I Gave Myself A 30-Day ‘Work Less’ Challenge And Saw Unexpected Results

Sometimes, we have to work less to be more successful.

woman working on tablet cottonbro studio / Pexels 

In 2014, entrepreneur Phil Drolet gave a TED Talk explaining why the way most entrepreneurs work doesn’t help them achieve success.

He described entrepreneurs as passionate and driven people, yet also remarked on how out-of-balance they could be. He stated that “this combination can lead to world-changing innovation and incredible beauty … It can also lead to a lot of suffering and self-destruction.”


The entrepreneur explained his 30-day 'work less' challenge and its unexpected results.

“For 30 days, I intentionally spent less time working and I reallocated the extra time to spending time with my friends, going in nature … As you can imagine, it was a very enjoyable month,” he said.

The surprising outcome of working less? His business saw an increase in profits by more than 45%.



RELATED: CEO Explains Why She Pays Herself Less Than Some Of Her Other Employees — 'I Earn The Fifth Most At The Company I Co-founded'


Drolet maintained that hyperfocusing on work was actually detrimental to success. In order to work well, we should shift the way we work, completely.

He detailed the reasons why working less was better for his business, including having more mental clarity, which let him see opportunities clearly and act decisively. His creativity and productivity functioned “on a whole new level,” and he was able to come up with ideas he and his team could execute faster.

“I learned to build systems, I learned to delegate more, and I learned to focus on a few things that actually mattered,” he said.

Drolet’s ideas oppose the mainstream entrepreneurial narrative that our health, relationships, and emotional well-being must be sacrificed for success.

He saw even more opportunities coming his way, all due to taking time away from the daily grind.


Yet Drolet found himself falling back into his old patterns of overwhelming himself with work until he was so burnt out, he couldn’t continue. He realized that he needed to give himself permission to recover from working so hard and allow himself time to recharge. 

Drolet likened the way he worked to a high-performing, elite athlete training so hard that it led to injury. “Sometimes we can have the best intentions in the world,” he explained. “But the extreme pursuit of our dreams ends up destroying us, physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

RELATED: Boss Asks Employee To Work A Mandatory 3-Month Notice Period After She Quits So She Can 'Find And Train' Her Replacement


He came to the second wave of his realization that he needed to radically change his approach to work, which he did by slowing down. He detailed the way he allowed himself to realign with his purpose, asking himself big, philosophical questions about what he truly wanted. 

“I decided to stop treating myself like a machine and accept the fact that I’m just human,” he revealed. He made the active choice to stop projecting toward the future and start appreciating the beauty of the present.

This critical shift in his mindset allowed Drolet to redefine what success meant to him and led to a more balanced lifestyle. 

He challenged himself to change his own mind, rethinking his assumption that working more hours meant he’d have more success


By championing the power of rest, reflection, and recovery as a pathway toward personal happiness and professional success, he’s working hard to shift the way we think of work, by putting more emphasis on staying balanced to reach our peak potential.

RELATED: CEO Says She Can Tell How Successful Someone Is Just By Just Watching Them Place An Order At A Coffee Shop

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers issues in the workplace, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.