In what ways do you work smarter, rather than harder? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.
There is a lot written about how to work smarter, not harder. But both are really important.
First thing to remember: It is really important to work as smart as possible. But it is also important to work really hard if you want to accomplish great things. People who do great things work their tails off. Most work over seventy hours a week.
The top performers put in insane hours. Insane.
Professional basketball players work insane hours. Professional musicians practice 14 hours a day. They work on when they are vacation. They rarely ever take a full day off.
People that accomplished great things like Martin Luther King and Gandhi worked all the time. Even people who accomplish lesser things generally needed to work all the time.
Almost everyone that accomplishes great things works long and grueling hours. In my experience, the A-Players almost always work longer hours than the B-Players. So just putting in the hours likely makes you much more successful.
Yes to working smarter.
But yes to also working longer if you want to accomplish great things.
I'm a CEO, founder and a productivity and work smarter geek. I subscribe to feeds, search articles and read about every hack out there. I'll share with you my one silver bullet work smarter hack.
Starting, running and growing a business is enormously stressful work. Stress is a negative feedback loop. The more you get stressed out, the less well you perform, the less efficient you become, the more stressed you become, the less well you sleep, etc.
After starting my business, I found myself in this vicious cycle. Every day I woke to a pit in my stomach and anxiety throughout the day. It's an awful and at times paralyzing feeling. I was busy all day long with no time to think. This compounds itself when you're running a company because it can lead to leaving your head buried in the sand instead of thinking, working and seeing strategically. I vowed this year to change these habits and take the steps to ease that pit in my stomach and my anxiety.
This is the result of years of confusing being busy with being productive.
A couple months ago, I heard Tim Ferriss' podcast with Arnold Schwarzenegger where he talked about suffering from anxiety when he was younger. He resolved this by meditating every day for a year.
I was stuck by two things. First, other successful people have these issues and suffer from this! And by other people, one has been the former Mr. Universe! And second, it's fixable.
So I started meditating. Every day. I bought a year calendar, and I check a box off every day that I meditate. I'm up to over 60 consecutive days. Already, I've felt big differences. That pit in my stomach is no longer there. Most of my anxiety is gone. I'm much clearer minded, focused and productive at work. Instead of working in a fury, jumping from task to task and swimming in email all day, I'm much better able to single task which leads to much greater productivity.
It started out as a chore. And there often days I struggled to sit down to do it. Now, I look forward to it. To the peace and state of mind it brings, and to the huge beneficial affects it has in my day to day life.