How To Do More With Less Effort by Adam Timm

Ever feel like when you get to the end of the day, you’ve worked really hard but don’t have much to show for it?

To prevent these moments, we can choose to work smarter, instead of harder.

The energy of springtime (even for us in the land of eternal summer) is ripe for planting new seeds, starting new projects, and getting in the creative flow. Once the project is rolling, we might notice that we’ve taken on too much, adding to our already full plate.

Instead of stressing out and giving up, use these 5 powerful steps to stay in the flow, or to know when to step away for a bit.

1. Take a few moments to center yourself
When we struggle and push to get a project done, we tense up and restrict the free flow of energy – in the form of new ideas and positive feelings – and get downtrodden. Take 5 minutes to connect with the breath, let the mental and physical tension go, and come back refreshed.

2. Determine what’s important
What do you value? Why are you working so hard on this project? Does it really add to the larger vision for your life, company, or personal well-being? In the space provided by your breathing practice, you can ask these questions and get clear answers.

3. Know your daily MUSTs
I like to go into each day knowing the top 3 things that I need to accomplish to make today a WIN. Make them necessary. Choose the 3 that will move the dial forward and leave you feeling like your efforts counted.

4. Chunk your time
When I was writing my book, I found that I could get the most done if I set a timer for 60 minutes, and then focused entirely on writing for that amount of time. No distractions, no excuses. Just writing. When the timer went off, only then could I take a 15-minute break. After the break, I’d come back and write uninterrupted for another 60 minutes.

5. Give thanks
The surest way to get into a state of positivity is to bring to mind those things that are grateful for. Make a list of 10 right now. Feel the joy, relish the smile.

Each of these steps works to lower your stress levels and keep you in action. Breathing turns on the relaxation response, so does gratitude and joy. Working in alignment with your highest values helps you know what you’re working for and working in potent bursts keep you striding boldly forward.

Use these steps each day to create your dream, just in time for spring. 🙂

Stress Release Tip
Your surest weapon against stress is your ability to choose different thoughts. Is your boss really out to get you? Did that guy who cut you off really mean it as a personal attack? Reframe your thoughts by looking at them differently. Lengthen the space between what just happened and your response. Take a breath, count to 10, then choose a kind response. You can always go back to the old way.

Mindful Moment
Break out a piece of scratch paper, and write down the answers to the following questions:

What’s the biggest cause of stress in your daily life right now? Why? Have you ever considered it? What would it feel like if this thing didn’t create stress for you?

So let it go. That’s it. Just let go of the struggle. Each time this cause of stress pops up in your daily life, just skip it. Laugh about it instead. Stand up and shake your hands out. Skip down the street. Defuse the thought until there’s no ammo left.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
– Albert Schweitzer

Guest Post by Adam Timm.


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17 thoughts on “How To Do More With Less Effort by Adam Timm”

  1. I agree completely. When I feel stressed about my workload or situations out of my control, I try to find something positive (however small) about the situation. If that’s too hard, I try to inject a little fun. For example, the other day, a coworker and I had to compile client info by year, by employee. All the reports were spread out on the conference table and we had to add to each pile. As we circled the table, I said, “OK, at the corner, we’re going to do a skip. The next time around, we’ll do the hokey-pokey and turn ourselves around.” It was goofy, but it made the situation more bearable.

  2. Great tips! It’s also important to remember that different communication styles can be to blame when you are taking offense or misunderstanding something.

  3. Sandy Middleton

    Thank you for these fantastic reminders! I am in the midst of a super heavy week, with my VP’s team all in town from around the country and scrambling to make their week a good one, so of course the load all rests with me regarding the success of the events occurring all week. As I was reading this, I took that moment to stop, sit here at my desk and close my eyes and breathe deeply, while relaxing my muscles, especially around the neck and shoulders and already feel better!

  4. What a wonderful article, thank you for sharing. I’m excited to hear Adam at the Event of Distinction in October. I’ll be glad to get more information on how to better manage stress!

  5. wow, that is awesome. I love the Give Thanks tip. We don’t do that often enough!! I would add, if possible take a quick 5-10 min walk…

  6. Thank you for sharing your tips! For the longest time it was challenging to me to decide what was important, etc…going off on either other’s important and ignoring mine, etc…especially being new at my position. I definitely like chunking my time and putting that into my Outlook, I didn’t think that would work, but it has been helping immensely and while I am using that time to work on something important, such as a document, I shut everything else off and things just go so much faster.

  7. Good advice here. I often wonder what happened to my day at the end of the day. I appreciate the good practical measures listed here that I will use.

  8. Choose different thoughts…it’s all about your attitude. You are able to choose how you react to situations all day long. A postive reaction will keep you in a positive/happier mood whereas a negative/angry reaction will put you in a negative/bad mood.

  9. Make a list every day of what you are thankful for really helps to give you a boost. For instance you may not want to make your car/house payment, but be thankful you have a house/car. You may not want to hear the alarm clock go off, but be thankful you have something to get up for. Remember even the little things. Many times you forget about the little things and need to give it some thought. Write down 5-10 things each day for a month. Try to think of different things every day. At the end of the month reevaluate your stress level.

  10. I get pulled in so many different directions each day and have to stop in the middle of a task or project to put out a fire that I do walk out at night sometimes wondering what was accomplished. I have been a list maker for as long as I can remember – both at work and at home. This allows me to A) keep track of things that need to be done (even routine items), B) prioritize them and C) feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of one of those “what did I do all day” kind of days.

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