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2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
You can work less and be much more efficient.
Dr. Travis Bradbury, author of the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence, believes that the eight-hour day we are accustomed to is a long-dated approach to work. If you want to be productive, it's time to ditch this relic of the past and find a new way to plan your time.
Why the eight-hour day is ineffective
This rationing of scheduling dates back to the Industrial Revolution and aimed at reducing the amount of time workers in factories spent on grueling manual labor. This is a reform two hundred years ago, and such a regime is no longer suitable for us today.
It is believed that we have to work, like our parents, long eight hours a day with a couple of breaks or even without them. And most people work even at their lunch hour.
This outdated approach doesn't help, but rather hinders our productivity.
In a recent study, the Draugiem Group tracked the work habits of its employees using an app. Researchers saw how much time people spent on various tasks and compared these values with their performance metrics.
In the process of measuring, the company found this: the length of the working day did not matter much - it was how people structured their day. In particular, employees who did not deny themselves short breaks were much more productive than those who did not break away from tasks for several hours in a row.
The ideal ratio was 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of rest.
People who adhered to this schedule could fully concentrate on their work. For almost a full hour, they were 100% dedicated to the task before them. They didn't even open social media “just check” or get distracted by emails.
Feeling tired (just about an hour later), they took short breaks, during which they completely disconnected from work. It helped them clear their heads and distract them so they could spend another productive hour.
How to work
People using a 52/17 performance ratio adapt to the natural characteristics of the brain: it is based on the alternation of bursts of high energy (about an hour) and its decrease (15-20 minutes).
However, in ordinary life, we most often out of habit ignore these natural ebb and flow of energy, continuing to work even when we are already tired and unable to concentrate.
The best way to get rid of constant fatigue and frequent distractions from work is to plan your day ahead of time. Don't try to sit on tasks for hours and then ignore loss of focus and exhaustion. When your productivity is just starting to drop, take it as a sign - it's time for a break.
Forcing yourself to take a break and rest is easier if you know for sure that it will make your day more productive. After all, the holiday we usually take is far from real: checking email and watching YouTube do not energize us. Unlike a normal walk.
How to plan your day
You can work the standard eight hours if you break this time into segments - sprints. Once you adjust your activities to the natural energy surges, things will go much better. Here are four tips to help you get into that perfect rhythm.
Break the day into hourly intervals
We usually plan to finish by the end of the day, week, or month. But you can become many times more effective if at each moment of time we focus only on what we can achieve right now.
Therefore, plan your day in short periods of one hour. This will allow you to set the right rhythm for your activity. Plus, this way you simplify complex tasks by breaking them down into small parts. If you want to keep the formula as accurate as possible, you can use intervals of 52 minutes, but an hour is no worse.
During office hours - work
A sprint system is only effective because it uses peak energy periods correctly. This way you can achieve maximum concentration in a relatively short time and quickly cope with tasks. But if you are irresponsible in your time allotted for work - sending SMS messages, checking your e-mail or social networks - the whole system collapses.
Have a real rest
The Draugiem Group found that employees who took a break even more often than every hour were more productive than those who did not break from work at all. In addition, those who consciously rested felt better than those who, during “rest”, could not disconnect from the tasks they had left.
Getting distracted from your computer, phone, and to-do list is essential to stay productive.
Walking, reading, and simple communication are most effective for recharging. They can really distract us from work. On particularly busy days, it seems like checking emails or making phone calls could very well pass for a break. But this is not the case, so avoid this kind of rest.
Don't wait for your body to force you to take a break
It is a bad idea to simply work until you are so tired that you want to rest. This is useless: you have already skipped the maximum performance window anyway.
Stick to a pre-set schedule: sticking to it will ensure that you work at your highest productivity and rest at your lowest. Remember that taking a short break and recovering is much more effective than trying to keep working when you are tired and unable to concentrate.
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