Let’s start off on a high note by checking out the most epic example of working smarter (ever)!
HOLY SHIT! Was that the most awesomely badass move in the history of awesomely badass moves or what?!
But that’s not even the best part.
The best part was – that one move won them the war!
Now at this point you might be thinking yeah yeah that was pretty cool and all but how is it relevant to me?
Well, while you might be trying to reduce your workload by saying no to things and minimising any major time wasters, there will be instances when despite your best efforts, you will find yourself facing overwhelming odds. Kinda like Achilles above.
The night before your Physics exam with 6 more chapters to go on electricity and magnetism. Or, a couple of hours before an important client presentation with a completed presentation not even in sight. Or, a deadline fast approaching with you not even knowing what the deliverables are.
It is in those times that you must ask yourself – W.W.A.D.
What would Achilles do?
Just like Achilles went for the biggest guy in the enemy’s army, instead of trying to defeat each and every puny little soldier, you must go for the tasks that offer you the biggest rewards (a.k.a the big wins) instead of stretching yourself thin trying to complete everything.
The Achilles Mindset – Quality over Quantity
Theoretically, it makes a lot of sense to go for the big wins. I mean it would be dumb not to.
But in reality, two things stop us from doing so:
- Not being able to identify the big wins.
- And, the desperation for getting stuff done, when there is a lot to do.
When faced with a whole army of tasks/chores/things that need to be done, it is very easy to panic and start floundering like a drowning person trying to grab anything within reach.
In those moments, sloooooow things down for just 2 minutes and analyse the situation.
Write down a list of things that you have to get done. This will stop those things from bouncing around in your head and making you super anxious.
Then, prioritise based on impact vs effort.
Which are the things that you can complete comfortably in the available time and get the highest return from? Put those things at the top of your list.
Next, which things won’t make much of a difference even if they are done? Chuck those down at the bottom of your list.
Finally, swing for the fences and unleash your own awesomely badass moves to get those big wins!
Long Story Short
I would be the first one to admit that it’s not always easy to go for the high reward tasks. Sometimes we don’t have enough information, other times the low reward tasks are more urgent. And then there are times when everything is super duper uber urgent!
Yet, once again it’s a matter of going for quality over quantity.
This approach will end up with you accomplishing a whole lot more just because it puts you in control of the situation. Instead of you being controlled by the situation. Plus, more often than not, you will manage to score a big win outta nowhere (just because you were on the look out for it).
So, for the key takeaways, we have:
- Remember W.W.A.D. – What would Achilles do?
- Aim for quality over quantity when it comes to getting things done.
- When overwhelmed, write it all down. Prioritise on impact vs effort. Then go for it.
- Switch your mindset to always identify the best and biggest wins to go for. Instead of just trying to get things done whichever way possible.
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