Give it up working already!
There is always a lack of time: we have only 24 hours a day, and 60 minutes per hour. Perhaps if we give up sleep, food and toilet breaks, we would have achieved more. But the human body is imperfect. The time of our productivity is limited, regardless of the number of hours we spend on work.
Scientists say that people who work more than 55 hours a week cope worse with simple tests than those who workes 40 hours. This article is useful to those who want to increase productivity, avoid procrastination and reach new heights.
Do not work overtime
Let us remember the industrial revolution, that took place in XVIII. The first machines appeared at the plants. And the manufacturers decided that the machines ease the working people’s lives. And as it becomes easier to work, then the 15-hour working day should be increased to 20 hours. And sometimes people can work on Sundays.
And only in 1926, Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, made an experiment at his factory and found that when he reduced working time to 40 hours a week, the results of workers were better.
The same rule applies to workers in modern offices. More does not mean better. Sleepless working nights, of course, will help win a couple of deadlines, but it will defeat the entire result in the future. You should rest is not only at night but also give yourself a moment during the day. Researchers at Harvard Medical School state, that people who sleep at least 30 minutes after lunch solve tests better, generate creative ideas and work faster than their “non-sleeping” colleagues.
Examine what you are doing during the day, and separate those tasks that prevent you from performing your work duties. Understand whether they can be simplified, delegated, or simply abandoned.
Learn to say no
According to the Pareto principle, 20% of the effort gives 80% of the result. And vice versa. You do not have to work harder, it is enough to send forces in the right direction. And that means giving up tasks that distract you.
Sometimes we are doing other people’s work, but more often we can’t manage our priorities in the right way. We need to blame our feelings of guilt, fear of being insufficiently successful. We need to learn to say no.
The whole marketing strategy is based on the fear of refusing. For example, take a look at free trials or samples. Even when you are offered to try cheese in the store for free, you feel obliged. Most people convince themselves that they really liked the product, and buy it.
Saying no is a science. It requires a sober glance to the situation and skill to resist any manipulation. But it can be difficult to separate your tasks from other people’s ones. Or just to omit unnecessary ones. For example, it is easy to say “do not check the social network”, but this advice is not suitable for someone who works in the SMM sphere.
Try the rule of 20 seconds: before you do something, you just have to wait 20 seconds. During this time, the brain has time to decide whether the result is worth the effort. If the task does not progress current work, it can be safely postponed until tomorrow.
According to a study by the International Labor Organization, people with a free schedule work on average 54 hours a week, whereas people with a strict schedule spend only 37 hours on work. Surprisingly, the extra 17 hours, according to statistics, do not improve the quality of work: they spend on procrastination.
Share and delegate
Good specialists believe, that no one will do a job better. They even take tasks that their colleagues could easily fulfill. This leads not only to the loss of time but also to the loss of quality: if several people work on a project, the project has more development options.
The time we spend on simple tasks is a resource. Do not to waste it, try to invest. In addition, by performing simple tasks, you take away from younger colleagues the possibility to learn and improve skills.
Forget about makeovers
Perfectionists are bad workers. They spend too much time to complete tasks, wait for the perfect moment, pay too much attention to detail and forget about the whole picture. They miss the result while grinding the roughness. If you are focused on productivity, and not on the perfect picture – perfectionism is not your method.
Natalia Garanyan, a professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Federal State Institution “Institute of Psychiatry”, notes in her works that excessive perfectionism negatively affects productivity in work. A person who is trying to perfect work cannot achieve what he wants. So he becomes unsure of himself, postpones undertakings and experiences constant stress.
Do not wait for the perfect moment and the perfect result. The ideal moment always comes at this moment, the ideal result appears when the work is even a little better than it has been expected.
Get on the digital diet.
Set aside a specific time for social networks and reading letters. During the working day, we overload our brain with information that conflicts with the production process. Limit information noise – and in your head will have a room for new ideas.
Try to look for ways of productivity increase and apply them to your work. Of course, you can’t follow every rule, but even a few tricks will make your work easier.
An associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania came to the conclusion that most people are easily distracted between 12:00 and 16:00. He claims that his students showed the best results if they solved difficult tasks in the morning.
The “tomato” planning technique is not suitable for everyone. You know, when it takes 25 minutes to work and 5 minutes to rest. But some people are happy to apply rule 52/17, according to which you can devote 52 minutes to your favorite work, and 17 minutes to take a break.
When we are too focused on some business, the rest of the world fades away. We do not perceive external stimuli, but we also become immune to new ideas. And there is a danger of getting stuck.
The study of psychologist Alejandro Lleras of the University of Illinois showed that if you focus too long on one big task, it limits the achievement of the goal. Stanford psychologists agree with him: according to their observations, insights often visit those employees who take small walks in the middle of the working day.
In order to stop boiling out of yesterday’s ideas and start moving forward, sometimes it is enough just to stop working. Take a pause for thought, get distracted and wind your thoughts. Taking a break for 10 minutes is more efficient than spending the same 10 minutes in an attempt to break through the invisible wall.
Get a cat.
The Japanese Internet company Ferray Corporation conducted an experiment. They allowed employees to bring cats to work. Just in a few months, productivity in the company has increased. It’s not the tails themselves, but the general decrease in the level of stress, which makes it difficult to focus on current tasks.
We do not become productive overnight. Like any progress, working on yourself requires effort and practice. Do not sit and wait for a miracle to happen. At first, you will have to spend money, time and energy. But then you start to save them and you be able to invest these resources in working tasks in a new way.