To Accomplish More, Do Less

Ramit Sethi

DailyWorth CEO Amanda Steinberg gets the lowdown from money maven Ramit Sethi on how to crush financial stress.

Ramit, why do so many of us feel overwhelmed when it comes to money?
Every morning, we wake up and face 50 money decisions: Should I go out to lunch today? Do we need a better car? Can I skip drinks with a friend? Is my credit card bill due? Invariably, we do the same thing we’ve always done: Worry.

Ironically, the more we worry, the less we actually do. We end up fretting over minutiae at the expense of the things that really matter: delegating tasks, strategizing about how to increase our earnings, automating our savings and investments. Taking care of those three areas basically solves all the smaller problems.

What are your secrets to staying on top of it all?

1.Trim your to-do list. To simplify my life, every week I like to identify one LESS thing to do. For example, look at your to-do list or calendar—what’s one thing that’s been on there for months that just isn’t getting done? Maybe it’s cleaning a closet…or entering that list of business cards into my computer. Either I decide not to do it or I hire someone to do it for me, using a service like Taskrabbit or a local college student. Frankly, if it hasn’t gotten done in months, chances are it’s not that important. Each week, what’s one thing you could eliminate or outsource?
2.Try smarter, not harder. How many of us have said, “Ok, I really need to buckle down and save more” or “I know I need to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to try harder this month.” Psychology research has shown that willpower isn’t enough—we need systems to make behavior change permanent. Automation is the key to trying less hard. What payments, savings and investments can you automate?
3.Rearrange your days. Many of us mistakenly believe that productivity is all about time management—but there’s more to it. We’ve all had a day when we had the time carved out to do something…but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it. It’s not just about managing our time—it’s about managing our energy. Be brutally honest with yourself about when you’re the most productive— morning? night?—and reschedule as many things as possible to take advantage of your high energy time.

Want to get more done this year than ever before? Ramit recorded this 15-minute video on how to avoid the top five productivity mistakes.

Breathe easy. Which suggestion of Ramit’s will you put into action first, and by when?

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