I once had a client tell me when I was teaching him my productivity and decision making strategies that I was giving him “permission to slack.” He seemed to find it quite refreshing.
Why did he say that? Because of two simple yet powerful words…..at least.
Rather than geting him to work on his tasks and projects with the Nike approach of “just do it”, I explained he would get a lot more done and faster if he learned how to not only define what “it” was but to do “it” in small tasks.
I developed the at least strategy one day while doing laundry. Sometimes, ok let’s be honest, often times, my clean clothes would wind up on the floor because I wouldn’t put them away right away, cluttering up my floor space and increasing my stress. Then a dirty sock or two might get mixed in with the clean clothes and back in the wash they went. Thank you o.c.d.
Then one day I thought, “Hey, why not have a dirty hamper AND a clean hamper so at least the clean clothes wouldn’t wind up on the floor?” Choosing convenience over my egos need to “just do it and do it all now” I got the clean hamper and wa la, my clean clothes clutter ish was resolved and my life suddenly became easier.
I started applying the at least strategy everywhere I could. Dishes, projects, managing papers and emails, grocery shopping, you name it, making my life as efficient as possible became my area of focus. From technology to systems, I have now found ways to make my life easier in so many ways that there are days that I ask myself the question, “Can life really be this easy?”
The biggest challenge I have found with this strategy is giving myself permission to slack and fighting against my perfectionist tendencies. Through practice and experience I have learned that “slacking” has actually made me even more productive, reduced my workload and stress and has made my life much easier and way more fun.