7 Practices of Working Less Achieving More

Sarina Sorrenti
August 2, 2019

Have you ever wondered if it's possible to work less yet achieve more? Well wonder no more and learn about the seven key practices that you need to build into your life to achieve more than you've ever dreamed possible - while working less.

When was the last time you asked someone how they are and they replied busy, busy, busy? What does busy mean? If I am busy does it mean I am effective and fulfilled and creating value? Am I being the best I can be when I am busy? Many of the Leaders I work with have their plates over filled and feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of their roles and life. When we work too hard our life can become one dimensional and our effectiveness can deteriorate. We then create narratives that we have to work hard and do more and we are the only person that can deliver what is needed. I had this narrative for many years and then I got cancer and this narrative no longer served me. What if our narrative was that we can work less and achieve more? What would that look like? Could you even imagine this?

Tim Ferris’s book 'The 4 Hour Week' has many practical tips to work less and achieve more. Stephen Covey’s '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' also teaches us to work more effectively. I’m not sure if the saying 'work smarter not harder' ever really stuck so my new mantra is work less and achieve more.

7 Practices of Working Less and Achieving More

1 Mindset

My time at the Australian Quality Council taught me that quality is built into everything we do. It isn’t just a final check at the end. What if we built quality into the very first thought – what is the best way to do this, what is the best output, what is the best outcome? Stephen Covey reminded us to begin with the end in mind. When we are in activity addiction and non-value adding distraction mode we have switched off our quality mindset. Turn on your mindset and reset your standards and frequency to do what is most important and do it the best it can be. As Tim Ferris states doing unimportant things efficiently is not being effective. Effective is more important than efficient. Get rid of any assumptions that are holding you back from being more effective.

2 Prioritise

Time management is a false truth. We cannot manage time. We can manage our priorities, what is most important to our lives. Not just our work life. When we clarify what is most important to our life and we design our lives and actions in alignment with these priorities. My priorities are Wellness, Inspiration and Innovation, my Circle of Joy, and community contribution. I plan my week around these priorities and this covers my work and personal life. Use Pareto’s rule of 80/20, focus on the 20% that gives you the 80% return in all aspects of your life.

3 Stop Non-Value Adding activities

Stop the crap in your life, distractions and non-value adding activities. You know what they are, for example social media, meetings, handling tasks more than once, email and phone addictions, people that drain you etc. Parkinson’s law states that work expands until it fills all the time available for its completion. If you want to get more stuff done in less time create shorter deadlines for yourself. Start the value adding activities – planning, learning, reviewing, training, practicing, relationship management, preparing, batching tasks together, being present and mindful.

4 Playing to your strengths

When you are playing to your strengths you are in your element and you use less energy to achieve more. We're told that it's important to work on our weaknesses and turn them into strengths. This doesn't always work and it takes a lot more energy than doing the opposite - focusing and building on your strengths. So this means amplifying your strengths and doing work that puts you in your element and natural flow.

5 Outsource-partner

Surround yourself with smarter people that compliment your strengths. Let go of the illusion that you can do it all... you can’t! Delegate, partner and outsource locally and globally. For example we use Upwork, 30 second videos, Banks Group, Source-Online and other great alliance partners to help us in our business. These partners complement our strengths.

6 Head-Heart-Gut

The theory of multiple brain intelligences by Marvin Oka and Grant Soosalu found that when we tune in and align our head, heart and gut intelligences and have coherence we make quicker and more effective decisions. This helps with procrastination and acceleration of effective decisions.


Use the old PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) technique to be effective and efficient. When you have a new ideas – trial and validate before investing. Check, measure and learn to find better ways to succeed. Have an open mindset to innovation and improvement. As Sun Tzu said 'plan for what is difficult when it is small'. Be prepared with scenarios and contingencies so you can pivot when needed.

Assess yourself against the 7 practices of working less and achieving more, see what comes up for you. Be all you can be.

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