Top Ten Ways to Work Less and Become More Productive
It is everyone’s dream to carve out ways to earn lots of money in lesser time frame, or by working less. The most productive people are those who not only manage their time effectively but also utilize their energy and attention in the best manner. Reducing the time span to carry out a task is simple, yet surprisingly helpful way to dedicate more energy and focus to a task—instead of just more time.
Working for a long time though makes us more productive in the short run but makes us tired as well. Below are mentioned the top ten ways to work less and become more productive.
- Be sure you understand and can verbalize to yourself why you want to produce more results while working less.
This may seem simple, but it is highly important, to motivate you to meaningful action. To do something successfully, it must be done on purpose and with a purpose. Knowing your purpose gives you an important reason to make any task or project important enough and a high enough priority to motivate you to get with the program, and get the job done.
Different people have different reasons. Maybe you want to spend less time working so you can spend more time with your spouse and kids, or maybe you want to finish your week ahead of schedule and have a long weekend. Maybe your motivating reason is to practice a sport more, so you can be a better competitor. Your purpose just needs to be one that gives you a reason to get more serious & take impressive action to get things done. You will purposely do what is necessary to reclaim time for your personal pursuits. This is a basic economic fact of life. People work for incentives.
2. Use a Day Planner or Organizer
Again, this may sound simplistic, but it is important. The organizer can give you mental freedom, as it becomes your memory bank. When you diligently use it for everything, you can record your thoughts, assignments, tasks, appointments, shopping lists, etc. in their proper place and forget it until it’s time to refer to that information. So, your shopping list and the unusual item that you may worry about forgetting is of no concern now, because you will rely on your shopping list when you get to the store, and not worry about it until then. The organizer may be paper or electronic. I have tried both ways and both have their advantages, but I prefer the old-fashioned paper variety because it is usable everywhere, anytime, even in power failures. I also appreciate the pop-up reminders of the electronic kind.
3. Keep a short To Do List
The to Do list can be very intimidating, mostly because so many folks put too much on it. An effective daily list should be possible and usually have only one or two mission essential tasks for any given day. This is your assignment to yourself. Be kind and don’t be like congress and make unfunded or impossible requirements. You work hard and, if you are effective, you should have some time for yourself. Work and play are cyclical; You need breaks, personal time and fun time to be more productive. Too much hard work will wear you out, your effort will become counter-productive and you may even go crazy. I keep a separate “Long term” to do list that keeps me on track for weeks and months. These items don’t become vitally important until I schedule them on the daily list.
4. Be punctual and arrive at work on time and get busy right away
Compartmentalize your activities. There is a time to work, and a time for recreation and down time. At work, get to work in an organized, effective and energetic manner. When it is time to play, or take a break, separate your mind from work and be rejuvenated and refreshed through relaxing endeavors. It is wise to do your coffee drinking and socializing before and after work. At work, you need to be about your business so you can get business done, whether your office is next to the boss’s or in your home. Adopting this personal policy alone will significantly shorten the time it takes you to accomplish the requirements of your work day. Once you have met the requirements of the day, don’t dilly-dally; straighten up, set tomorrow’s schedule and go use the time you saved for your personal purposes. This will also be an investment in tomorrow’s productivity.
Exercise is important too, but not always easy to fit into a busy day. Schedule a walk, putting it on your calendar, the same way you would a meeting, even if your stroll is just a few minutes long. A recent study found that creative thinking improves during and shortly after a walk.
- Try to accomplish a major task before Lunch
It is important and effective to Accomplish a major task before lunch. However, don’t rush it, but do it right. Finishing a significant task before early will give you the momentum of success for the rest of the day.
6. Don’t be sociable in the office.
Socialize all you want in the break room or lunch room, at the appropriate times, but when the time is not appropriate, get back into the business mode and back into the office and get busy following your schedule. When you are not conducting business, you will find life is more enjoyable if you are sociable and relaxed, then when it is time to work you will be fresher and more effective. Don’t be a snob, just professional and businesslike.
7. Learn to say “No”
There is no requirement for you to do everything that everyone asks of you. Say no to unnecessary interruptions like social visits by co-workers. Refuse to chat on the phone. Ask people to email you. If in person meetings or phone conversations are unavoidable, respectfully let the other person know that your time is limited… “I have a call to make in 5 minutes”, or question them about the purpose and then you set the parameters for the meeting/call. Be sure and know the problem or reason for the contact beforehand and ask questions to bring out the answer to the problem in short order, or if you are unable to help, kindly state the fact, and perhaps refer them to someone who can help and end the call or meeting. Your time is valuable. It is the stuff that life is made of. Your and your family’s welfare depends on you getting your job done effectively. Your next sale or promotion may depend upon your ability to conduct business in an effective manner.
8. Control E-mail
This may challenge you, but it is vitally important. Don’t let E-mail control you. You must take control of it. If you get important business email during the day, you may want to set up a special webmail account just for business and then direct all your business E-mail to that address, so you’re not distracted by spam and personal email. Spam arrest is also a good program to get spam under control. Check E-mail as seldom as possible. For openers, try reducing to twice a day; just before lunch and just before quitting time. Be vicious with the delete key, then read business mail at work and read personal email after work. This tip alone can cut hours off of many a worker’s time on the job. If you are in control of your own schedule, or a good negotiator with a reasonable boss, applying this tip means getting out of the office earlier; in many cases, much earlier.
9. Stop multi-tasking
With precious few exceptions, “Multi-tasking” means doing a half-baked job of many things at the same time. I think It is the road to a nervous breakdown and low self-esteem. When you wake up and realize that as hard as you work, you don’t get anything done excellently, it has to be demoralizing. You’ll profit greatly if you use the organizing tips above and take control of your work situation, then do one task at a time, until it is done well, then move on to the next one. A car accident in which someone dies would be a horrifying way to learn that you can’t concentrate fully on two tasks at the same time, like driving and talking on the phone. Multi-tasking could be mostly responsible for the rampant mediocrity in today’s workplace.
10. Outsource some of your work
There are people whose business is helping you with mundane tasks, or tasks that you don’t do so well. One such business is Outsourcing success dot com. Give them a try with some personal tasks first, until you get an idea of how well it works for you. Without hiring a full time assistant or secretary, you can get the help you need and pay by the hour, for the time you need. This help will free you up to tend to your more important tasks and the ones that you are stronger at. Students at a local college or university who major in areas that would help you may be another good source of help. You get the help you need and you also could help them earn a little income. If you prefer the popular international route, do a search on Your Man in India, and Brickwork, or the search on the term Virtual Assistants or VAs. Outsourcing Success has already made these connections and is ready to close the gap and help you get the help you need, when you need it.
Recommendation and Conclusion
The above tips can prove to be quite beneficial for you if you take them serious and act upon them. There is nobody who doesn’t want to earn more in a lesser span of time without working too hard for it. It’s a fact!
There’s no denying it: We live in a “more-is-more” culture. And above all else, that can-do attitude applies to work. With so much to accomplish and so many ways to stay plugged-in at all hours of the day, it can be tempting to stay in work mode from morning to night. Extra time spent working doesn’t equate with an increase in productivity. In fact, a nonstop approach can have the exact opposite effect. Per Parkinson’s Law, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” And if you’ve ever toiled for hours and days on a single project, you may have observed the phenomenon yourself: Long hours inevitably lead to interruptions in concentration.
Although the obvious solution is to offset those disruptions with more hours of work, studies have shown that this strategy comes at a price — increased stress, frustration, pressure and effort. It’s been well documented that too much work and not enough play may result in physical and mental stress, as well as depression. But what do you do with this information in the face of a high-pressure deadline? Research suggests that you may want to try working less if you’re looking to accomplish more. Per one study, successful musicians whose schedules were tracked spent only 90 minutes a day practicing, napped more than their peers and took more breaks when they felt tired or stressed. Other research found that judges studied tended to make more lenient decisions immediately following a short break, suggesting that their time-outs boosted a motivated and positive attitude.
While you may not aspire to be a musician or a kinder, gentler judge, you can certainly benefit from the idea that less is more when it comes to building your own business.
The above-mentioned tips are good ones for real business people to get real work done efficiently and effectively. The effectiveness of these tips in your situation will only be limited by the extent of your willingness to use them diligently.
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