Leverage is about maximizing the amount of work that's not done. Think about that concept for a moment, as it might seem counterintuitive to our capitalistic society, where more is typically seen as better. Because sadly, we live in an economy where people are putting constant time pressure on themselves with heavy workloads. People have bought into the story that their jobs should become more and more demanding with every passing year. But that's just fear and scarcity talking. It's a mirage. And it's part of the reason over twenty percent of our nation's workforce is experiencing burnout.
MIRAGING — Deliberately choosing not to do something to see it simply goes away and nobody notices
The sweet spot is identifying the work that will net the highest rewards with the least amount of effort. To quote the great physical fitness pioneer, as much as necessary, as little as possible. Now, if you're sure how to steer clear of high effort low reward mirage, or if you're still struggling to decide whether or not a particular task matters, try this. Just don't do it. Err on the side of less. See if that thing just goes away. Because if a given task does matter to someone, they'll find you, and then you can have a conversation with them about whether or not it matters, which it probably doesn't. Now, if it does matter, great. You've identified a key priority, and you can crack on. But if it doesn't matter, if you deliberately choose not to do something and it simply goes away and nobody notices, then you've created leverage for yourself. You've maximized the amount of work that's not done. And now, with your foundation of calm, focused, efficient energy, you're poised to handle whatever's next.
Miraging, to me, sounds healthier and more sustainable than working until midnight worsening a presentation for a meeting that won't happen for a project that doesn't exist. It might sound absurd, but that's many people's professional reality. The work they're doing is basically snacking. It feels nourishing and solves the short term problem of hunger, but because they never actually consume anything of substance, they ultimately suffer
If you want greater leverage, eat a meal. Maximize the amount of work that's not done. Don't operate from a place of fear and scarcity, working on projects that don’t reward you for the effort you put in. Make the juice worth the squeeze. What provides you with the highest amount of reward for the least amount of effort?
Steer clear of high effort low reward work
Stop doing creative projects from a place of fear and scarcity
Identifying the work that will net the highest rewards with the least amount of effort.
Replace burnout with a foundation of calm, focused, efficient energy