Digital communications, including bringing up to date all our sites, have provided yet another way for us to work very hard, be very busy, and accomplish little. Third places, be they Starbucks or Whole Foods, are filled with important looking people toiling away compulsively on the laptops. Yet, the numbers show that in general business isn't doing that hot.
The tireless worker bees might be doing it all wrong. Way back in 2009, Buddhist executive coach Marc Lesser issued a manifesto against busyness - his book "Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less." It took years for me to absorb the seeming counterintutive lesson that the less we do the more effective we become. But get it I have.
Since May 2011, I have been downright lazy. Instead of chasing down all the business leads in the world, pulling serial all-nighters, and striving to please clients whose track records show they can't be pleased, I play around with ideas. I listen to what others in all walks of life are saying. I bury myself in THE NEW YORK TIMES on Sundays. I hop into bed at 10:30 P.M. and stay there until past dawn.
The quality of clients and compensation have improved. My animal instincts are sharper and I don't open myself to lose-lose situations. I knocked off 30 pounds. Setbacks don't throw me like they used to. I had a medium-sized one Friday night, was over it by Saturday, and took in "Ted" and the batman film this weekend. Success doesn't shoot me up into professional euphoria. That means I am less likely to follow the usual path of self-destructing.
Observation: Most careers derail from over work.
A shrewd expert on micro businesses like ours is Millennial Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants. She guides clients to automate as much as they can. Old-time systems theory brought into a digital era.
In his new book "Inside Straight," big time lawyer Mark Herrmann hammers how the busiest lawyers tend to be the ones knocked out of the box, the fastest. The lesson from his deconstruction of the legal sector is to be totally strategic in putting together a career path.