I really needed to be doing it four times a week and that just wasn't going to happen. I also cut my gym membership and instead took up cycling three days a week. I decided to choose cycling as my primary sport and do this for most of the year. I would focus on weight training for just 2 months a year. Things were getting more under control.

My work was still my biggest issue. As I cleared up time in the evenings I ended up working longer hours. As much as I wanted to work more efficiently and for fewer hours it seemed like a losing battle. I wanted to build applications that could be proud of. This usually meant that putting in more time than the client was willing to pay. There was also no limit to the work that had to be done. Getting my work time under control has been a slow process that I am still working on. Getting married definitely helped! Now I have three kids and it is even more important for me to have that balance with work.

De-cluttering my life and focusing on the important things in my life have helped me to do more of the important stuff. Doing less was easy with some examples such as Salsa but a long hard slow process for other areas. Sometimes radical steps may be necessary. As a result I have been able to be more involved in my church and enjoy a sport where I could take on bigger challenges. I saved time by cutting out things that were less important to me allowing me to do more. It is possible to do more by doing less.

Next week we look at doing more than you can by increasing your capacity. Please follow us via Facebook (see below) or <a href="http://eepurl.com/i51Q">subscribe to our free newsletter</a> to be notified of the next article in the series.

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<h3>Other articles you may be interested in:</h3>
<a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/priority-setting-101-using-t... Priorities</a>
<a href="http://www.cravetime.com/save-time/concepts/procrastination-and-getting-... more by avoiding procrastination</a>
<a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/simple-productivity-10-way... more by focusing on the essentials</a>
<a href="http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/09/a-case-for-singletasking-the-one-ta... more by doing things one at a time</a>
<a href="http://www.theenergyproject.com/blog/magic-doing-one-thing-time">The Magic of doing one thing at a time</a>

What do you want to do less of?

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