Work hard, play hard and no pain, no gain are two mantras that we often associate with highly successful people, but research has shown that those who follow the work smarter, not harder philosophy are actually achieving more in their careers.
But how do we actually work smarter? Working fewer hours and adopting strategies to make the hours we do work more productive are key to achieving this.
Working fewer hours may sound counterintuitive, but there is plenty of research to suggest that people get more done when they work in shorter bursts – check out my blog Is it Time for a Shorter Working Week to learn more about the value of working shorter hours.
Some of the best strategies we can implement to increase our productivity include:
Checking emails first thing when we arrive in the office and scheduling times during the day to check them rather than constantly interrupting ourselves in the middle of a task.
Planning your day the day/night before and then jumping on tasks that are urgent and prioritising from there, a lot of unnecessary stress and panic can be avoided when tasks are properly prioritised.
Resisting the urge to multitask – you might think you’re getting more done, but you’re actually slowing yourself down by having too many unfinished tasks, the quality of your work will slip and your poor brain will be left frazzled.
Taking lots of small breaks, we can only remain focused for about 90 minutes before we need a breather. Work for a longer stretch and you may find yourself staring into the abyss of your computer screen quickly losing motivation to do anything.
Getting outdoors and stretching our legs is both relaxing and resets our attention spans, so when we’re sitting behind our desks we can really focus on what we’re doing and the quality of our work will improve.
Shifting our focus from trying to work hell-for-leather over a long period of time to pacing ourselves and maximising the most of a shorter work period will make us a lot more productive, content and successful in the long run.
Written by Alisa Moore, Research & Community Manager at Gaulter Russell Numero.
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