Do Less and Obsess More?

As the third leg of the stool I appear to be building about doing less and being happier, I submit this article from the Financial Times.  The article is really a review of Morten Hansen’s new book Great At Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better and Achieve More.  There is a better review in last Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (January 13, 2018), but it requires a subscription to read.  If you have one, I recommend it.

The gist of this is that as workers we try to take on too much because we have been indoctrinated to believe that the more we do, the more hours we put in, the more projects we manage, the better we will do and the higher in the business we will rise.  Hansen pops that balloon and has research that shows that working ridiculous hours to impress your bosses is, generally, not the way to get ahead.  Rather, and here is the rub (there is always one), engage in fewer things at work, but do those things better.  As he puts it, obsess about the few things you take on.

Ok, I know that a lot of what gets written about in the FIRE community is about how to disengage from work (the point of early retirement), but honestly, for the folks who enjoy their careers, the “work less, do more” notion is a better one.  Work for works sake needs to die.  Having those with the most hours in the office (or on the road) be the more successful needs to end.  Perhaps this is the way.

I hope you are all successfully surviving Winter!

Until Next Time, FIRE On! – Oldster

This entry was posted in General FIRE, Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Do Less and Obsess More?

  1. This make sense to me. Granted, I work for a small company so I *have* to wear several hats. But still, I’m now trying to put more effort into one particular aspect of the company, and I’m trying to be a little more single-minded about it. I think we’re slowly seeing results. So I wish I’d focused on it more before. Maybe I need to obsess a bit, eh?

  2. Oldster says:

    Hi Abigail. Thanks for reading. The “Obsess More” idea rings of specialization and, as an attorney who has seen that ripple through my profession, I’m cautiously optimistic of the value of obsessing. I think that focusing on specific tasks until completion, one project at a time, might maximize results on a project by project basis, and result in better work and more success. But I would be cautious of anything that looked like pigeon holing. Part of the joy of life is in its variation. And it is all about joy, right?

Comments are closed.