Secret of Adulthood: Achieve More By Working Less.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:


Agree, disagree? It took me a long time to come around to believing this. But now I’m convinced.


The book give-away continues. If you’d like to win a free copy of Happier at Home, I’m giving away one book each day until publication. Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, a name will be picked at random. U.S.Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away.

If you’re wondering about the book, you can learn more about it here or…

–-read a sample chapter on the subject of “time” here

watch the new one-minute book trailer on “Ten ways to be happier at home”

pre-order the book here (buy early and often!)

  • Totally agree, at I always talk about the concept of Less is More.

  • peninith1

    What I do know is that you DON’T achieve more by ‘overtime’ behavior. I’ve observed several people who worked many extra hours. They always fussed about the overwhelming amount of work they had to do, but didn’t really accomplish more than others. All were ‘good’ employees who did what their job required, but all made work for themselves, engaged in a lot of wheel spinning, and often seemed to be avoiding issues at home.

    I found as I became more experienced, it required less time to accomplish my goals. I found myself progressively less attracted to crises, crash projects, and drama. By the end of my career, people often asked me to do a writing assignment ‘because it will take me all day, and you can do it in ten minutes.’ This was often actually true.

    My belief is that if a job truly requires 80 hours a week to get it done, then probably another staff member is needed. Except for brief periods in crises, most people do not work effectively for long hours. I have worked many long days in disaster responses. Even in those conditions, I notice that the intense work schedule is effective for about three weeks. Then either the personnel must start to change or the crisis wind down.

    Focus and freshness of attention seems to be key. I can stay creative and productive for up to about four hours — then I need a break or change of focus. 12 hour shifts at hospitals, endless hours for the staff of military or political leadership? That crisis mentality wears people down and out. I would guess that your Supreme Court time might have demonstrated this somewhat, Gretchen.

  • To me, family is very important. When you can be successful at that role in your life, you have a plan for being successful in the other roles you take on. When you have a plan, it’s easy to ‘do less’ and still ‘achieve more’.

  • Justme

    I’m struggling with this right now. I was working 40 hours, and hoping to scale back to part-time in the near future. Then the company that I was working for closed and at the same time I was presented with an exciting career opportunity. The catch is that I now work at least 50 hours a week. I don’t want to throw away this great opportunity, but at the same time I feel as if I’m throwing away so many others by working longer hours. That’s what has lead me to finding your book and your website. The insight is very helpful and a little scary sometimes, when I’m being honest with myself.

  • i agree. Saying no to things that aren’t important free me up to spend time on the work and people that matter. And if I apply Parkinson’s Law, then I can get just as much work done in a short amount of time as I would if I had more time. Less time to work means I’m more focused and more productive.

  • Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

    I am working on figuring out the secrets of accomplishing a great deal while maintaining a calm, balanced and healthy life. It isn’t easy!

  • fbl

    I agree to a point. I don’t think it’s necessarily working less but working ‘smarter’.

  • I think most people would agree with you, if they’ve given it any thought. The source of the problem is not workaholic employees, but employers who increasingly expect and demand 24/7 response from their employees, and who make it impossible to refuse without endangering one’s livelihood. Another favored trick that we’ve come across frequently is to place the responsibility onto the employee, telling him or her to take time off any time and as often as they wish – provided they meet some condition they know could not possibly be met. This is a bit like telling a nurse she’s responsible for providing her own vacation time and days off, and she can have as much as she feels she needs – provided all her patients have been cured first. Refusal of (unpaid) overtime is a luxury most people don’t have in the present economy.