Your Guide to Completing More Work in a Day Than Most People Do in a Week
We’re often reminded that we have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce, Tony Robbins or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But what is the value of this reminder, if it’s not accompanied by steps we can implement to better utilise our time?
Whether you’re edging scarily close to a deadline, or simply wish to improve your daily productivity, it’s a valuable idea to break down the hours in your day.
To reflect on the way you segregate your time, and most importantly, to evaluate whether this division is in line with your priorities and your goals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How much time do you realistically spend devoted to work?
Better yet, how many of these hours tend to be productive?
How many hours are occupied by your commute, by phone calls or text messages?
For what amount of time are you zapped into the vortex that is social media? Be honest with yourself.
How many hours a day do you spend making a mouth-watering lunch?
The truth is, there’s every chance we’re spending far too long on these tasks, and quite subconsciously too.
Until we take the time to track and to evaluate the way our days look, we risk being blind to the reality of how we spend our hours. Even more importantly, we sacrifice an ability to maximise them in a more efficient way.
When it comes to tracking your productivity, we can start with analysing when we do our best work. For most people, this will be first thing in the morning.
“Generally, people are most productive in the morning. The two hours after becoming fully awake are likely to be the best.”
– Behavioural scientist, Dan Ariely
Whilst its valuable to be aware of your most productive time period, if you’re not willing to change your ways in order seize this time, you can say goodbye to achieving anything close to Beyonce’s efficiency rate.
Step one (prior to even beginning on the real steps) is to accept the reality that may be true for you. Your current lifestyle may not be your most efficient one.
Here’s how to change it:
CREATE A DAILY ROUTINE THAT SEIZES YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE HOURS
Be aware that whilst we mentioned above, most people tend to complete their most productive work in the morning, this is not to confirm such will be the case for you.
A lot of night owls swear by working into the late hours of the evening. Take Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, for example. He has quite openly declined any invitation to the 5am club.
The most important lesson here is to listen to your body and to your mind, above anything else. Coworkers’ habits for success aside, measure when you feel your most energetic, alert and concentrated.
“I’m usually up pretty late, so I try to be up by 10a.m.”
– Alexis Ohanian
If you find that the mornings are indeed your most productive time, make sure you’re awake to utilise those hours.
Set an alarm and push yourself to get up earlier than usual. If your work environment sits in the way of you being your most productive, talk to your boss about changing up your work hours.
It’s in their interest to accommodate your workplace productivity, after all! Check out some effective strategies for negotiating flexible hours here.
TACKLE THE TOUGH TASKS IN YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE PERIOD OF THE DAY
It’s not only important to be aware of and to be working within your productive period. It pays to look at the tasks you’re choosing to work on, or rather, how you’re working within this period.
It’s a good idea to tackle the hardest tasks in your to-do list at the beginning of the day, when you experience your highest levels of concentration.
Keep in mind that as the day goes on, we tend to get less and less resilient with tougher tasks.
Working longer hours is all about reserving and managing our energy levels. Towards the evening, these tend to be decreasing; the result being, our ability to manage more difficult jobs undergoes significant decline too.
Be aware that you’re more likely to become counterproductive, if you don’t have the energy to complete the level of hard work you’ve designated for the end of the day.
When your energy is fading, occupy this time with easier, more mindless tasks. This way, you’ll still increase productivity. What’s more, you’ll have already dealt with the hardest task.
BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE
Where most of us tend to go wrong with productivity, comes down to the way we plan our days. We think that making a huge list of things to do the next day will increase our ability to complete these tasks.
Often, the result is quite the opposite. We get intensely overwhelmed by the amount on our list, to the point where we complete very little of it.
Creating a realistic list is key, not only to feeling satisfied by the end of the day, but also to driving momentum and motivation throughout it.
When we’re faced with a list we feel is achievable and manageable, we feel more incited to work our way through it.
Especially when you have less time, evaluate your top priorities, and if it helps, divide all of your to-dos into two lists:
Less Urgent Tasks
This is integral to driving your productivity (which can sometimes look very different than simply ticking tasks on a list).
TAKE SMART BREAKS
Even Beyonce will include regular breaks in her routine. With that said, we bet you anything that she integrates smart ones. She won’t clock off from set simply because it’s 3pm.
If she’s feeling inspired, she’ll continue and she’ll maximise any surge of energy. We ought to do the same.
If you’re experiencing a depletion in energy and concentration, don’t be afraid to take fifteen minutes out.
This fifteen minutes could be the secret to improve productivity levels for the rest of the day. With that said, if you’re doing well and you’re feeling focused despite the fact that it’s lunchtime, keep going.
Make the most of this surge, and you’ll thank yourself when you take a break later on.
The key to completing far more work than most people do in a week comes down to time management. We ought to take control of our routines, based on our most productive period.
This way, we too can be as efficient as Beyonce or Tony Robbins in a day! Who’s ready to implement our productivity tips today?!
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