How often have you bemoaned the fact that there are only 8 hours in your work day? If you are like many professionals today, you probably addressed the issue by working 10-12 hours a day, or more. You will be happy to know there are ways to achieve more while still maintaining a life outside of your profession.
Health and Wellness
Have you stopped to consider that your lack of productivity throughout the day is more about your health and perhaps your mental wellness than the number of hours available? Do you have a regular exercise regimen you follow? Are you eating healthful food? Either of these could be impacting your energy levels throughout the day. Daily exercise has a direct effect on contentment, energy and even intelligence.
Do you walk into work and fly by the seat of your pants all day long, scrambling to accomplish your various tasks? A daily to do list is probably one of the most crucial tools you have at your disposal and unlike computers and other devices, they are cheap and easy to acquire.
Create your daily schedule of actionable tasks, and if needed, break them down into smaller steps. You should do this at the end of each day for the next day’s tasks and be sure to prioritize items by importance and the level of concentration required. Heavy projects that will require focus should be done early in the day when you are fresh, while more menial tasks can wait until after lunch.
Of all the items on your daily list, how many of them could easily be performed by someone else? Make the most of your day by outsourcing tasks you can quickly train an employee or colleague to do for you. This might take a bit longer initially, but over the long term, it will pay off as you can accomplish other goals.
Sounds counter-intuitive to getting more done in 8 hours, but research is proving multitasking to be detrimental. The human brain is not wired to multitask and when you do so, you are actually losing IQ points and decreasing overall productivity. Focus on one project at a time, your brain will thank you.
Give Yourself a Break
Do you take regular scheduled breaks? Going full boar for several hours straight might seem like a good plan for accomplishing more, but the truth is that you need regular decompression time throughout the day in order to finish strong. Recent studies suggest the most productive employees do not work longer hours but in fact, take more short breaks throughout the day. The top 10 productive office employees took approximately 17 minutes of break time after 52 minutes of uninterrupted work.
Getting more done in 8 hours is possible, but surprisingly has less to do with putting in more effort and more to do with smarter effort. If you want to accomplish more in your work day, pay attention to your health, make productive lists, delegate menial tasks, avoid multitasking and give yourself regular breaks.