Now you can work less and achieve more

by Martin Reed on 26 October 2007 in Articles

Work less to work more

Some of the more observant amongst you would have noticed that the number of articles published on this blog dropped over the past couple of weeks. Don’t worry – I haven’t lost interest in Community Spark, I have simply been enjoying some time off.

A break can help you focus and remain motivated

The reason for the recent slowdown in new posts was because I was away enjoying the delights of New York City. In the past, I scheduled articles to continue publishing whenever I was absent for a few days. This time around though, I decided to take a real break and you know what? It has helped me no end.

Not only did I get to have a complete break from work, I found that I was coming up with inspiration for future blog posts and new ideas for my other websites. When I returned to the UK, I was extremely highly motivated.

A break helps you clear your thoughts, and even when you are not actively thinking about your websites, your brain will surprise you by coming up with new ideas you never would have thought of otherwise.

Overworking can affect your motivation

After a few months of writing for this blog, I knew there was no way I could find the time to continue posting a fresh article every single day. I soon found that a good output for me was a minimum of three articles a week – by reducing the number of posts I needed to write, I was able to remain motivated and ensure that all the content I published was of a decent quality.

Writing for this blog every day was becoming a burden in the early days – I didn’t see the writing as enjoyable; instead it was something I had to do. I have no doubt that had I continued to abide by my rule of one new article every day, quality would have dropped and this blog may well have been abandoned.

Determining an achievable and comfortable work schedule for this blog has ensured its survival and continued development. Working too hard on something can actually be harmful to the project and to you, too.

Working with a clear head helps you work more effectively

Being able to focus on a specific project or task is far more effective that working non-stop for every given hour of the day. If you over-burden yourself with too much work or too many tasks, you will not be working to the best of your ability. You may find that you rush things, you will make mistakes, you will get frustrated and worst of all you will lose motivation.

Remember – it is not about how hard you work, it’s about how effectively you work.

Enjoyment is your greatest motivator

If you enjoy what you are doing, you are a very lucky person indeed. I love developing online communities, and I love writing this blog and interacting with my readers. When the amount of work I was forcing myself to get done got too high, I found I was no longer enjoying my work quite so much. This resulted in my motivation levels suffering.

Enjoy what you do – work smart, don’t over-burden yourself, and remember to take a break every now and again!

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ysobel October 26, 2007 at 8:21 pm

I definitely agree. People are less motivated to function well when mentally drained. A break every now and then helps to recharge one’s mind and body.

Smiley October 26, 2007 at 11:50 pm

This is basically what happened to me. Did too much all at once then lost motivation for a while. Got it back now after taking a break myself. Now I’ve made myself a “to do list”. Everyday I have 3 or 4 things on my “to do list”, no less, no more. I do what ever is on the list each day and that’s that!

Rest of the time I spend posting or chatting with visitors.

Online furniture store October 27, 2007 at 10:17 am

I so agree with that, enjoyment is the best motivator; when you enjoy what you do, it ceases to be a ‘chore’.

Hirsutism October 27, 2007 at 12:25 pm

You are absolutely right, you have to take complete breaks form work in order to think out of the box. one gets new idea s only when one is relaxed. I am also going for a short vacation after 15 days.

Amish Handcrafted Furniture October 27, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Great communication. A break every now and then in any walk of life is an elixir. The week end was not created by morons.

Online furniture store October 28, 2007 at 5:27 am

I remember, even as a student, when studying for long periods, often the mind used to switch off and then i would take a nap. Even a short nap would help me retain what i had studied much better and also refresh me for further hard work.

The mind tells us when it wants a break and then rewards us when we give it one i think.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 29, 2007 at 7:59 pm

ysobel – Thanks for your comment, of course I completely agree with you!

Smiley – It’s definitely a good idea to have only a small number of items on your ‘to-do’ list at any one time. Too much can be overwhelming and you may find you lack the motivation to even get started!

Reena – Things are certainly a lot easier when you enjoy doing them. That’s one of the reasons why I always advise people to only develop a community around a subject they are passionate about.

I love a good nap every now and then, too!

Hirsutism – Where are you off to? Anywhere nice?

Ramana – “The weekend was not created by morons” – that’s a great way of looking at it!

Rehuel October 29, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Amen! I’m still running around in circles when it comes to finish work that I took on 3 months ago. I took so much work that I needed to work till the morning. In the end I wasn’t making any progress.

Now it’s clearing up a little, since I’ve had the time to relax a little.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Rehuel – I am glad to hear you have got through a large chunk of that work! It is important for you to take some time to relax before getting back on the job – otherwise you will continue to work hard but make less progress.