What if you could start the weekend early by leaving at noon every Friday? Or how about coming in an hour late – five days a week?
With these 5 proven productivity tips, your 35-hour work week is no longer just a pipe dream. Find out how you can shave hours off your busy schedule by getting more done.
1. Do one thing at a time
Just because you can check Facebook, write an email, scan a receipt, and attend a webinar all at the same time, doesn’t mean you should. Multitasking may be the norm in the new millennium, but that doesn’t means it’s the most productive way to work.
When you silence your phone, close unneeded browsers, and inform colleagues you’re in the “don’t interrupt me”-zone, you can truly focus on completing one task, doing it well, and finishing much faster than if you’d stopped to tweet every ten minutes.
2. Enforce a two-hour time limit
Research shows that our brains are wired to go hard and fast for two hours at a time – no longer. If you push yourself beyond that mark, you’re likely to experience brain fog, forgetfulness, and weaker attention to detail.
Take a break, step away from your desk, and go for a brisk walk to get your blood pumping. After a solid 10 minutes away where you engage in a relaxing, non-work-related activity, you’ll be able to return to total focus for another two hours.
3. Give yourself a hard deadline
If a project can get done, y’know, whenever, you’ll probably take much more time to complete it. Self-imposed deadlines are great motivators to finish quickly – sort of like a competition with yourself, where the winner gets to leave early to go to Happy Hour.
4. Send less email
If you’re like a lot of small business owners, hours of your day can end up devoted to unnecessary emails. Instead of the never-ending back and forth, try to include all relevant instructions and questions in a single email, and only respond when it’s absolutely necessary.
5. Break down big goals
When you have a big goal to accomplish or a huge project to complete, you can waste lots of time deciding to decide, or planning to plan. Break big tasks down into smaller, manageable chunks that are easy to tackle. When you know exactly what needs to be done, you can dive in and do it, instead of wasting hours wondering where to start.
When you focus on a single task, take breaks every two hours, stick to self-imposed deadlines, resist the urge to hit “reply all,” and break down goals into specific tasks, slashing your work week by 5+ hours is a snap.
See you at Happy Hour!