A recent study by Stanford University challenged the changing rhythm of workweeks. Where companies are pushing towards longer workweeks, later days, and shorter lunch breaks, Stanford’s study shows that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours. In fact, they concluded that productivity tapers off so severely after 55 hours that there’s no point in working any more after that point. So how do the Elon Musks, and Marissa Mayers of the world do so much more in the same amount of time? Here are some scientifically backed ways for how to do more in less time.
Working Smart Is Better Than Working Hard
Half the battle of achieving more in less time is being unrelenting about your efficiency levels. You may like your working-lunches but you have to be uncompromising when it comes to productivity. Instead of multitasking, try prioritizing and setting clear timeframes for each activity. Instead of work and lunch taking place simultaneously, separate them, you’ll most likely find that both your lunch and meeting will be shorter. Single-minded tasks allow for an obsessive-level of efficiency. You know what you need to get done, how to get there, and there are no stalls or distractions between you and your goal. Schedule, schedule, schedule. Everything from mindless chores, to menial tasks, and major meetings should have a defined space on your calendar. Be sure to even schedule a time for incomplete projects, to finish up tasks that weren’t completed in their delegated timeframe.
Take The Time To Find The Best Route
As is the case with money, in order to gain time you have to spend time. If you want to find the most efficient way to get certain tasks completed you have to take the time to test the various ways. For example, if you’re trying to find out if it’s best to complete emails in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you’ll have to test each one for at least a week and tally up the results. It’s also important to record your results, so that if you must you can convince others of an inefficient or more efficient method. With numbers backing up your argument, what could take weeks of meetings is a closed argument.
Sharp Tools or Bust
In an article titled 6 Rules to Work Less and Get More Accomplished, Lifehack recounts the story of a tree-cutting contest. Two lumberjacks face off in a competition to cut down the biggest tree. The first lumberjack runs into the forest immediately, his eyes on the largest tree, but a rusty axe in hand. The second lumberjack spends almost the entirety of the competition sharpening his blade then walks into the forest and cuts down a small (but still very tall) tree. The first lumberjack fails to cut down anything, while the second one succeeded with the help of his sharpened axe. The point of the story is that you’re only as good as your box of tools. Be aware that you won’t be the best at everything, and be prepared to delegate. What would take you two weeks with a rusted axe, could take someone with sharp tools, or an expert-level approach, a couple of hours
Quality or Quantity
Perfectionism is the death of productivity, but sloppy results are a harpoon to the chest of good business. It’s important to find a balance between perfectionism and quantity. The best way to do this is by using this simple formula: when the extra input you invest exceeds the output gained, stop working.
In simpler words, you have to weigh the cost and time needed versus the overall gain of completing the project. There are some tasks that just need to be completed, others that need to be completed to a level of perfectionism. Know the formula to each project before getting started.
What tips and tricks do you use when it comes to time management? Let us know by commenting below or on our facebook page. As always, stay up to date with all Wishlist news by following us here or on any of the social media outlets.