Working less but getting more done? You can’t be serious! But people who are more effective have devised ways to do exactly that. How to apply Pareto’s Law to time management, which says that 80 percent of output is produced by 20 percent of input? Want to know the secret formula? Travis Bradberry has explained how these people make it work for them. One of the critical points that he raises up front is that studies have shown that people become very much more unproductive if a working week reaches more than 50 hours. As well as that, once you get to a 55 hour working week your productivity dips to the point where there is simply no point working anymore. So if you’re working a 65 hour working week you’re getting no more done than if you had worked 55 hours. That means taking that time out to relax and unwind is pretty important. Particularly, using your weekends to rejuvenate are is essential to being productive. There are various steps that can enable you to do this.
Here are some of those that have been recommended:
Disconnecting – you need to switch off that laptop and other devices that connect you to work. Otherwise you will simply spend your weekend time dealing with emails and answering your work phone. That is not a way to unwind and recharge. It is the same as doing work. It is doing work, in fact. If you do not take time away from this stuff you can’t focus on getting your energy back for the week ahead. If you do need to spend some of the time answering emails then do it at a predesignated time so that you know you have the rest of your weekend free to relax.
Don’t let the chores dictate – one common problem that people find that they have on the weekends is that they find they end up doing chores the whole time. You can stop this from happening by making sure that you fit them in elsewhere in the week. If chores end up taking over your weekend you won’t feel as if you are getting time off, and your brain won’t have time to recharge.
Spend time reflecting – just because you’re not at work and not doing emails doesn’t mean that you won’t be thinking about work. But use the time to think about how you can be more effective. Try and see the bigger picture and think about how you can make the most of that. With the space away from the day to day you should find that you have more time to do exactly that.
Work out – working out helps you to clear your mind. It helps you to work off those stresses and strains and it can be a time for some when they feel their most creative. Find some way of exercising that you love and make sure to do this at the weekend.
Find a hobby – getting involved in something different also helps you to reduce stress and think more creatively by opening your mind to the possibilities. Whether it is painting, learning to play a musical instrument or discovering a passion for rock climbing, your hobby will help you to relax.
Spend time with family – but make it time that is high quality. Making time for family is important, not a chore. And you don’t want to feel as if you never have time to hang out with them. They don’t want to think that about you either. Make quality time for your family on weekends.
Enjoy small adventures – make sure to do some of that special stuff that you love. Get out hiking or buy tickets to a show. Or maybe try out a fun new restaurant that you’ve been thinking of going to for a while. This will keep you looking forward to the weekends and help you to stay focused during the week, knowing that you have a great weekend coming up to relax.
Don’t sleep in – sleeping in will mess up your body for the rest of the week. It is better to get up at or close to your regular work time. If not you’ll find that you feel groggy on the weekend, but you’ll also struggle and feel less productive on Monday too because you will have thrown your body clock off.
Make some “me” time – on your weekend make sure you get some time that is just for you. You need this time to refocus and relax. You’ll find that by waking up the same time that you do during the week you’ll have time to do exactly that.
Get ready for the week ahead – spending just a few minutes on the weekend getting ready for the week ahead can reap considerable benefits and cut back on stress. Get a list ready of things you have to do the next week. Also get your bag ready for work on Monday. All of this will help you to put your best foot forward in the week ahead.
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.