In recent times, productivity techniques or hacks that will help us work less but get more done have become increasingly popular.
High achievers are always looking for ways to get more done in less time. There are many productivity techniques available today such as:
- The Pomodoro Technique or Sprints.
- Getting Things Done.
- The Eisenhower Matrix.
- To-Do lists.
While all these techniques are powerful and effective, they mainly focus on getting more things completed. The challenge with this is that the more things we get done, the more things we want to get done.
This continuous cycle of fitting more in and trying to “do it all” is not an intelligent long-term strategy for a healthy work life. There has to be a better way to get what we want done without working ourselves to the ground.
I use a couple of productivity tools called Nozbe and Trello, which helps me organise my tasks in an efficient manner. I also recently learned that once we have over 50 tasks on our To-Do lists, we can easily become overwhelmed, which will lower our productivity.
Instead of having many projects or tasks to complete, I now only focus on three or less. Most of my projects have a duration of 90 days or less, which allows me to easily make adjustments to meet my deadlines.
The key to being more productive is to actually do less things but do them with greater efficiency. Here are five ways to become more productive by doing less work.
- Schedule blocks of time for total focus on one thing. Our ability to stay focused on one thing at a time is what will accelerate its completion. Also, being able to focus only on the things we do exceptionally well, our core genius, will enable us to complete things a lot quicker than if we do things we are not good at.
- Find your best work times. We all have certain periods of time in which we do our best work. For me, it’s early in the morning, after I’ve had a good night’s rest. For others, it may be late at night. If we schedule what we want to get done during our best work times, we will get more done a lot faster.
- Eliminate projects or tasks that are not moving you forward. It’s not uncommon for us to take on too many things because of the false belief “we can do it all.” When we focus on our highest priorities or our highest value activities only, we will remove low value activities or distractions that may be slowing us down and causing us to take longer to complete tasks.
- Have consistent breaks during your work day. Forcing ourselves to focus on tasks for long periods of time causes mental fatigue, which affects our ability to concentrate and complete tasks. We have to give our brains regular breaks from intense focus. It’s highly recommended that we have a short break at least once every hour.
- Create a highly inspiring work environment. Our physical space has a big impact on our ability to stay focused. Removing clutter and adding things around our work space that make us feel good are simple ways to improve our concentration levels. Inspiring images, positive quotes, or photos of loved ones can also create an inspiring work environment.
Getting more things done doesn’t necessarily have to be through forcing ourselves to work longer or harder. If we make these small changes, we will see a huge improvement in our productivity levels over time. If we don’t do things differently, we may get things done but it could be via significant costs such as stress, frustration and overwhelm. Doing the things suggested above are a much easier option.
Question: What is another way we can get more done by doing less work?
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