7 Excruciatingly Simple Tips on How to Work Less and Get More Done
Work less. Do more.
A preposterous suggestion, isn’t it?
What’s even more preposterous is the idea of working more when you could work less.
Many of these tips you may have heard of, but some of them you may not have.
And if you’ve seen the tips before, have you applied them?
Have you truly tried them out in your life and given them a chance?
Most people haven’t. That’s the problem. There is no magic bullet to productivity.
The shortcut to success is no shortcut at all.
- Single Task
How many times have you tried to multitask only to discover that you haven’t gotten anything done and are suddenly staring at fluffy kittens and cute puppies on YouTube?
Not that I know anything about that though.
Single tasking may be one of the most important things you can do to increase your productivity and happiness.
When you focus your mind on one thing, it allows you to get into the zone and really tap into the creative genius of your mind.
- Eliminate Outside Distractions
In order to single task and really increase your productivity it’s imperative that you eliminate outside distractions.
This might mean telling your friends, significant other, or even your dog to leave you alone for a certain amount of time.
If you’re not working from home, you have to train your coworkers to leave you alone so you can get more done, and have more time to relax after that.
Or find a place where they can’t find you.
- Do It Now
Most people spend their time avoiding their high-value tasks. The tasks that matter most.
They procrastinate until the deadline is clawing at them.
I’m sure you’re nothing like this, but just in case you have a friend or two that has trouble with procrastination, I recommend you stop thinking and jump into action.
Imagine how good you will feel when the task is done. Getting things done is not all about feeling good and motivated, it’s about getting them done.
Easier said than done, right?
The choice is always yours. Do you want to feel bad procrastinating or good having it done?
Procrastination is not something done unto you. It is something you are doing, so why not procrastinate on procrastinating until you’re done?
What I’ve found to be highly effective is simply writing down what I’m going to do the next day before I go to bed.
A small to-do list if you may.
I don’t make my to do list large or complicated. I keep it to two or three high-value tasks.
If you’re working in a 9-to-5 job, then you can adapt this process any way you want. Maybe you write down what exactly you will do when you get to the office. It’s up to you to discover what works best.
Some people may start their day drinking coffee and chatting to their coworkers, but what would happen if you got all of the stuff done right away and then felt good for the rest of the day?
- Take Breaks
Your brain can only do so much focused work.
That is why it’s so important that you take regular breaks, stretch out, and take a few deep breaths. 5 minutes is enough.
If you have the opportunity, take a short walk outside and take in some fresh air. It will not only reinvigorate you, but also keep you focused when you start working again.
It’s not about working six hours straight and getting “stuff” done, it’s about doing high-quality work in the least amount of time possible, while keeping it enjoyable.
- Kitchen Timer
This is one of my productivity secrets.
I use a software program called Focus Booster App, which works for both Mac and Windows.
You can use a regular kitchen timer, or your phone if you like. What’s important is that you work under a mini-deadline, which in my case is 25 minutes.
I work in 25 minute blocks. After each, I take a 5 minute break. Then I do another one.
For those 25 minutes, I do nothing but work on one task. No checking email. No Facebook. Just doing the work.
I can play after, but during that time, I get stuff done.
- Have Fun
If you aren’t having fun where you work, then make it fun, or do something else.
You may be thinking that you’re stuck there, and you need to pay the bills, or you may have another excuse.
But the real truth of the matter is that you’re scared about doing something else. Even though you may be bored out of your mind and hate your job, you don’t want to leave, because it’s familiar.
In the end, it’s up to you.
Imagine doing what you do now for 20 years. What kind of a life would you be living then? Is it one that you are excited about?
If not, what are you waiting for?
When you love what you do, you can’t stop the increase in productivity.