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Minimal Effort, Maximum Results

As a kid, life is a lot simpler (for most) than for an adult. Kids don't have beauty routines, other people to look after, exercise to maintain, meals to cook, a house to look after and trips to plan.

But as an adult, I find there's more and more that needs doing, more 'stuff' added to our lives. Are we in overload mode? Possibly. Do we have time for it all? Probably not. So how can we achieve more with less effort?

Set The Scene

We want things off our mind, so we write lists. We then either work through the list, sometimes adding more as we go, or the list grows. We start to become unmotivated, we form a 'too hard' basket, or procrastinate. Sound familiar? Perhaps you read my previous blog post.

I have a curtain that needs fixing as it came of the rail. A simple job, but one I still haven't got around to. Why?! I'm not motivated.

Switch it Up

How do we get through this barrier? It all comes down to what you PRIORITISE. Emphasis on 'You' because we are all different and at different stages in our lives.

Choose wisely - think about what will motivate you to keep going and think about what will give you the maximum reward. Let me show you how this works.

The Formula

Write your list of things you:

  • want to get done

  • places you want to visit

  • maintenance items like painting the house

  • anything else on your To-do list (you could use a chore schedule for this or download your free printable here)

Effort and Reward
Download PDF • 22KB

Create a square and divide it into four quarters. Use these four headings, one for each square:

  • minimal effort, max reward

  • minimal effort, minimal reward

  • max effort, max reward

  • max effort, minimal reward.........our least favourite box

Place every item on your list, into one of the boxes. Is this painting a better picture for you on where your priorities should be? If you change your mind where something should go, just erase and rewrite with an erasable pen.

Choose Your Favourite

I'm going to guess here that your favourite square will be the same as mine - minimum effort, maximum reward. And unfortunately not all our list items will end up in this box. But this is your starting point, your motivator, the 'nailed it!' box.

Nailed it - Now what?

Next we might part ways - you need to figure out if you're a 'Minimal Effort' person (ME) or a 'Maximum Result' person (MR).

The ME tasks that don't fall into the max reward box are going to fall into the minimal reward box - things such as putting the dishes away, answering an email etc. Expect lots of easy tasks that don't take much time in this category. Me? I'm in this category. I like to knock off a lot of little jobs to make it look like I'm getting through my tasks.

Whereas an MR task that doesn't fall into the minimal effort box, will fall into the max effort box, such as a room makeover. You might only get one task done, but it will be a big one!

Once you figure out what your preference is, you'll be able to determine what tasks to do next. YOU CHOOSE.

Last But Not Least

Let's not beat around the bush. Some tasks are hard and unthankful. You feel like you've conquered a mountain, yet no one is celebrating. It's the 'Max Effort, Minimal Reward' box. No one's favourite. I'm just going to put it out there - this would be washing windows for me. I'm too picky. I don't like water spots and will spend far too long on one window just to get rid of the water spots. Argh! But that's my monkey to deal with.

Don't let the baggage of tasks weigh you down. Give them an order of priority based on what works for you, and what's going to motivate you to keep going. Procrastination can get the better of us. So while I think about it, I might go fix that curtain.


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