It’s a myth that in order to be productive, you need to slog through 16 hour work days and devote all of your free time to a project. The most successful people in their fields often work less than the middle and lower echelon employees. Wonder why? They work smarter, not harder. Here’s a few tricks to try:
1. Understand distractions
Whether it’s your ability to check Facebook as often as you want (and admit it, you’re checking it more frequently than you ought to be) or your incessant need to respond to every e-mail as it lands in your inbox, distractions are a way of life for the modern worker. But for the smarter worker, learning to identify stumbling blocks to productivity and eliminating them is the key to smart, effective workdays.
2. Work in blocks
When you’re planning your next project, consider breaking it into chunks instead of one long marathon work session. Working in chunks, and learning to see projects in terms of milestones, can foster creativity and momentum.
Sure, there’ll be times that you need to burn the midnight oil for a demanding project, but learning to work smarter rather than harder can save your sanity and just might help you stand out in a crowd of mainstream cube dwellers.