How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More


What is expected from us as workers?  In a word: work.  Most folks think that if you don’t succeed, the answer would be to work harder, longer, or ideally both.  In fact, add more hours to your day to get your work done.  Or commit yourself to getting more done in a smaller amount of time.  

how top performers do less work better achieve more

Morten T. Hansen’s book, Great at Work, suggests working hard isn’t nearly as important as working smart. Here are some of his suggestions.

  • Learn to say no – concentrate on the tasks that provide the most value without distraction.
  • “Do less, then obsess” – assess your strengths then optimize them while concentrating on something specific.
  • Find the right balance – avoid collaborating too much or too little with your co-workers.
  • Remember that the way you feel about a task is just as important as accomplishing it.

Hansen believes that in this age of “disruption” and evolving technology, we should be streamlining our workflows instead of spreading ourselves thin.  He also espouses practices that upend outdated practices like performance reviews, scientific management and rules of conduct that go back to the 19th century (no joke). 

With Great at Work, you will learn how to pare down a burdensome workday and discover that being focused rather than exhaustive is much more satisfying!

Here is the summary from Amazon:

“From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Great by Choice comes an authoritative, practical guide to individual performance—based on analysis from an exhaustive, groundbreaking study.

“Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his ‘Seven Work Smarter Practices’ that can be applied by anyone looking to maximize their time and performance.

“Each of Hansen’s seven practices is highlighted by inspiring stories from individuals in his comprehensive study. You’ll meet a high school principal who engineered a dramatic turnaround of his failing high school; a rural Indian farmer determined to establish a better way of life for women in his village; and, a sushi chef, whose simple preparation has led to his restaurant (tucked away under a Tokyo subway station underpass) being awarded the maximum of three Michelin stars. Hansen also explains how the way Alfred Hitchcock filmed Psycho and the 1911 race to become the first explorer to reach the South Pole both illustrate the use of his seven practices (even before they were identified).

“Each chapter contains questions and key insights to allow you to assess your own performance and figure out your work strengths, as well as your weaknesses. Once you understand your individual style, there are mini-quizzes, questionnaires, and clear tips to assist you focus on a strategy to become a more productive worker. Extensive, accessible, and friendly, Great at Work will help you achieve more by working less, backed by unprecedented statistical analysis.”

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Posted by Mark Jewell