Wisdom//

Success is Not Directly Proportional to Effort (10x Results Don’t Always Require 10x Effort)

Sometimes, less is more.

Jayk7/ Getty Images
Jayk7/ Getty Images

I have a lot of respect for effort.

The right kind.

Is your effort moving the needle?

Success is absolutely about what you focus on, and how effective you use your time to achieve your goals.

Millions of people have become too preoccupied with “the grind,” and it’s actually burning them out.

Just because you tried hard doesn’t mean it will work or you will succeed.

By all means, try, but with a better approach.

Effort is just one component of success.

Others include skill, effectiveness, resources, luck, and the appropriate matching of all of the above to the task at hand.

People with low skills, no matter how much effort they put in will not be successful at accomplishing their goals beyond their competency.

And there are, of course, many people, such as lottery winners, who are “successful” with no effort.

Some people work 40, 50, 60, and even 70 plus hours per week.

But have little to show for it.

Spending a lot of time doing something doesn’t mean that you’ve accomplished anything useful.

You can spend hours on a single task only to realize that you are doing it all wrong.

Not all effort is equal.

I have more respect for results.

In the real world, nobody cares how much effort you put in. They care about the results you get.

Question your effort/approach

The effort is assumed.

It’s expected. But have you questioned your effort lately?

If you are doing something better suited to a computer, automate it!

Two people can spend time trying to accomplish the same task.

But the one with a better approach can save time, energy and put half the effort into doing something else that can advance the bigger goal.

Success, however you define it, is achievable, and within your grasp, if you have the right habits and routines.

To achieve 10x results, find the fundamental principles and tools and apply them to your challenges.

“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behaviour that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals,” says Ray Dalio, author of Principles: Life and Work.

Influencers, great leaders, icons, titans, and billionaires have principles that guide their actions.

Think carefully about what you’re doing, and how you can do it more efficiently.

Start anything with a clear understanding of your destination, and then determine the best principle, approach, and steps to get you there.

10x results require better routines, the right principles, and a personal work system that produces results.

You need a results-oriented approach.

Establish a solid, robust system you can develop habits around, supported by the right attitude, so that your efforts generate maximum return.

These two things allow you to identify purposeful effort, which ultimately leads to the achievement of the ultimate goal, says Dan Collins, Olympic medalist, speaker, trainer & Consultant.

He recommends this approach to 10x your results:

  1. Understand what your focus is
  2. Establish processes to control your environment
  3. Identify and commit to habits that improve your development
  4. Identify the sacrifices you need to make
  5. Maintain a positive attitude
  6. Continually commit to purposeful effort and your focus

Beware of the sunk cost fallacy

The sunk cost effect is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavour, or continue consuming or pursuing an option if they’ve invested time or money or some resource in it.

This idea often applies to money, but invested time, energy or pain can also influence behaviour.

Yes, it hurts to stop a project or pursue a different path after working on something for hundreds of hours.

But if new approaches come to light that shows you that the amount of work you would have to do to complete the task from this point on is not worth the returns, it’s best to stop.

It pays to consistently stop and measure results figure out how to get things done effectively — this often involves thinking outside the conventional approach, rather than just putting in more effort.

“What gets measured gets improved,” the old saying goes.

Review your routines regularly.

Do a regular review of what you have done in the past week and the corresponding results.

Then analyze the things that are working and the things that aren’t working. With the former, keep them; with the latter, remove them.

Very soon you will have a very streamlined list of things that work.

Key takeaway

The goal should always be to get things done with the minimum effort.

It’s easy to hide in the shadows of best efforts while results continue to plummet. A valiant effort just won’t cut it.

Commit to delivering real, tangible results using only the best time and resource saving techniques at all times.

Ready to go deeper?

If you enjoyed this post, you will love Postanly Weekly, my free weekly digest of the best posts about behaviour change that affect health, wealth, and productivity. Join over 50,000 people on a mission to build a better life. CoursesThinking in Models, and Kaizen Habits.

Originally published on Medium.

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