Corey Grusden home

What do you want right now?

When anyone asks you this question, what is your answer? Everyone wants a car, a big house on the ocean, etc… Those are easy ones, let’s use a different example. Lets say you are self-employed right now and you’re working eighty-hours per week. Do you think that is sustainable? Do you want to continue doing that when you’re forty years old? Or fifty years old for that matter? Probably not. Let’s say that you want to start working ten hours a week. Maybe that makes your palms sweaty, but lets just go with that for the moment.

Be bold and commit to a deadline

You said you’re working eighty hours a week right now and you want to be working ten hours a week.

Ok, when do you want that to start? Tomorrow might be a little too soon. And next week is a possibility, but let’s give it a little more time. Let’s be bold and say in three months (ninety days) you will be working ten hours a week. Now, looking at a calendar, we want to find the exact date three months is from now and stick an event in there. Sounds simple, but it will be helpful. And write it down somewhere on a post-it note, also another hokey method, but it works I can promise that.

Once you have that deadline you can work backwards.

Work backwards

Going from working eighty hours per week to ten hours per week can seem like a massive undertaking. Here’s the thing a lot of people overlook: Rome was not built in a day.

You want to simplify, simplify, simplify until you get a lot of little tasks to do. The biggest and most overlooked task is breaking down three months into weeks. That makes sixteen weeks. Each week has five days. That’s no-brainer.

We have eighty days, and sixteen weeks to work with.

Create the plan

First things first should be, what are you working on this week? Do you have multiple projects going on? Maybe you’re working at your job and you have to have meetings everyday etc… Ok how many meetings do you have and when are they? Write them all out on your first week of your calendar. You probably have to create reports, write those out and block off how long it usually takes you (You probably have this). Here’s an easy one, maybe you mow the lawn once a month, put that on there and how long it takes you.

Your goal is to try to write down all that you’re working on this week and estimate how long it’s going to take you based off how much you usually spend on it.

There is a quote that I always mention to people: Anything that can be measured, can be improved. That is exactly what you are doing. You are measuring the current work and how long it takes you to do that work because you are wanting to improve (reduce the amount of time spent doing work).

Improve how you work

If you are having to mow your moderate sized lawn once a month, that contributes to your hourly work per week goal. Let’s say for example it takes you four hours to mow your lawn.

We want to drop the amount of time it takes you to mow your lawn to thirty minutes. How on earth could that possibly happen?

This is the hard part of this whole idea of working less. It requires thinking and tuning. You won’t figure out the solution to the mowing problem on the first try, but you can work towards it little by little over the next couple of weeks. You may come up with a way to reduce the amount of time it takes you this month by five minutes. You may come up with a way to further reduce it by ten minutes the following month and in the final month you may come up with a way to reduce it all the way down to thirty minutes.

Some quick examples could be:

  1. Hire a lawn care company and try them out for their minimum amount of time, or attempt to negotiate a trial run to hire them once and for 30% more than they normally charges you can try them out and not get into a contract.
  2. Ask your neighbors if their kids want to make a few bucks each month
  3. Replace 50% of your yard with astro turf or rocks. This is a large amount of work and money, but it’s still an option nonetheless.

There are ways to reduce the amount of work you do, the examples I mention involve multiple things you may not be comfortable with, but that is what its going to take to get to your goal. Being uncomfortable, experimenting, negotiating, and probably paying some amount of money.

No one ever said it would be cheap. When people say, it takes money to make money, they aren’t joking. The goal though, is you’ll be working ten hours a week, how much is that worth to you?

Commit to that little bit of work

This is the key piece that most people don’t do. It’s just like losing weight or learning a new language, you have to do a little bit toward your goal everyday. Slow and steady wins the race.

Confucius has a quote, it’s ok to go slow, just don’t stop. He couldn’t have been more right.

You don’t have to spend hours and hours each day improving how you work to reduce the amount of time you actually work. It takes minor adjustments over a long period of time to improve. We have three months, you’ll make some improvement, even if you don’t get to ten hours right off.