Being constantly connected to messages and emails often leads to most people working longer hours to succeed and get more work done.
However, an economics professor from Stanford, John Pencavel, deflates this belief with his research. In his study, Pencavel found that after 50 hours of work a week, a person’s productivity starts to drop, and after 55 hours, it falls to the point where it becomes pointless. Furthermore, those working 70 hours get the same amount of work done as those working 55 hours.
So, how can you achieve more by being less busy? Here are some of the best productivity tricks for 2022 and beyond:
Take Time Off
Tiredness is the most significant cause of getting less work done. If you feel you are dragging your feet, your productivity will wane. Therefore, take a break, helping you to rest and recharge, making sure to detach yourself completely from work tasks by setting your phone and laptop aside. In addition, time off allows you to have fun while keeping you mentally happy. It will help you regain your energy and to refocus on work-related ideas.
Devote Your Time To High-Priority Work
When at work, make sure to devote most of your time to the work with the highest priority and less time on the more menial tasks. Menial tasks like responding to emails, returning phone calls, etc., take a lot of time but aren’t as constructive.
Lifehack suggests you follow the 80/20 rule, cutting time to the tasks that mean less and investing in more meaningful projects. Schedule the time to work on the menial tasks, and set a reminder to help you get back to the significant work.
Don’t Waste Time When a Specialist Can Do the Job
The idea that we can be good at everything has no place in society today. Know what you are good at, and stop wasting time trying to do tasks that will take you longer to finish than necessary.
For example, if your business needs constant online media campaigns, but you don’t have a clue about SEO, hire someone to worry about the write keywords instead of wasting hours trying to figure it out. Rather, spend your newly acquired time accomplishing the more critical tasks.
Use Parkinson’s Law to Get More Done
Parkinson’s Law says the amount of work expands to fill the time available for its completion, meaning if you give yourself too long to complete a two-hour task, the job increases in complexity because it becomes psychologically daunting.
You can combat this by giving yourself strict deadlines to increase your desire to complete projects. In addition, you can divide huge tasks into smaller chunks and set a timer to achieve them, forcing you to think faster and waste less time.
Manage Your Energy
Better energy management can give better results than time management because you function better and faster when you have more energy. Moreover, when you are tired and distracted, your energy levels remain low, meaning less productivity.
Here are some ideas to help you work when you are at your best:
Work in spurts: Divide your work time between complete rest and complete focus to avoid working when you are in-between and the least productive.
Don’t procrastinate: When a task requires a few hours, don’t spread it out over days. Instead, complete them in one sitting, helping you save time and keep your energy focused.
Learn to Monotask
Focus on one task at a time to ensure you have more creativity and make fewer errors. Moreover, the human brain can only have so many thoughts simultaneously. This limited cognitive ability means you cannot chat on the phone with one client while writing an email to another.
Monotasking requires that while you work on one task, you resist the urge to do anything else for the time you have set to complete the task. Remove all other devices not needed for the job from in front of you, and if you find that you are losing focus, take a brief walk before returning to the task.
Honing your productivity to get more work done in less time is easier than you think. Follow the above tricks and remember to add some exercise to your daily routine. Just 10 minutes of movement is enough to reduce stress, thanks to the release of the neurotransmitter GABA. A brisk walk away from your desk makes you healthier and more productive and increases creativity.
Furthermore, no two people are the same, so taking advice from a productivity book that suggests creating monthly calenders or waking up at dawn might not work for you. Instead, find what suits you best, helping you to accomplish your desire to work less and get more done.