“Focus on being productive, instead of busy” – Tim Ferriss
Maybe you wake up early. You work hard and long hours.
All in all, you must be productive.
Work hours and the amount of tasks you accomplish have nothing to do with productivity.
Instead, productivity is all about results.
You could literally be working 2 hours and accomplish more than you do in 8 hours.
The key is having the right habits in place.
And these habits are not always that obvious.
In fact, most people get them wrong.
With this in mind, here are the top 4 habits you need to have in place to supercharge your productivity.
1. Work Less – And Ditch the 8-Hour Work Day
Most of us think that by working more, we get more done.
In fact, the opposite is true:
By working less, we accomplish more.
A lot of data points to this.
For example, according to an OECD report, countries that work less are more productive.
This in itself is not news.
Back in the day, Henry Ford cut workers’ work day to 8 hours to increase productivity.
But today, this established work day might be outdated.
Research shows that elite performers rarely work for more than 4.5 hours a day. When they do work, they are extremely focused and work uninterrupted 90 minutes at the time.
In other words, to be truly productive, you should work in 90-minute sessions and allow yourself to take breaks between those work sessions.
In the afternoon, you can do general maintenance tasks.
2. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking kills your productivity.
There are several studies that underline this:
A study by the University of London shows that when you get distracted by phone calls, text messages, and email, your IQ suffers a fall of more than twice compared to marijuana smokers. A study by the University of Stanford reinforces that multitasking is bad for your work productivity. Furthermore, your brain gets overwhelmed when faced with multiple tasks.
But how can you stop multitasking?
When you work, ignore everything that’s unrelated to the task at hand.
For example, turn off your phone and shut down any email notifications.
When you’ve finished one task, you can move on to the next.
And that’s how you get results.
3. Quit Often
We have this weird idea that we fail when we quit.
But did you know that quitting can increase your productivity?
What you should do is quit strategically.
For example, there are things that aren’t worth your time because your time could be used in a way that yields more results.
Instead, quit these things.
Delegate or outsource them to others who do them more cost effectively.
This saves you time and energy.
At the same time, you can use your time to accomplish those high-value activities.
4. Reserve Empty Time Every Day
You might think that being productive means you should constantly accomplish tasks that take you closer to your goal.
For example, your productive time should consist of things like sales calls, research, answering emails, writing, and so forth.
But the truth is that you should reserve empty time every day.
This is something that LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner does to stay productive.
This empty time is the time when he reflects on things that go on around him, and he takes the time to solve problems.
You should schedule at least an hour of empty time every day.
You can break it into 30-minute blocks and combine it with a walk out in fresh air.
Over to You
It’s time for that one thing that determines whether you’ll be productive or not…
Start implementing these unconventional habits today (otherwise, you’ll just procrastinate on them).
And let me know in the comments:
What’s the first step you’ll take to be less busy and more productive?
Camilla is a freelance writer & enthusiastic about productivity and performance optimization. Get the free worksheet “20 Steps to a Productive Life” to supercharge your productivity.