As my instructor, back in the old days during my apprenticeship, told me, we should always do more than we are expected to do. And indeed, this helped me a lot to go through life. I guess, it’s the unexpectedness of us doing more than we are asked for, that causes this reaction in other peoples brains. But for sure, in order to do more than expected, you also need to do more.
How to do more is not a simple question to answer. First of all, what exactly does “more” even mean? You can do more than usual but still less than others. So where is the baseline from which we start? Do we talk about the accomplishments of a single person, or a group of people, or all the people on the planet? And how do you want to measure it? In time? In outcome? In skills? In money?
This is of course just me joking around, but I hope I made my point. The concept behind doing more should be clear to all of us already. But if we have a closer look, it seems like the concept behind doing more, is more complicated than expected.
If I do a workout for one hour every day, I will do 7 hours of sport a week. But when I want to do more, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to do 2 hours of sport a day. In fact, I can even do just 30 minutes a day, but increase the intensity. The effect will be the same, I might just do not need to invest so much of my valuable time.
Doing more doesn’t necessarily mean to do something longer!
Doing more means to increase the effort, or the commitment, or the intensity, or the strategy we are using and stuff like that.
But how do we do more? How do we get off the couch? Well, a great idea would be to throw the couch out of our apartment. If you do not have a couch, you can’t wast time on it. Sounds like a very stupid thing to do, but please allow this thing a second thought. What would you say, if I tell you, that you can watch 4 hours of TV every single day? That four hours are too long? That four hours are too short?
TV doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. Even if you are watching the nonsense of the nonsense of the nonsense! If you are doing sport while watching, well, watch it! Doing more doesn’t mean to do less of what makes fun and more of what doesn’t make any fun! No! In fact, it’s the total opposite! But people do not seem to understand.
I could practice 10-12 hours on the racing simulator a day easily. Sure! It makes that much fun! But would that be as effective as doing two hour stints only? No, of course not! But how do we do more, if not with increasing the time for doing something?
We can be more focused and more specific. We can try harder and step over limitations. But doing that causes us most of the time to overpace. We do too much and need to regress later on. We need to increase our recovery time.
But doing more is still possible, right? You are not saying that we can’t do more.
Of course we can do more! But it’s important to do it in the right way, at the right time.
How to do more? First of all you need to know your current level. Ask yourself what you are doing all day long. Try to figure out the investments you are doing in a specific field and compare the input with the output. Sure, we may talk about something you can not really measure, but life is not all about measuring stuff. You can also just notice what you feel, or think. This might be the better baseline anyways.
Good, and now, think about things you could change. Let’s stick with our sport example. If you do 3 hours of sport a week, I do not see you doing 12 hours from now on. Why? Because your body is not used to it, yet. Therefore, you may have to start with a smaller step. What about 4 hours a week?
The thing is, that we can increase our performance over time. Meaning that you will be able to do 5, 6 or even 10 hours soon. But be careful to do not increase it too fast. Otherwise you will not be able to continue. Your schedule will explode, you will feel stressed out. Stuff like this will just happen, believe me!
But what is the right thing to do?
The right thing is, as always in life, to find the balance. We all talk about a “work-life balance”, but life does not only consist out of work and life. In fact, work is just a part of life, but so are all the other things in our life. Therefore, do not use the word “work-life-balance”, because it implements, that you do not even like what you are doing at work. Why should work be in balance with life, when work is life?
At least for me, we all need to find the right balance between all the things we are doing. Starting from sleep, eating, work, sport, hobbies, family, friends and all the other things. Living in harmony. But what’s the right ratio? This my friend, is totally up to you. Some of us might need more friends than others, some of us want to participate in the iron man, while others are ok with an evening walk in the forest. Whatever dreams you are chasing after, you should still stay within what seems to be possible for you to do. And once you did that, you are just increasing the effort a little bit.
Blogging is a good thing for that. I have once started to write a couple of times a year, then a month, then a week. Since 614 days I write every single day. But not even that, I also have written my master thesis in between, some parts on my book project and many more reports for university. Sure, you can decide today to write 2 hours a day, but I don’t think you will make it! One week, easily! Two weeks, maybe! But forever? Definitely not! You need to figure out your personal limitations and move those barriers forward. But, and this is really important to say, in such a way, that you will still be able to handle the situation.
Doing more is easy to understand, but hard to master. It is possible! Definitely! But you need to make smaller steps. I know, we have ambitious goals to reach and the time is running against us, but just think about it in general. Do you want to change the next month of your life, or your life?
See you next time!