Taking the easy way out... not always a bad thing
Here’s a question for you. Whatever happened to the easy way out?
Take energy for example. We’re taught in physics that energy takes the path of least resistance. Why? Doing so allows it to preserve its energy and travel a longer distance than if it were to take a more complicated path.
My advice? Take the easy way out.
Spend time on the things that help you.
Ever heard of the Pareto Principle, colloquially known as the 80/20 rule? My colleague, Michael Simmons, wrote a terrific article on ways we can apply this rule to our day to day lives. The concept as it relates to work habits is simple: 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. The important thing is to identify the 20%.
This is huge. Every day we hear successful people say ‘you have to grind to be successful,’ ‘work hard, play hard,’ etc. I’m here to tell you while that may work for some, it doesn’t apply to everyone.
My advice? Use the 80/20 rule and prioritize your efforts. What are you working towards? And which of the 20% of them will get you the 80% return?
And in doing so, take the easy way out on the rest of your tasks.
Now bear in mind, taking the easy way out does not mean sacrificing your values or being dishonest or cutting corners. It simply means delegate your time to things that matter more. If you have to spend 10 hours on a task for instance, make sure the task you choose gives you the highest return on investment.
How can you apply this day to day?
- Delegate—whether you’re leading a team or working side by side with one, spread out the work so everyone benefits.
- Collaborate—there’s no need to do everything on your own. Find the experts in the field you need and work together for mutual gain.
- Google it—trying to do a difficult task? Chances are someone has done it and shared their technique. Look online to see if people have done it before and use tips (and of course, give credit if you find them helpful).
I could go on, but the point I’m trying to make is that no one said you had to take the hard way every single time. Channel your drive, your attention to detail, and your dedication to the things that matter most.
As this hamster demonstrates, often the path of least resistance is the best way forward.
Try taking the easy way out on something and let me know how that goes.
If it works for nature, it can work for you!