When it comes to personal performance the secret to doing more with less is rhythm. If you have ever tapped your toes to a beat you have experienced what every good drummer relies on: the power of the groove.
First the groove lays down the beat. Once the beat is established, there is more energy to stay with it. Once you’re in it, it’s hard to get out, easy to stay in.
The groove makes it possible for powerful improvisation – the stronger the structure, the more impact the solo.
Your grooves come from the rhythms of your life. This is where you get to do more with less. Without a rhythm, every little thing takes its own, individual effort. With a rhythm, you ride on the pulse and take care of the basics without breaking a sweat.
Once you have a rhythm you carry out the basics systematically and consistently. Then you direct energy toward riskier propositions. When you are ready to rise to a new level, your vigor is channeled into a surge that raises the bar: your solo. Then you use your groove to maintain a higher level.
There are many rhythms to use like this. The rhythm of the day: morning has its own special energy, as does mid-day and evening. Get to know them, work them. Some people start the day clearing their inbox, others head to the coffee shop to greet colleagues. If you know what you are doing, you can make it work harder for you. More from less.
Nature provides the rhythm of the seasons, the changes in the weather. I live in North America. Here the winter months are the time to plant seeds, dream up new ideas. The spring is when I build on those seeds and turn them into new works. Summer is for steady growth, and fall brings the harvest. I always do a review of my year in September and then turn my lessons and successes into a final effort that brings new bounty before winter.
Use your man-made rhythms: the fiscal year, the annual review, strategic planning, and so on. If you use them like a groove, you will be amazed at what able tools they are, enabling you to take your performance to a new level. Instead of feeling weighed down by the bureaucracy of it all, prepare for these regular events and work them to new ends… your ends.
Enjoy the rhythms in your life… use them to do more with less effort spent.