Work is considered one of the main spheres of life. The world is constantly changing, but the situation of almost round-the-clock employment with the development of technologies, which, in theory, should make our lives easier, is only getting worse. How to be more productive? I will give you the answer in this article.
Most of us are in the access zone 24/7. We are ready to respond to any, even the most trifling, working correspondence, answer calls, to chat with colleagues solving business issues even late at night.
Especially millennials indulge themselves in it, wearing their ball and chain of twenty-four-seven occupation, in practice showing off the eternal exhaustion and proud of being so busy. But if we stop and just think about what we are working for, what goals we want to achieve, what our employers and customers need, we will understand that there is absolutely nothing to be proud of. We’re just worn-out people suffering from procrastination, who work a lot, but not necessarily effective.
According to Psy.D. and concurrently blogger Benjamin Hardy, the real amount of time to execute a job while remaining effective depends primarily on our priorities.
The ambitions of super-efficient people like Elon Musk spread to “upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere” in contrast to the priorities of a typical middle-rank manager. So it is important to make a decision.
If you, like most people, want to head above water doing what you love while spending enough time with your nearest and dearest, traveling without thinking about deadlines every minute, and find time to your favorite things, stop deluding yourself.
Focus on work
A typical day for most of us is working in a slow mode with constant breaks for chatting with colleagues, coffee, social networks and checking the emails.
The working hours of most people are not correlated with the natural peaks of productivity, as a result, the average productivity of our work is very low. Fatigue and permanent, as it seems to us, busyness only reduces efficiency.
Having got to work by 9-10 o’clock in the morning, we understand that there is still a long day in the office, and it should be at least something to do, so we “smear” tasks throughout its duration.
However, if you focus on a result rather than just seem busy, you are included in the job 100% and can take the foot off the pedal when the job is done. Why does something in half?
If you work – you work! If not — then no!
By the way, research showed that the best results in fitness are achieved by those who train for a short time, but very intensively, and not by those who do it for hours and don’t have time to recharge after a workout.
The idea is simple: intense activity must be followed by nice relaxation.
The fact is that basic growth, physical or intellectual, actually occurs during the recovery phase. However, the most effective way to start this highly effective recovery process is to strain properly and go all-out during the workout.
The same concept is applicable to work. The best working moments are of high intensity and do not last long: 1-3 hours. But during this period it is important to drown yourself in work, as during high-intensity workouts, without being distracted by surrounding sounds.
Valuable insights occur during the relaxation
The principle that the best solutions and the most creative ideas don’t occur during the main activity, but during the relaxation is also true in relation to the work.
One study found that only 16% of respondents seek creative insights directly from themselves during the work execution process. For the majority of people, valuable ideas come into their heads while driving, cooking, and during other activities outside the office.
The reason why the most practical thoughts appear in our mind is not when we are in front of the monitor in the office, is rather simple. When you perform a task, your brain is fully focused on “operational activities”. And conversely, when you don’t work, your mind wanders freely. Thus, while you are driving a car, or bored in the subway, or sweating on a treadmill, peripheral distractions — people, sounds, smells — subconsciously build new connections between the events recorded in your memory, and randomly wandering thoughts in your head.
Our mind is permanently switching between the objects of the world, on the one hand, and between the present, past and future — on the other. Without being focused on a specific task and specific time. The оur brain is able to build connections between events in such a way as to find a solution to the problem that you could not solve, being completely focused on it.
For the best result, Benjamin Hardy recommends spending 20% of mental energy for direct task performance, for work, and 80% — for recovery and self-development. After all, the most effective and rapid growth occurs during the recovery period.
Here, just in case, it is important to note that the concept of “energy” is not equal to the concept of “time”.
You need to structure your life. A famous Canadian blogger Kalyn Nicholson tends to use a very nice expression – GYST. It’s an abbreviation of get your s**t together. So apply this principle to your life and focus on the present task and moment. It will raise your productivity to the new heights. Plus you will enjoy the separation of working time, chit-chatting time and full relaxation. Have you ever thought about work during your weekend? Or have you ever dreamt about the vacation during your working time? Now you understand! Separate your spheres of life and focus on them. It will clean your life, calm your mind and make you productive and happy!
If you follow this model consistently, your productivity will grow steadily. You will learn how to be more productive at work and how to be more productive at home. And this is not about doing more, this is about doing better and faster. This is about being strategically focused on the result, not the idea of permanent preoccupation.
Hope you will find this article useful. I wish you productive working hours and free time full of relaxation!