It goes without saying that some people are more efficient at their work. So much so that they can work fewer hours, yet accomplish a lot more than the average person. A recent Stanford study on this found that productivity declines quite sharply per hour when the workweek is in excess of 50 hours. Most interestingly, the study showed that productivity fell so much beyond the 55 hour mark, that there was no point in even working. Essentially, those who are working around 70 hours a week, and more, are accomplishing the same amount of work as those who are working around 55 hours a week.
The idea of working smarter, not longer, is not a new idea. Many successful CEO’s have already tapped into this method and have found significant success. They understand the value in a weekend away from their work to relax and rejuvenate. By utilizing this time appropriately, their workweeks are far more efficient and productive. The most efficient workers disconnect. If you are unable to disconnect from the technology that keeps you bound to your work, then you never really left. Being on call 24/7 will only expose you to additional work stresses that will keep you from recharging your batteries. Do yourself a favor and disconnect, unless absolutely necessary to stay connected.
Efficient workers have also to practice a variety of different habits, all of which help yield similar beneficial results. These habits include minimizing chores, reflecting on bigger issues, exercising, pursuing hobbies, taking time for adventures, spending time with family, and preparing for the week. All of these activities are mainly linked by their dissociation with work, which ideally means less stress. Chores are basically work at home, so its important to schedule them during the week. Use the free time during the weekend to get in those brief exercises you frequently talk about during the week. Find a habit and stick to it. Whether picking up an instrument for the first time, knitting, or gardening, the mental returns on a passionate hobby are priceless. Lastly, spend time with your family. It is an essential part of recharging and getting back to normal before the busy week starts back up.
Best practices can take you a long way. Utilize these various practices often used by some of the happiest and most successful people out there. It’s at least worth a shot.