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How To Work Less Hours Yet Be More Productive

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Doing time and being productive doesn’t always go hand in hand.  Working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week may be seen as ‘cool’, however, it’s not healthy so dare to change your ‘workaholic mindset’ by working fewer hours, and you’ll achieve more.

In fact, the more hours you work in a week the less productive you’re likely to be.  This is why employees are allowed breaks during their working day, and if the job requires a lot of concentration and it is considered a dangerous occupation then time outs are compulsory.

There is no shame in taking a lunch break and when you’re running a startup or small business there is a lot of responsibility which if not managed accordingly will let to health issues like stress, anxiety and moodiness.   Therefore working long hours to show the staff your commitment to the business is counterproductive. Your staff will be led by your example however the measurement of work should be on what is achieved not how long you stay at work each day.  What your staff need from you are leadership and communication.

So how do you break the habit of working long hours and change your mindset so you and your team focus on outcomes over ‘doing the time’?  In this article, we consider five actions to can claw back hours of time without losing productivity.

Stay In Your Lane

Startups and small business owners, naturally keep a watchful eye on all expenses and to cut costs they attempt to do roles they’re not suited for and lack the competency to do well.

Avoid being the Jack of all trades

If by profession you are the salesperson then take the role until the business is in a position to hire a team of salespeople.  If you’re not an accountant but you think with time you can wing it, you can not. You’ll waste a lot of time, which is money and your business will likely fold.

There are some ‘freaks of nature’ so to speak, i.e. extraordinarily talented business people who really can manage many different roles, however, this doesn’t mean they should.  Find the role you do the best and can provide the most value to your business and hire resource i.e. staff to manage the other areas of the business.

To manage your cash flow initially use freelancers, and consultants and gradually take on full-time employees as the business demands it.

Focus On Your Fitness

Exercise can increase productivity. Do yoga, join the gym, practice meditation, ride your bike to work, join a sports team. There are so many ways to get moving and human beings, need to move regularly.  We need to take care of our physical and mental fitness. You’ve heard of the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’. The more active you are, the more energy you’ll have and with it you can achieve more in your business, every hour you’re at work.

Exercise for the body and mind destresses and removes toxins.  Our modern society has made us lazy so commitment to regular exercise shows self-discipline which is the foundation of getting stuff done.

Be Hyper-organized

Being organized also allows you to get more done.  Every night before you hit the bed, open your ‘to-do’ list app and write everything you have to do for the next day. This saves a lot of time, and a perfect quote to wrap this point is: “Direction is so much more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast”.

In short, scheduling your day increases your productivity many times over.

Eliminate multitasking

You might be prey to this trap⁠— you believe multitasking is being productive. Here’s a simple way to describe multitasking: “simultaneously doing several things poorly”. Again, this comes back to our first point(staying in the lane).

Focus on one thing and get it done before you move on to another. That’s one of the simplest ways to being productive as an entrepreneur.

Relax

“The breaks you take form work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation.” Gautam Singhania.

Relaxation and sleep sharpens the mind to deal with the day’s challenges and it prevents burnout. So, don’t cheap out on getting a perfect night’s sleep.  Focus on quality downtime and make sure you have a good set up in your bedroom. This means blocking out light, and you’ve got a supportive frame and a quality mattress.  Also, make sure you’re eating the foods that encourage the production of melatonin which is a hormone that regulated your sleep patterns.

Summary

Working longer hours will not increase your productivity and will more likely lead to damaging health issues.  Work hard on changing your mindset to one that focuses on your wellbeing. The healthier you are, the more productive you can be.  Of course you will also need to consider mental exercises that improve your concentration and focus, but they’re easy, the first step is to set yourself up for success so your business is enjoyable and rewarding.

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