top of page

5 Ways To ‘DO’ LESS & Succeed MORE

I have invited Dr. Shawn Haywood to write a blog every month about topics that I thought would be helpful to my clients. If you are already a client of Precision then you know this is not typical physical therapy! At Precision Performance & Physical Therapy we care for our clients on a deeper level, more personal level and strive to look at the whole picture.  

When I first found out about my genetic heart disease I was forced to end my career as an endurance athlete and it nearly killed me- but here I am! I quickly realized I couldn't keep the pace I had set for myself in life and needed a change. Dr. Shawn Haywood helped me get there. She challenged me to start my own practice while "Doing less" so I could truly enjoy my life. I'm still working on it but each day it is a bit easier. I am excited about her contribution to this blog, I know it will be beneficial to all of you! Look for a new blog for Dr. Haywood on the 15th of every month.

The following was written by: Shawn Haywood, Ph.R.D

Americans DO too much.

We all know it’s true.  Yet we continue to sign up for the ‘go-go-go, work-work-work,’ game anyway.  And even when we’re not on the go, training or working, we’re often stressing or worrying about one thing or another!  It’s gotten kinda crazy and out of hand!

Or even insanely out of hand!

Here is what’s totally cool though.  You can DO less and BE more successful.  I coach people who love to ‘buck’ the system. You know, the people who are really intelligent, innovative, high-achieving go-getters who, quite frankly, are ready to be done with the craziness and struggle!  There is a growing number of Americans who deeply desire greater success and a whole lot more Zen. 

For over 16 years, I’ve been teaching executives, athletes and business owners to ‘re-arrange’ and intentionally design life, training, and business to be what s/he CHOOSES.  And with all the success and fulfillment a person could hope for.

For example, Jennifer Pete’, co-Founder of Zifty & SlingShop, and one of the Forbes top women owned businesses of 2016, Alexis Underwood, GP executive and Professional Distance Swimmer, The O’Neil Family Business owners, of WE O’Neil Construction, a 750 million annual company, or Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards, Owner of the fast growing, Precision Performance Atlanta, are in this ‘DO less, Succeed more club!  

These women and men are among the many who have rebelled against 10-hour business days, (most of my clients work only 5-7 hours per day), training until their bodies are wrecked, or being frantically busy simply because they have created a bad habit of being TOO busy!  Instead, they have applied the 80/20 to their training and life, they have released the endless obligations and to do lists and embraced strategic focus, while trading busyness for what is authentically valuable to life!

Seriously, you’re too busy and stressed anyway, right?  Wouldn’t YOU love to be a rebel for a cause?  That cause being learning to add a lil’ lazy to your life, more success and freedom, and a whole lot more significance.

Let’s look at 5 ways to DO LESS, and at the same time, be MORE successful and happier!

1. Put Away the Perfection

It’s time to move from perfectionist to recovering perfectionist!! OR, to an excellence drive lifestyle to be precise! 

I’ve become a part of this cool-kitten club excellence club, my clients have as well, and now the invitation is being extended to you.

This action is pivotal in any journey to greater happiness and over all calm living.  I know, you just can’t seem to help yourself in the realm of ‘striving for perfection’ and a go-go-go attitude.  You go the extra mile… and then 5 more.  You want a perfect 10.0 score on the ‘test of life’.  You just love adding things to your OCD lists, just for the satisfaction of checking things off! You’re more than tempted to multi-task, though we all know that multi-tasking is just an invitation to do several things poorly all at once and with little focus!

Uh oh! Did I push a hot button?  It is true, multi tasking is never favorable.  But, but… Shawn… never.  There is an ass ton of research that supports single minded focus to always be superior.  Would you try to run, swim or bike while reading a book or writing your grocery list?  Then why would it seem useful to check email while having six other applications open to split your focus?

Ok, this isn’t about multi tasking, but the perfectionists of the world LOVE multi tasking and cling to it like their last breath of air!!  Time to let go… of multi tasking and all of the other perfection-driving forces that make you an overly busy, people pleasing machine.

Eventually, perfectionism drives your brain, body, and spirit into a fried, tapped out, strung out, fatigued, exhausted state!  Where things like depression, anxiety, tapped out endocrine systems, and so on force us to come to a screeching halt.

The differences between perfectionism and an excellence drive lifestyle are not in any way subtle.  The shackles of perfectionism can include any or all of the following:

  • Pleasing, pleasing, pleasing

  • Egg shell walking

  • Fearing disappointment or disapproval of others

  • Being busy for the sake of ‘being busy’ or ‘manic’ because you can’t seem to relax (psst, you can learn to be Zen!)

  • Attempting to accomplish a hundred tasks just so your list can be complete, regardless of the impact or lack of impact said tasks have on your life / training / career … if you’ve even given yourself time to gage and qualify impact

  • Feeling false fear, guilt and shame

  • Saying yes when you want to say no

  • A feeling of performing / being ‘on’ (this can be very exhausting)

  • Feeling like you’re never ‘quite enough’ (thin enough, fast enough, successful enough, wife or husband enough, etc.)

  • Fear of being truly seen by others, even loved ones

  • Fear of being deeply authentic, connected, and transparent

  • Feeling stressed, anxious, discontent and frustrated

  • Feigning happiness, while slowly dying on the inside

An excellence drive lifestyle on the other hand is fantastically inspiring and energizing and involves:

  • Effortless singular focus and clarity of purpose and action

  • An absence of busy work / fruitless endeavors

  • Completion of tasks that are genuinely important, and aligned with your life, training and business success

  • Living your values as a lifestyle (this is amazing!)

  • Saying no when want to

  • Plenty of free time

  • Calm, joy, engagement, confidence

  • Strong, positive leadership

  • Lightness of spirit, gentleness in living, gorgeous empowerment

  • Loads of inspiration, energy, passion, time, love, giving and receiving

Which would you like to experience?  Excellence?  Great choice!  Next stop, systematically replace perfection-driven thinking, behaving and choosing with excellence driven living.

As you can see, living as a perfectionist is very time consuming and exhausting. You will save a great deal of time as you release perfection-driving living

I realize that emotionally, you’re probably very attached to the idea of ‘perfectionism’, but I promise, you will be MUCH better off without it.  It’s time to say goodbye to this old ‘companion’.

2. Eliminate the Misery

Ask yourself, ‘What are the top three tasks, problems or people who make me feel most upset, frustrated or stressed (and/or create extra work/drama for me)?’  Go ahead and jot them down.  Your list may be longer as you write initially, but wheedle it down to the top three before reading on...

Once you have these three ideas on paper, create a plan to systematically eliminate, systematize or delegate each one. 

Seriously.  Calm, happy living almost always begins with elimination.  Just like eliminating perfection-driven drama living and trading it for calm,  inspiring excellence living. One requires exceedingly less time, effort and energy.  Thus, you are left with and abundance of time, energy and effort.  It’s similar to the way you prefer your bank account to work!  Draining it into the negative is never a useful function!

You may feel that I am simplifying this idea.  But truly, eliminating that which is harmful to your body, mind or spirit is literally THE EASIEST choice.

… But, the choices associated with elimination might be emotional.  Be sure not to confuse emotionally taxing choices for difficult choices.  Leaving a job or lover can be very emotional, but tactically, only a few steps need to be in place.