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How to Do More While Working Less

02 November 2022

Something that everyone wishes they could do is work less while getting more done, so why not just do it. While it may seem like you need to work more to get more done, this is not necessarily true.

Working smarter beats working harder every time. It is a well-known phrase for a reason. It is not easy to work less while getting more done, and it is definitely not about slacking and being lazy.

It takes planning and effort to work less and get more done. You will want to rethink your methods at work and make them more efficient. After that, you can implement the techniques below to start getting more done without increasing your to-do list and time.

Implement the 80/20 Rule

There are many good habits for productivity you should practice, and one of those is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule basically states that a small amount of inputs produces a larger amount of outputs. Following this rule minimizes the time spent in the unproductive 80% of your workday.

It is simply impossible to cut absolutely every task that does not directly contribute to your bottom line. Some things have to get done, no matter how small they are, like checking your emails.

The purpose of the 80/20 rule is to be more cutthroat when reducing time spent in areas that have little contribution to your main goals. Slash the time you spend on emails to devote more time to larger projects.

Start saying no to commitments that do not hold enough value in your workday. Ensure to study core concepts and key terms instead of the unimportant details. Doing things like this will allow you to have more time to devote to the main part of your workday, letting you get more done while working less.

Manage Your Energy

Managing your energy is different from managing your time, which is also important. You want to think of your results as a function of your energy output. Working hard for short periods will inevitably accomplish more than working tirelessly for days.

Working hard for long periods will leave you tired and distracted. You will accomplish less if you work yourself until you have low energy than if you are rested.

Attempt to work in bursts, dividing your time between complete rest and complete focus. Try not to constantly switch between the two because you will be neither rested nor productive.

Go ahead and finish your projects instead of spreading things that only take a few hours out over a few days. Sit down and finish them while you have the energy and are focused in order to save yourself time in the long run. If you find yourself not being productive, you can always refer to our blog, which explored the 5 best ways to boost work productivity.

Remember to keep track of resting, health, and fun. These things matter, and without them, you will accomplish less. Recharge your batteries as needed throughout the workday.

Consider Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law states that “work will fill the time that is available for completion”. This is a side effect of focusing on doing work instead of completing projects.

Set strict deadlines for yourself to create a desire to finish the projects you need to complete. It is not just about checking off tasks on a list but actually completing projects.

You could set a timer for 60 minutes to finish a small project, and when the timer goes off, you cannot continue working. This will force you to think fast and waste no time while working on the project. Divide larger projects into smaller pieces so that you can complete the project piece-by-piece instead of working without purpose.

Make Use of Old Material

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is a great mantra to live your life by, and you can apply it to your work, as well. Whenever you can, copy, paste, and edit old work that you have done to complete new projects or tasks. The things you can do this with will vary depending on the type of work you do.

You can use this method with emails, presentations, training materials, proposals, and other activities where you are communicating something similar to an old project of yours.

When you are short on time, do not worry about creating and overhauling new materials. Instead, use something you already have and update it to match your new goal. If your work is successful, there is no reason to not reuse it when completing simple tasks throughout the day.

Turn to Templates and Checklists

Speed up the time you spend on routine tasks by making templates and checklists or finding ones to use online. Templates and checklists are great for things like emails and tracking finances.

You could use them for weekly reports, presentations, meeting agendas, and keeping track of your daily progress. Checklists are a great way to organize weekly plans, one-on-one meetings, and other repetitive activities.

Templates and checklists will allow you to do a great job in less time because you are not trying to remember what to do or deciding on what the next step should be. Just follow along with the format.

Conclusion

There are many ways to work less and get more done throughout your day. Review everything you do during your workday to see what you spend the most time on and go from there.

Make use of simple cheat sheets, like templates, checklists, and even your old materials and projects. Having the outline of something gives you a ledge to step off of instead of starting from scratch, which will take more time overall.

Try implementing these easy tasks throughout your workday to reduce the amount of time you spend working each day while increasing the amount of work you get done.