5 Ways to Get More Work Done without Increasing Your Working Hours 56

5 Ways to Get More Work Done without Increasing Your Working Hours

This is a guest post by Kevin Nelson. He started his career as a research analyst and has changed his sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer at the BeforeWriting.

Working smart always beats working hard when it comes to productivity.

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, more work does not generally equal better results.

Actually, in some scenarios, you may find that the more work you put in, the more damage there is to the accomplished results. Once you’ve wrapped it in your mind that you don’t necessarily have to kill yourself with work for you to be more successful, you can try more efficient ways out.

One of these many methods includes getting more work done without necessarily increasing your working hours and the to-do-list you live by.

We’ll look into such methods and how they can be applied.

1. Try and Disconnect.

Having a disconnect during the weekends is one of the most vital strategies that you can incorporate into your day to day schedule.

Without purposely setting aside such time for yourself, you will find that you are not able to remove yourself from your work, especially if you can still work from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

You’ll practically still be at your workplace from Friday evening until Monday morning, even though you went home for the weekend. With your constant and ever persistent availability to your workplace, you increase the risk of exposing yourself to a barrage of unending stressors. These are no good because they prevent you from recharging and refocusing.

If, for instance, you find that taking a whole weekend off is impossible, you can try using the following tip.

Change your schedule of checking voicemails and responding to e-mails by trying to designate particular times on Sunday and Saturday to it. A good example of this would be checking your emails on Saturdays, preferably in the afternoon. On Sunday evenings right after dinner, you can slot in listening and replying to all the voicemails you might have received.

The best part about scheduling is that it helps you to organize the time you have at hand into short blocks. This, in turn, results in you having lower stress levels and at the same time, you will not have sacrificed your availability.

2. The Marginal Rule of Quality.

At some point in life, there always comes the big question of whether being a perfectionist is worth all the trouble or is it better to just sit back and use less energy by doing the bare minimum.

The best answer to both scenarios is this: when you find that all the extra input you give to your work has surpassed the output that you get out of it, just put down your tools and look for something else to do.

An extrapolation of this golden rule would be this – you should quit a particular task the minute you realize that the additional input you invest brings you poorer output as compared to a commensurate task.

Some applications of this rule could be:

a) Always make a comparison of the total time that’s used for polishing your work with the time that’s required for doing repairs.

If you find that more time is used up when polishing than when repairing, it’s advisable to just quit early. If you find that repairs have a tendency of siphoning your time and, on the other hand, polishing is fast, then slacken your pace in order to be more careful.

b) You should also make measurements of the difference between the various time amounts that are spent.

For this to be applicable, you could try reading and replying to your emails for different durations of time. For instance, try thirty minutes, sixty minutes, and then ninety minutes each day.

After you’ve done this, you can now comfortably compare the change in effectiveness and competence after each time adjustment. After you audit yourself with such data, you can go ahead and ask yourself the hard questions. An example could be asking whether it is justified to spend approximately three hours per day attending to emails.

3. Rule with Numbers.

How Busy People Make Time to Keep Morning Pages

One of the largest and most notorious time wasters in your life is making assumptions and worse still, living by them.

Whenever you find that the intuitions you have about the dynamics of the world do not match with how it actually works, then you can never be effective. The most efficient way to fight these false conclusions is by having them tested and followed up with numbers.

The results that a test brings have the capability of helping you to save hundreds and thousands of hours.

This is very much possible, especially if it indicates that a particular ongoing project has a much faster alternative or the process has little or no impact.

4. Energy Management.

Time management is a commonly used principle where a person needs to figure out how to maximize output with regard to time invested. Likewise, energy management also deals with maximizing output.

The main difference is that the results of energy management are thought of as energy functions.

When a person works for a few hours but does the work intensively, they are bound to be more productive than someone who works for long hours and even days. The latter type of people normally encounter lethargy in their elongated working hours, and they’re more prone to distractions as compared to the former type.

Below are some ideas on how to work while conserving energy:

a) Work in Bursts

Always divide your working hours into two periods: the period of complete focus on your work and the period of complete rest.

It is totally counter-productive to switch between the two constantly because it will end up leaving you neither productive nor properly rested.

b) Kill Projects

It’s not wise to spread out the projects that only require a small number of hours every day over a couple of days. For you to be productive, you should pull yourself together and complete them in a single sitting.

With more projects being accomplished all at once, you’ll find that you’re able to stay focused, save your time, and use less energy.

c) Rest, Health, and Fun – All Matter

Once you fixate yourself unnecessarily on your work, it can end up making you achieve a lot less than you expected.

You’ll constantly be feeling spent or tired during and after work. To be more effective, it is best to master the art of recharging yourself any time you require it. Take breaks and rest!

5. Parkinson`s Law.

The law by Parkinson goes to state that work normally fills the time availed for it to be completed.

This is nothing but a result of not focusing on completing projects but instead just focusing on doing work. The best way to apply this effectively is by imposing deadlines on yourself while cultivating a passion for getting projects finished.

Some of the ways in which you could apply this principle are as follows:

a) Divide the gigantic projects into much smaller portions.

Then, you should make it your top priority to finish up these small pieces of work to help prevent you from working haphazardly.

b) You should also set up, let’s say, a ninety-minute timer for you to get a certain small project done.

Immediately after the timer goes off, train yourself to stop working on this piece of work. With practice, sticking to the allocated time will become a habit and you’ll be able to think quickly and complete work with ease.


No matter what industry you’re in or what work you’re doing, there is a difference between being busy and getting things done. Being busy or working long does not necessarily mean that more work is getting done. Time is precious, time is money! Learn to use it effectively and you’ll be able to work less but get more done!

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health 21

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health

While most people pay the most attention to their physical health and work hard to achieve a healthy body, they often overlook the potential mental health issues that may have been well tucked away.

Understanding and paying sufficient attention to your mental health issues is an action that should be prioritized in every situation. What could seem like the simplest mental health problem to you might actually be affecting your life in more ways that you can imagine.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the signs.

1. It Is Way More Common Than You Believe.

You might think that mental illness is not present in many situations but the truth is that almost everyone has or is facing such an issue.

In fact, one in five Americans suffers from some type of mental illness. The saddest part about this though, is that very few of them seek treatment.

The person affected by the illness can even be one of your family members. Sadly, symptoms are easy to hide and even people who are severely depressed can mask their health issues from their families and avoid getting help.

2. It Can Also Affect Your Physical Health.

How to Green up Your Morning Routine

It is known from a long time ago that the connection between the mind and the body is strong. Any sort of physical distress can have a huge effect on your capability to work or focus on things around you. Following this same rule, any sort of mental problem can easily affect your physical health too.

The first few things that a mental illness will affect are your mood, energy levels, sleep cycles, appetite and quite possibly your sex drive. Along with these problems and as a result of them, your immune system can also be affected and that can lead to more often colds and an overall impairment of your physical health.

People who face mental illnesses are often left unmotivated and drained of energy.

The illness blurs your mind so much that you have no energy left to function properly in your everyday life. Ask any person that has faced a major depression and they will tell you just how much they let themselves go and how they stopped caring about simple everyday things, such as brushing their teeth or taking a shower.

Physical symptoms won’t take long to appear and you will simply keep increasing your risk factor of a number of health problems such as heart disease or heart palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. It is very important that you ask for help if you feel such symptoms arising. Make sure that you consult a board-certified practitioner to be certain that a mental problem is not the cause of them.   

3. It Plays an Important Role in Your Success.

One of the most frequent symptoms of a mental illness is the lack of motivation. You just feel so tired of everything, you find that you are not interested in what others are doing and you just end up losing interest in things you used to love.

The lack of mental health can, therefore, play a huge role in your success. No matter if you are a college student, an employee or a working parent, you can easily lose sense of what’s important to you and hinder your success in whatever role you might have.

In whichever situation you might be, you will definitely need to be able to be creative and productive. Your success in your studies or your workplace might be your only source of stability and income.

An untreated mental illness can be the reason behind your reduced productivity, your lack of creativity and your overall negative attitude towards your work.

Keep in mind that a large number of homeless people are those who are suffering from a mental illness but sadly left it untreated.

Looking for help and letting the mental health professionals guide you can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. It can help you see things from a different perspective and give you the courage and motivation you need to get back on track and find yourself again.

4. It Can Affect Your Relationship with Your Peers.

Most people who face a mental illness find themselves intimidated by social situations. Even spending time with friends or family can seem like a very tiring or pointless task and they will often opt out of it. It is important to remember that this does not apply only to depressed people, as many might think, but to a large area of mental issues.

Anxiety disorders can alienate a person from their circle because of the constant fear of something going wrong, of someone not liking them or of an overall new situation. It is very common for the solution to your mental health issue to be holding the key to you getting back your behavioral health.

Mental illness can also affect your relationship with your family.

Apart from losing contact with people you probably care about, you might even end up harming them more than you think. It is not rare to see a person struggle both financially but also emotionally when it comes to helping family members that are battling mental illness.

Another very important reason to not take your mental health lightly is for the sake of your children. It is very often reported that children of people who struggle with a mental illness are abused or neglected. That can play a huge role in their lives and affect their entire lives, from childhood to adulthood.

Make Your Mental Health an Everyday Goal!

There are many places to turn to for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, otherwise known as NAMI, can be a great place to start. Through it, you can find a suitable medical center that will provide you with the suitable health services to help you regain your mental health.

It is important that you are not ashamed of your personal struggles or mental issues. Everything is part of the human nature and the fact that there are so many people available to help comes to show just how human this situation is and how much attention we, as a society, should be paying to this important issue.


Leona Henryson is a professional writer and passionate blogger. Her goal is to help people achieve their personal self-development and mental wellness.