WORKPLACE / AUG. 26, 2014
version 4, draft 4

7 Ways Cutting Down on Work Can Increase Productivity

Time is an infinite resource. We’re all running out of time. We never have enough time. So with that in mind, people have come up with a number of ways of supposedly increasing the amount of time we can spend on work. The truth is this isn’t the right way to go about it. By working less we can make more time for ourselves later through productivity.

Let’s take a look at seven ways cutting down on work can increase productivity.

  1.       Stop Eating at Your Desk

Working through lunch gives the false illusion that you’re saving time. The sad truth is you’re only tiring yourself out at a faster rate. Lunchtime is a time to relax and recharge your batteries. You aren’t doing this if you eat lunch at your desk. This is why you’ll soon find yourself slowing down in the afternoon.

  1.       Pseudo Work

Work smart not hard is what some of the most successful people in the world live by. The fact of the matter is a lot of our time spent working is not time well spent. Shuffling papers and ‘thinking’ are actually two of the excuses used for procrastinating. If you work harder during the time you do work and take longer breaks, you’ll get more done and reclaim more valuable time.

  1.       The Grey Zone

The grey zone is a term we use for tackling problems without thinking about them. It’s something that can happen to anyone, whether they’ve confronted the problem many times before or for the first time. Instead of barrelling head on, take a step back and think about whether there’s a more efficient way to confront a task. The time spent on this now could save you huge chunks of time later on.

  1.       Work in Isolation

Studies have shown an interruption can mean it takes an average of 23 minutes for us to get back to work. These interruptions can be anything from a work colleague having a chat or a client giving you a call. Set an alone time period for half of the day. This is the time where you turn off the social media and nobody speaks to each other unless it’s genuinely important. Leave only the emergency numbers on. Over this half-day period, you’ll notice a lot more work gets done.

  1.       Deal with Menial Tasks Better

Menial tasks that pop up each day need to be dealt with in a better way. They’re responsible for consuming most of the time we have. Reduce the influence they have on you by delegating them or scheduling them for your least efficient hours. A good project management tool can make this task a lot easier!

  1.       The Distraction Chair

The distraction chair is a fancy term for separating your work life and your leisure life. If you want to mess around online or deal with those distractions, do it in the distraction chair. Make sure your work desk is dedicated to work and work only. You can do this by sitting down and physically blocking yourself from any and all distractions.

  1.       Selectively Waste Your Time

Strangely enough, getting distracted now can lead to more productivity later on. Willpower takes up valuable energy. If you’re constantly forcing yourself to work all day every day, you’re going to drain yourself of willpower. By allowing yourself to do something fun every now and again during the working day, you can save up that energy for later on.

It depends on your routine as to how you waste your time. Some people prefer to work for an hour and do what they want for a half-hour, for example. Others may prefer to work 50 minutes and give themselves 10 minutes off. It’s entirely up to you!

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