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  • Writer's pictureChristine Myers Certified VA

How to Work Less and Get More Done

Anyone who is trying to work less and get more done is frequently told to spend more time trying to accomplish their goals. (To read more about goals, click here). However, this technique only works when time is used wisely.

You Should Use Most of Your Time Constructively

When someone complains that they don’t have enough time to complete tasks at home, work or school, it’s typically because they’re spending too much time in non-productive activities. Here are a few activities that are time-wasters.

* Keeping a mobile phone turned on to see texts and get calls.

* Agreeing to go out at night with friends.

* Watching television, playing games or just spacing out.

* Checking email constantly.

* Becoming distracted by chores such as laundry or cleaning.

Creating a written schedule that includes spending only 5-10% of your time on fun or non-productive activities can be an important way in helping you to use your time wisely.

Follow Parkinson’s Law about Time

Parkinson’s Law generally indicates that when there’s plenty of time to complete a task, then it usually takes the full amount of time available to get it done. However, when people are facing deadlines, they are able to find ways to get a job completed in a record amount of time. A good example of this is when someone watches a cooking show on television that requires a chef to prepare a recipe in only 25-minutes that normally would require an hour or more. To get tasks finished faster, an individual should:

* Set a timer for 45, 60 or 90 minutes and run it to completion before taking a break.

* Organize more substantial projects into smaller tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

* You Should Carefully Manage Your Energy

People who unproductively burn up time also waste energy by waiting until the last minute to complete a project. Since using physical and mental energy wisely is especially important for difficult tasks, it’s important to note there are ways to conserve your energy such as:

* Avoiding procrastinating by starting – and completing, a project ahead of schedule.

* Dividing a project into easily manageable sections.

* Taking time off to rejuvenate periodically.

Have the Proper Equipment or Delegate the Work

By way of example, when someone tries to print something out with a printer that doesn’t have any ink, they’re wasting time and energy. Essentially this means making sure that the right equipment is readily available to complete the task – including a workspace, sharpened pencils and a printer that has plenty of ink. Furthermore, it’s a waste of energy for someone to try to do something that’s beyond their skill set, so if the printer still won’t work despite replacing the ink cartridge, don’t waste trying to repair it, find a person who knows how to fix it quickly.

Give up Perfectionism

In most cases, perfectionism isn’t necessary and continuing to work on a project when finished can be considered a waste of time, which could be spent on other productive tasks. Following these tips can help you increase productivity without expending valuable time and energy.

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