Do you ever strum your fingers on the desk top as you look down at your work and think, ‘Right, how can I do all this lot without really working?’
Brought up in an era with a cliché that went: ‘You must work hard for a living’ my attitude to work conflicted with what I’d learned from my elders and peers. I felt ‘wrong’ because I wanted to be lazy. I felt ‘guilty’ for wanting to do as little as possible and ‘unworthy’ in my role as office manager for an insurance brokerage. But I tell you I’ve cracked it! I’ve discovered how to maximize my results without working like a dog.
When I tell you how easy this is, you might not believe me. When I tell you how easy this is you’ll probably think that the idea is so alien to your ‘work hard for a living’ ethics that you won’t want to believe me, so before I share my secret to success with you, let me first tell you something worth bearing in mind…
Every day doctors prescribe more and more anti-depressants,
Every month more and more couples separate or divorce; and
Every year more and more employees take time off work because of one stress disorder or another.
We work too long… we work too hard… we get tired… we get stressed… and we die too young.
So my first secret of success is this: if your work hurts you or depresses you then it is killing you. And I’m willing to put money on it that you’ll find yourself much less effective as a dead person. But you know that there is something inside of you that makes you feel good, something that excites you, something that will bring you life if only you discover how to get to it.
Some people have heart attacks or get cancer with the stress of overwork. It’s a pretty rude awakening. Some people review life when they find out they might die soon. My wake up call for working too hard was a fourteen-foot fall, head first onto concrete. The impact hurt…naturally! But more importantly it knocked enough sense into my skull to make me realise how precious life is and served as a reminder that I really needed to get back to creating that system of not working too hard.
My second secret is to substitute the word ‘hard’ for ‘efficiently’. Who wants to work with their nose to the grindstone, their shoulder to the wheel and their ears to the ground… for one thing it’s a very uncomfortable position to work! For another I don’t believe your posture will help your brain flow with creative ideas. Before I tell you my effective work posture let me just briefly explain what I do for a living.
I’m a writer, author of a novel, Black Water, and two personal development books, Steps to Greater Happiness and Be the Hero in your Own Life. Now you might think as a writer I sit at a desk all day with a pen or a laptop and write page after page, but that’s not the case. And here is my second secret.
I work my hardest when I’m flat out, on the couch, bed or floor. I solve more problems, write more dialogue and create much better ideas for plots when I’m not sitting upright bashing away at the keyboard. It’s a bit like when you go to bed and suddenly remember something you should have done earlier in the day, it’s tapping into the subconscious and working efficiently and not hard.
But I know most of you probably don’t work in that kind of environment. You work in a busy office where you’re practically chained to a desk. So what do you do? Sit in a park at lunch, listen to the birds, listen to the sounds of people walking by, chill out and then ask yourself what you need to do. Take an extended coffee break, lock yourself in a toilet cubicle and take five. If a colleague comes looking for you tell them you’re on your creative thrown, problem solving!
So, the keys to creating success with ease are: find work you love and try out my method of working efficiently.
Neil Millar writes monthly articles for Unstoppable Life’s FREE newsletter. He invites you to join the fast growing newsletter aimed at people who want to find greater rewards in their work and more energy in their home-life.
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