Stop patting yourself on the back for always being the last one to leave work. While you are putting in extra hours and slaving away, it is very possible that your co-workers not only have a more enjoyable life outside of work than you, but they also may be accomplishing the same amount of work, if not more. According to CNBC, working too many hours (more than 50 per week) can actually make you less productive. This is because human beings have a limited capacity for productivity than can only be stretched so far, and nobody functions to their highest potential when they are sleep-deprived. So stop wasting those hours that could be spent relaxing or having fun, and learn how to do more work in less time:
1) Make the most of your weekends
If you utilized your time on the weekends effectively, you will have a more productive work week. This means working as little as possible on the weekend, and if you do have to work, set aside specific blocks of time for it. Don’t make yourself available the entire weekend, because if you do you won’t be able to full enjoy the time you have to yourself or to spend with family and friends. Planning fun outings and adventures for your time off from work will allow you to do more work in less time too, since having something to look forward to can be a huge motivator.
2) Focus on completing projects, not just doing work
If you sit down to work without a specific plan about what you are going to get done, your work can tend to take longer, since you don’t have an end goal you are working towards. So to do more work in less time, try to complete projects that only take a few hours in one sitting. That way you can check it off the list and move on. For bigger projects that are going to take more than one day to complete, split them into smaller parts, and focus on getting each of those parts done in specific amounts of time.
3) Don’t forget to stop and renew your energy
You can’t always avoid stress at work, but you can make it easier to handle (and less likely to push you over the edge) by making sure you have periods of renewal, where you can recharge yourself. This will make the time you spend working more productive. So taking a break during a long work day to get some exercise, go out to eat or even take a short nap can actually help you do more work in less time. This is because during those breaks you are recharging the energy you need to be productive when you get back to work, instead of staying at your desk the entire afternoon working at half-steam.
4) Learn to Say No
It’s good to have a “Can Do” attitude and be willing to go the extra mile to get things done, but you need to draw the line somewhere. Not everyone may be aware of everything you have on your plate, or the nature of some of the projects you are working on. Know when to kindly decline tasks others try to give you. Some of the things you are already working on may be way more important, and taking on the busy work of others will reduce the quality of those projects. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. It’s also wise to focus your energy on the projects you are most skilled at and delegate the rest, since a high level of skill allows you to do more work in less time.
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