Productivity Tips

Work Different Hours Instead of Longer Ones

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

If you find yourself working longer and longer hours and still not achieving all you set out to it might be a case of shifting your timeframe. Working different hours can often help you get more productive than working long ones.

Sometimes it seems that no matter how long a day you work you still go home at night with quite a few unchecked items on that to do list.

When that happens we tend to think we need to put more time in. How often have you said, "There just aren't enough hours in the day?" If you run your own business chances are you've said this more than once. We think we'll be able to catch up the next day by working extra hours. This isn't the case.

In actual fact there are enough hours in the day, and you don't necessarily have to work overtime to accomplish your goals. It's often just a matter of changing which hours you work.

Up with the lark –

Even if you give yourself an extra hour and half in the morning you'll notice the difference when it comes to how much you achieve in a day. Try getting to the office before everyone else does. That way you can attend to things that require only your attention without the distraction of dealing with staff members or taking calls. That extra hour an a half worked smart will allow you to get things done that would usually take two and a half hours. Here we are talking about working different hours so this doesn't mean you still stay late if you did an extra stint in the small hours. That's the point. Be more productive and you won't have to knock yourself out.

Don't work your lunch break –

Oh dear, if you've read that tag line and said, "What lunch break?" then we have a little problem. Many business owners feel they will save time and be more productive if they work through lunch. It's a fallacy though. Your mind and your body needs to rest and to receive sustenance in order to function to a high standard. You might think that skipping lunch gives you an extra hour of working time, but in truth you need to ask yourself how productive you are when you are tired and hungry.

Work Sunday and take Friday off –

Unless you have commitments on Sundays due to religious beliefs or family ties think about working Sunday and taking the preceding Friday off. This is just a suggestion – basically you are moving your weekend by a day. A lot of entrepreneurs find this works for them. Rather like using an extra hour and half in the morning you'll get to focus on work without being waylaid by the demands of a busy workplace.

Kill two birds with one stone –

Use dead time to your advantage. If you're sitting on a train or waiting in an airport lounge, use the time to deal with emails from your laptop or calls on your cell phone. Stuck in traffic? Use your hands free phone facility to catch up on voicemail messages.

The basic premise here is to work smarter not harder. Use time wisely and take advantage of the quieter hours when you can work without interruption. You don't need to knock yourself out; you just need to clock yourself in at different times.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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