After 15-plus months of dealing with the impact of COVID-19, we deserve a little more ease in our lives.
That goes without saying for essential workers everywhere whose ongoing efforts are nothing short of heroic. But I mean all of us. The pandemic has reminded us of how quickly everything can turn on a dime. Life is too short and time is too precious for it to be wasted grappling with unnecessary complexities or grinding it out every minute.
With this in mind, I was excited to dip into my summer book bag to read Greg McKeown’s latest, Effortless: Making It Easier to Do What Matters Most.
I love takeaways that can be applied immediately, and this book is stuffed full of insights and tactics that can help you shift your mindset to make the most essential activities the easiest to achieve.
Here are three tips that resonated with me:
1. Instead of asking, “Why is this so hard?,” invert the question by asking, “What if this could be easy?” I’ve been asking myself a version of this question long before I started my first business at age 25. The “right” way isn’t always the one that involves the most work. A related question I also like to ask myself: “How can we make this fun?
2. Pair the most essential activities with the most enjoyable ones. As someone who has blended business with pleasure for as long as I can remember, I know that work and play can co-exist successfully. I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
3. To simplify the process, don’t simplify the steps: simply remove them. Another way of looking at this, in the author’s words, is to maximize the steps not taken. I love the spirit of ruthless efficiency behind this one. I’ll bet there’s something on your to-do list today that you could spend a week of prep time on — or advance with one phone call this afternoon. Don’t overthink it, don’t over-engineer it.
Even if you don’t read Effortless, I hope you put these tips to good use. Because who among us wouldn’t want to accomplish more by trying less?