Why Doing Less Is Actually the Key to Doing More

A case study.

Time: 1:10pm

If you’re reading this, you’re on If you’re on, chances are you’re going to label yourself a ‘hustler’ like most of us do. And if you’re a hustler, chances are you have a lot on your mind. You’re getting a lot done, and you’re trying to change the world.

I commend you for that.

But what happens when we have too much on the go? What happens when we try to do too many things, too fast?

We get bogged down.

We get stressed.

Things slip through the cracks.

We aren’t present.

Time: 1:19pm

While I’m writing this, I’m juggling a few tabs on my computer, a cell phone that is ringing and beeping, and an iPod that just hasn’t played the right song yet. I have deadlines that need to be hit, and people I’d love to see. I’m at a coffee shop on the West coast of Canada, and regardless of where you are right now, you have a lot of things you should be doing, and they all need to be done yesterday, right?

I think it is time to take a new approach with a lot of the things I’m doing.  Whether it is writing this article, replying to a message, or working on the next task to build DRYVER. It might sound trivial or obvious, but in the world we live in today, I believe it is getting harder and harder do to.

Time: 1:27pm

I’m 241 words into this piece. I just shut off my phone, turned off the WiFi on my computer, just put on the best 40 minute playlist, and I am now focused. I’m sitting straight, taking a deep breath, and I’m going to see what happens.

I tried this a while ago, too. I set a timer, turned off the rest of my life, and really focused on getting my job (whatever that was), done. I found that when I was working on less things at a time, I was able to focus more intently. I could ensure that what I was doing got all of my attention— that I was fully present and doing the best I could.

Time: 1:29pm

What I’ve found more and more is that life is getting increasingly distracting. It isn’t so much that we replace the newest and best app on our phone (think Snapchat, Periscope, etc.), but we add to it. And when we add to things, that means we have to keep going back to them to produce and absorb content.

So here I am, flying through the work I’m trying to get done—trying to make sure that I can get a point across that focus and the ability to slow down and filter the noise of the world around us could really be the key to being present and getting things done.

What I’m going to do moving forward is to be sure that when I have something that needs to get done I’m not going to try and hustle to do as many things as I can and hope that good work comes out the other end. Instead, I want to be really sure that all of my attention is where it needs to be and that I can produce great work or content.

Time: 1:34pm

Finally, please note the time it took to get from the end of the piece from 1:27: 7 minutes. The time to get to 1:27 was 17.

Words: 606.

Words in first 17 minutes: 214 (12.6 words per minute).

Words in next 7 minutes: 371 (53 words per minute).

By doing less, I’m doing more.


Written by Eric Termuende

Eric Termuende is founder of the DRYVER Group., a consultancy focused on the the attraction and retention of top talent. In 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. He sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. Eric is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work’. Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world for the National Speakers Bureau, and was VP Operations and Finance for the University of Calgary Students Union and Class Ambassador for his graduating class. Finally, Eric currently sits on the Vancouver Board of Trade Company of Young Professionals Board.

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