10 habits of successful people who work less than the rest of us

We live in a hustle culture—we think that the harder you work, the more it pays off.

But get this:

Some successful people actually work less than the rest of us.

In the hustle and bustle of our modern world, dominated by the notion that more work equals more success, it’s hard to believe that there are people  out there who have cracked the code to achieving more by doing less.

You’re probably thinking they’re lazy, or they’ve just gotten lucky.

But what if I told you that’s not the case?

Well, if you’re intrigued, keep reading as we discover the 10 habits of successful people who work less than the rest of us.

Let’s begin!

1) They prioritize quality over quantity

One of the key habits of successful people who work less than the rest of us is that they prioritize quality over quantity.

They understand that spending countless hours on a task doesn’t necessarily guarantee success.

So, instead, they focus on doing things efficiently and effectively.

This means spending less time on busywork and more time on things that directly contribute to their success.

By focusing on what really matters, they achieve more while working less.

In other words, they work smart, not hard!

2) They understand the power of saying ‘no’

There was a time when I used to feel obliged to take on every opportunity that came my way, thinking it would bring me closer to success.

Because of this, I ended up overloaded, stressed, and far from reaching my goals.

Then, I came across a successful entrepreneur in my network who seemed to be thriving while working less than anyone I knew.

Intrigued, I asked him for his secret.

His answer? He mastered the art of saying ‘no’.

He explained that he only accepted tasks and opportunities that directly aligned with his goals. If it didn’t align with his goals, he politely declined.

I thought it was selfish, but he really proved me wrong.

I realized that there’s nothing wrong with being selective about where you invest your time and energy.

In fact, learning where to put them can actually bring you closer to achieving your goals.

3) They value their downtime

Successful people who work less than the rest of us understand the importance of downtime.

They know that taking time to relax and recharge is not a luxury, but a necessity.

We glamorize productivity and wear burnout like a medal, forgetting the value of lounging around doing nothing.

And that’s what makes successful people different from the rest of us.

If you think I’m wrong, studies have actually shown that taking breaks can actually increase productivity.

Seems ironic, right?

But while it might seem like kicking back and relaxing is only for lazy people, it can actually recharge your mental batteries.

And by recharging, you’re able to return to your tasks refreshed and with a renewed focus.

So give yourself sufficient downtime.

Whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or even just sitting quietly, remember that taking enough breaks sets you up for success!

4) They delegate tasks effectively

Successful people who work less than the rest of us are not afraid to delegate tasks.

They understand that they can’t do everything themselves, so they’re not shy about passing on tasks to others who are equally or more capable.

Don’t get me wrong, delegating doesn’t mean they’re shirking their responsibilities.

Instead, it’s a sign of a good leader who knows how to utilize the skills and talents of their team efficiently.

Some may perceive this as them avoiding work, but in reality, it’s about maximizing productivity.

By delegating, they’re able to focus on tasks that require their expertise, while others handle the rest.

5) They know they’re not perfect

Let’s get real for a moment:

Successful people who work less than the rest of us are not superhuman. They’re not immune to failure or mistakes.

They’re human just like everybody else, and they understand that perfection is an illusion.

They’ve had their fair share of failures, setbacks, and disappointments. And while these experiences may have been tough, they used them as lessons, not as reasons to give up.

6) They prioritize self-care

self care 2 10 habits of successful people who work less than the rest of us

In a world that often glorifies overworking and constant busyness, successful people who work less than the rest of us take a different approach.

They understand that their health and well-being are their most valuable assets. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

This might be met with raised eyebrows from those who believe that success requires constant grinding and sacrifice. But they know better.

So instead of pushing themselves to exhaustion, they prioritize self-care.

This could mean anything from maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, or even just taking a moment to breathe and relax.

They know that taking care of their physical, mental, and emotional health is not a sign of weakness or laziness. It’s a necessity for long-term success.

7) They value their relationships

Let’s face it—we’ve all been guilty of putting work before our personal lives at some point.

Successful people who work less than the rest of us, however, know the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

They understand that while work is important, so are their relationships.

They know that at the end of the day, it’s not the number of hours they’ve worked that counts, but the quality of life they’ve lived.

Whether it’s having dinner with their family, catching up with old friends, or spending time with their significant other, they make sure to carve out time for those who matter most to them.

So yes, they might work less than the rest of us, but they sure know how to live a fuller and more balanced life.

8) They have fun outside of work

What use is being successful if you don’t know how to have a good time outside of work?

That’s something successful people who work less than the rest of us understand. They work less because they make more time to have fun outside of it.

Simply put, they don’t just live for the grind; they also enjoy the lighter, fun side of life.

9) They’re not workaholics

Contrary to popular belief, successful people are not all workaholics.

Those who are successful but work less don’t glorify overworking or wear burnout as a badge of honor. Instead, they value balance and understand that there’s more to life than just work.

So if you’re someone who works too hard, remember that success should never come at the cost of your happiness or wellbeing.

You deserve a balanced life too. And these successful people are living proof that it’s absolutely possible.

10) They’re intentional with their time

If there’s one thing you need to know about successful people who work less than the rest of us, it’s this – they are incredibly intentional with their time.

They understand that time is their most precious resource, and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

So, they don’t just spend their time, they invest it.

Every task, every meeting, every opportunity – they’re selective about what they choose to spend their time on.

By being intentional with their time, they’re able to live life on their own terms instead of being swept up in the hustle and bustle of the world.

And if you ask me, that’s the ultimate privilege that comes with being successful.

Final thoughts

It’s easy to misunderstand successful people who work less than the rest of us.

They can be labeled as lazy, unambitious, or even just stupidly lucky.

But that’s simply because society often equates success with constant busyness and overworking.

Because ultimately, success is not about who works the longest hours but who makes the best use of their time.

So if you’re someone who believes in working smarter, not harder, don’t let these labels discourage you!

Picture of Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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