How to do less and become more productive

Spend more time doing less to become more productive

We often equate being productive as doing more with less time. Somehow we expect ourselves and our team to work efficiently and actually get things done even though we feel worn out and can’t even begin to think clearly.

What would happen if you decided to buck this idea by slowing down and resting during your workday more to become more productive?

Most people would not buy into this idea and would even accuse you of being lazy. But, it actually works!

Try changing the way you think and you will change the way you get things done. Rather than cramming more work into your 8 to 10 hour workday, try doing less work more productively. You are probably shaking your head while reading this and thinking it can’t be done. But if you use a concept called Strategic Renewal you really can get more work done in less time and actually produce better quality results.

In a nutshell, here are the hallmarks of Strategic Renewal:

  • Take periodic daytime breaks to do what you want: work out, walk, or meditate.
  • Take naps for at least 20 minutes for a quick burst of renewal or take 60 to 90 minute naps to re-energize and become as alert as you would after a full 8 hours overnight.
  • Get away from the office more often rather than eat lunch at the desk or arrive earlier or leave later. Work fewer hours but get better work done in the hours you actually work.
  • Use your vacation time to boost your energy and interest in your career. Don’t work on vacation time and use the time you are allotted. This will allow you to have a better outlook and improve your health, too.

Even though both time and energy is finite, energy is renewable. You can’t have more than 24 hours in a day so why cram more into the day than you can use productively?

You can use energy better to get more out of the hours you do work:

  • 10 hours or more of sleep per night improves your productivity and overall performance
  • Your body sleeps in cycles. But did you know that your body is alert in cycles too? Just as your body sleeps in 90 min periods, your body also is alert in 90 minutes cycles. If you work at home, try this:
    • Work for 90 minutes straight without pause.
    • Stop for breaks to re-energize: take a walk; go for a run, or read a book that interests you.
    • Work another 90 minutes and then take another break.
    • Work only 4 to 6 hours a day to get more done than you would with 8 to 10 hours.

Try any of these tips and you will find that your productivity will improve with a rested mind that is engaged. A tired mind that works all the time gets a lot less done no matter how many hours you work.

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