As a motivational speaker and leadership coach, I encounter a lot of professionals who are looking to crack the code.
They’re looking to figure out how they can get more done, while working less.
I don’t mean working less hard. I mean working fewer hours. I mean making the most of your time in the office so that you can actually make it home to be with your family at a reasonable time of day. I mean eliminating the need for late nights and weekend work days.
Impossible, you say? I don’t think so. Many people do it, and some of them have shared their secrets with me. I’ll list a few of the tips I’ve gleaned in the next section of the post.
How to Get More Done While Working Shorter Hours
Plan your day—the night before. Before leaving the office for the evening, map out a to-do list of all the things you need to accomplish that day. Prioritize them as best you can. Make sure that, when you get to work the next morning, you can really hit the ground running, getting plenty of stuff done in the morning.
Collaborate well. If you’re working on a project with a group of collaborators, it’s smart to use an online program like Basecamp or Slack so that you can communicate efficiently.
Don’t try to multi-task. Mono-tasking is where it’s at! Rather than divide your attention over several activities, invest everything you’ve got in getting a single task completed.
Take breaks. No, really—you’ll be more productive in the long run if you allow yourself to get up, stretch your legs, and clear your head between projects.
Manage meetings effectively. Have set start times and end times, and stick with them. Also make sure there is a set agenda to keep everyone on task.
Turn off your email. No, not all day—but for chunks of time that you want to block out to truly get stuff done. Turning off social media notifications is also a smart step.
Listen to your body. You’ll feel it when it’s time to eat, to get a little fresh air and exercise, or simply to call it a day—and you should heed those physical warnings.
Make the Most of your 9-5
Forming the right habits can help you to make the most of your work day—without having to stretch it too far. Use these tips to get started.
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