Why Doing Less May Improve Your Results

by Don Smith

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I visit with a steady stream of business owners and CEOs as a business coach. Nine times out of ten, I find that they are overcomplicating their lives and need to do LESS rather than MORE to improve their results.

One of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett had a 5/25 rule. Write down the top 25 things you want to do. Now circle the top five. Avoid the rest at all costs. It's a very similar process to the top-down planning method we outlined in our goals workbook.

If you want to be successful, you need to FOCUS.

Tension Relieving vs Results-Producing Activities

There are two primary different types of activities when it comes to business, tension relieving and results-producing activities.

Tension Relieving Activities

Things like browsing Facebook, watching TV, or going for a hike are tension relieving activities. We all need to step back from work from time to time and enjoy life, so these aren't “bad.” Just don't allow yourself to focus primarily on tension relieving activities instead of results-producing ones if you want to be successful in business.

Results-Producing Activities

There are two primary results-producing activities for a business. Talking to prospects and customers, and selling them stuff. That's the core of any business. Even e-commerce follows this same rule, although there sales copy may take the place of actually having a conversation with the client.

There's a bit more to it than that, of course. You need to create products, deliver what was promised, collect payments, and keep your customers happy, but the core of any business is sales.

Anything that leads to more sales is a results-producing activity. Everything else is merely busywork. If you want to free up your time and improve your results, get rid of everything that isn't results-producing ASAP.

Say No to Things That Don't Help You Achieve Your Goals to Succeed

If you want to be successful, focus only on those activities that are helping you achieve your goal and say no to everything else. Saying no to things that don't help you achieve your goals frees you up to say yes where it counts.

Highly successful people are masters at focusing on only what is important, which allows them to devote their full attention to those activities. That's why doing less can improve your results.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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