How Can You Perform Better? Do Less

Working hard is important, but many studies and my experience suggest that, to perform better, we should slow down and do less.

I wrote about this subject not long ago in a post titled, To Think Better, Goof Off and Go For A Walk .

After returning from today’s morning walk, what did I find as a lead story in the Wall Street Journal?

An article titled, The Key to Success: Doing Less.

Along the lines of the studies I referenced in my Think Better piece, the WSJ article highlights thought-provoking and, perhaps to many, counter-intuitive research.  The title of the researcher’s book says it all:

Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better and Achieve More

I work in the investment management industry, which is famous, or maybe infamous, for long hours, back-to-back meetings and often frantic work environments.  I’ve seen many bad decisions made by professionals who don’t take time to step back and think dispassionately or independently.  Too many run too fast with the herd, toward the rapid and constant prognostications of others who are often wrong.

Not only does the evidence show that To Perform Better investors should probably do less, but more and more research across multiple fields shows that we can all benefit from moving slower, not faster.

Somehow, we forget, the tortoise does indeed consistently outperform the hare.


During the week, Preston McSwain is a Managing Partner and Founder of Fiduciary Wealth Partners, an SEC registered investment advisor. Every day he is a proud Dad and committed to giving back.

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