Morten T. Hansen's Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More is an attempt to explain how high-performers outdo their peers and deliver higher-quality work. The essential teaching of the book is that such performers "do less, then obsess": That is, they are very good at prioritizing, focusing on the top one to three things -- then they really bear down on those things to the exclusion of everything else. There's a lot more going on, but I think almost anyone would appreciate reading his chapter two, where he explains this idea in great detail. I was just looking over my own work goals for the coming year, and based on this book, I don't think I have enough focus. I have not created challenges for myself that will allow me to "do less, then obsess" and truly succeed at the genuinely most important things. I need to declutter my work for the coming year.
An aside on evidence: Hansen claims that the book is "scientifically validated" (p. 205) and there is a lengthy research appendix, but it must be noted that the claims are based on self-reported questionnaires: there is no experimental methodology, nor is there any predictive quality to the book. What I am trying to get at is that even if you change your behaviors in line with the book's claims about performance, there is little here to suggest that your performance will necessarily improve. In fact, there's really no definition of what "performance" is. The author associates high performance with...Read more and comment . . .