3 Ways to Increase Your Productivity and Spend Less Time on the Clock
Written by: Kelley Tenny, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
We are often taught to associate productivity with working around the clock. So many successful figures have shared their stories of working all day and night, burning the candle at both ends and making personal sacrifices in order to reach the levels of success that they have today.
But what if that wasn’t necessary? In fact, what if working less actually increased your productivity? It can!
In fact, one study from Stanford University has already proved it! Economics professor John Pencavel found that productivity per hour greatly declined when a person works more than a 50-hour week. Further, after 55 hours, the productivity dropped so much that putting in any more hours was pointless. And, those that worked 70-hour weeks got as much done as those that were working 55-hour weeks.
Who wants to even work 50 hours, much less 70? So, here are three ways to increase your productivity and spend less time on the clock.
1. Non-negotiable Scheduling
Don’t want to work as many hours? So, don’t! Chances are, you probably don’t intend to work as many hours as you do on some days, but time just seems to get away from you. It happens to the best of us.
The solution? Create a non-negotiable schedule!
Use your calendar and set hard boundaries to make room for the non-negotiable things that you want to make sure happen during the day. And make sure that the schedule includes time to not work! Schedule in breaks, your lunchtime and most importantly, time to call it quits.
Go one step further and schedule what you want to do while you are off the clock! Activities like family time, a workout and even “quiet” time are key. This will help ensure that those “off the clock” activities don’t get pushed aside. Self-care is crucial.
2. Focus on Needle Moving Activities
Too often, we spend time doing things that we want to accomplish instead of working on the things that we must accomplish.
What activities will help you generate the most results or get you closer to your goals? Spend time doing those activities and not the ones that won’t bring your closer to your initiative. If you focus on only those activities, your mind will start to see everything else as optional.
Make good enough, good enough. Shift your mindset to knowing that perfection is not necessarily a needle-moving activity. When we aim for perfection, it takes more time, yet doesn’t produce significantly different results to the outside person.
So, stop spending hours choosing the right font or getting the right shade of color on your next graphic. The only one that will notice is you! And trust me, that font will not bring in any extra revenue. If it doesn’t move the needle to get you closer to your goals, it doesn’t need to happen immediately.
"The key to getting more done in less time is to eliminate as many distractions as possible."
3. Eliminate Distractions
Whether you work from home or are in the office, there are distractions everywhere. Now, during this current time of COVID-19, chances are you see even more distractions from social media to having kids learning from home.
The key to getting more done in less time is to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
This may mean asking the people in your household that during certain hours, you are “unavailable”. Setting boundaries during the time you are working is equally as important is having boundaries for when you are not working. Perhaps from the hours of 10 am – 3 pm, those around you minimize their interruptions and stay mindful that you are hard at work. If there is a lot of noise in the environment, consider investing in some headphones to drown out distracting sounds.
Also, notice what personal distractions may be keeping you from clocking out on time. Is it text messages coming from your mobile device? Or notifications coming from your Facebook tab on your computer? Shut them all down. Try silencing your phone and turning notifications off for any apps that are not business-oriented.
Staying organized will also help limit distractions. Keep your workspace clean and spend a few minutes in the morning getting together anything that you may need during the day. This will eliminate time during the day to locate essential items and decrease the risk of more distractions.
Implementing a schedule that reflects the hours that you would love to work will generate your need to stay focused and on track. Combine that with some time savings habits, and you will see your productivity soar with more time to spare. This will not only help you have a daily schedule that you love, but you will find yourself with more energy for your personal life and lower the risk of business burnout!
Kelley Tenny, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kelley Tenny is a health and wellness coach whose L.I.F.E. method shifts the way that entrepreneurs do business, helping them thrive instead of leading lives of sacrifice. Her signature L.I.F.E. method combines visioning, implementable goals, mindset, diet and movement to build a sustainable lifestyle that her students love. It is time to thrive in your garden of success!