How to Reduce Your Commitments and Boost Results

Get-it-Done Guy discusses his "paradoxical" approach to big projects.

Stever Robbins
1-minute read

How to Reduce Your Commitments and Boost Results

While writing my book Get-it-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, I spent several weeks working on it full time. My goal: to spend eight hours each day writing. My actual performance: I stressed, procrastinated, stressed some more, then went to bed. Not so much with the writing…

Then I discovered a very paradoxical way to approach Big Honkin’ Projects: reduce your commitment. When your brain thinks every available moment has to be spent working on one project, it starts to freak out that you won’t have time for other projects (like, say, life).

When you reduce your commitment to your big project, you brain breathes a sigh of relief. It ramps down the stress. Once you can breathe again, you’ll find you can much more easily work on your project.

I changed my commitment to four hours a day on my book. With that change, my brain realized I could work on my book and still get other things done. Suddenly I calmed down and started feeling positively…motivated! Before I knew it, the book was done.

You may protest, “But I need to work on my book eight hours a day.” The problem is that you won’t, whether or not you need to. In the real world, you can put in four hours of work and then do other things. Or you can stress for eight hours and get nothing done. But the only world in which you put in eight stress-free, relaxed hours is in your imagination. I recommend reality, instead. Commit less, do more, and have a great life.

Results photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.