In this even tougher economy, many businesses operate on the basis that the longer an employee works, the more he will get done and the bigger the profit. Some people even work for 10 to 12 hours a day. Does this mean that more things get accomplished? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
In the early 1900s, Ford Motor experimented on various working hours to maximise their worker productivity. They discovered that their employee productivity is at its best in working 40 hours a week, while adding an extra 20 hours a week will instead cause negative results.
This rule still applies in today’s business setting: People who work a solid 40 hours a week get more done than those who regularly work 60 or more hours.
Here are 10 tips to maximise our 8 hours of work.
1. Work smarter, not longer
If you have three similar things to do (i.e. replying emails to your boss, clients, and team members), finish them in one go before moving to another task. This way you will finish a lot more tasks in a limited amount of time. Make a list of things to finish before you start working that day. Odds are you’ll finish things quicker.
2. Do one thing at a time
Multitasking is a myth. Research has proven that by doing multiple things, we are really jumping between tasks with divided concentration. So the next time you’re in a meeting, don’t reply to emails. When you’re designing a project, don’t plan a presentation for your next client.
3. Attend fewer meetings
Most business leaders agree that many of the meetings conducted are a waste of time. Before going into a meeting, ask yourself, “Can I finish this matter in a five-minute email?” And if you really have to go, prepare the things you need to discuss beforehand and stick to the agenda so that you don’t end up having an unnecessarily long meeting.
4. Don’t check your email every 10 minutes
Checking our email may be the number one task that’s taking us the most time. Set up three times in a day when you need to check your email and spend the rest of the time doing your projects instead.
5. Set up breaks between work
Studies show that our brain can work optimally on a task for 90 to 120 minutes before we lose concentration. Thus, taking frequent but short breaks can actually increase our productivity.