Do Less Faster

A terrific book has been written by Techstars leaders, Brad Feld and David Cohen titled, Do More Faster. The book synthesizes the key ingredients necessary to start and scale a business and reduce the risk of failure. I have been thinking a lot about that title recently since I have made a pledge this year to actually Do Less Faster. Part of me feels like I am shortchanging my goals but I think the opposite is true. Why will doing less make me more successful this year and why might you want to consider it as well?

1. Focus on the Critical Few. Ignore the Trivial Many. Thank you to my mentor, John Harnish, for burning this into my brain as it sits in a plaque prominently on his desk. It works. Look at your calendar and cancel your trivial many.

2. I Suck at Multi-Tasking and So Do You. Stop kidding yourself. You can either push a bunch of things an inch or one thing a mile. Get the noise off your plate and start building the inertia for your one thing and do it well.

3. Prioritize Life Equities. Doing less will afford me the opportunity to invest more in other areas of my life and will make me happier, more inspired, engaged, and clear. I will do more this year in family, social, spiritual, and community. I’m historically a sleep and work guy. Not sure that’s the right formula.

4. Scarcity. Be less available. If you’re always available to help other people achieve their objectives, you won’t have enough focus to achieve your own. Know your value, where you need to be and manage your time efficiently.

5. Think Deeper or Just Think. Freeing up a bit of time from “doing” affords more time for “thinking”. What happened to doing more thinking? If all you do is process work you aren’t going to achieve greatness. Think more and you can do less.

6. Build Friendships, not Just Business Relationships. Create enough time for yourself to actually build friendships in business. It’s not “just business” if you want to build an enduring and successful career. Having the time to create experiences and stories is what forges friendships and that rarely happens over the course of a business dealing.

Eliminating the activities that keep me from hitting my do less goals is essential. 2018 will be a year of doing less and accomplishing a whole lot more!

Russell Benaroya