7.20.2014

10 Tips to Work Less and Accomplish More

Micha Kaufman
Micha Kaufman
Is there an emerging global backlash against rigid, full-time employment? Google GOOGL +4.06% CEO Larry Page has advocated the elimination of the 40-hour-work week and the Swedish government is planning to conduct an experiment with a 6-hour workday to increase productivity and reduce sick days. You entrepreneurs and freelancers already know that the number of hours isn’t what matters. Rather, it’s the quality of your time and effort that drives success.

Here are tips to make the most of every working second so that you can achieve financial independence and lead a fulfilling life:
#1) Have One Computer Just For Fun
Have two computers, one for work and one for play. Get it into your head that on your work computer there won’t be any (non-work related) Facebooking, Tweeting, or procrastinating via BuzzFeed or Reddit. If you only have one computer, simply use a different browser for business.
#2) Look Out for #1
Being productive is impossible if you’re sneezing and coughing all over your desk. Eat healthy and hit the gym. Take your vitamins. And, please, stay in bed if you need it.
#3) Crank Some Tunes
Hearing your favorite tunes not only gets your creative juices flowing, it can actually make you more efficient. One study even showed that when surgeons listened to music while working, their speed and accuracy increased. Figure out what songs motivate you and hit play when it’s time to get down to business.
#4) Play Nice with Others
Working with other people doesn’t mean having them do your work, it means understanding precisely what you do best and optimizing your time by concentrating on those tasks only. Use the web to find and engage other self-starters who are experts in the areas that aren’t your strong suit.
#5) Love Your Lists
Before you start working, make a short to do list of everything you need to finish that day to help you stay on point. Prioritize each item. Then cross off completed tasks as you go and enjoy the sweet taste of victory when you draw a line through that final item.
#6) Take a Break
Having an awful case of writer’s block? Go for a short walk to clear your head. Sitting in your office chair staring blankly at the computer screen isn’t “working;” it’s wasting your time. After you finish each task, take 5 minutes to breathe, stretch, and grab a snack so that when it is time to get back to work you’re raring to go.
#7) Reduce the Noise
Just because you aren’t typing away in a cubicle surrounded by coworkers chatting about their fantasy football teams, doesn’t mean that there aren’t an abundance of distractions around you. Remember that when it’s time to buckle down, the baseball game shouldn’t be on in the background and you need to stop Instagraming those last few weekend photos.
#8) Love It or Leave It
If you genuinely enjoy your career, you’re going to do a better job quicker. Take a long hard look at your current Gig, and if it’s not making you leap out of bed in the morning, it’s time to make a change. If you read every issue of the Wall Street Journal cover to cover, maybe you’re destined to be a cunning business consultant. Love design? Take some online tutorials in PhotoShop and Illustrator. Go down the path to do what you love — odds are it’s what you’re best at anyway.
#9) Recharge Your Batteries
If you’re nodding off in your chair, do you think you’re ready for a productive day? When you’re exhausted, you move at a sluggish pace, and what takes you minutes wide awake, drags on for hours. A cup of Joe may caffeinate you through the most tired moments, but ultimately there’s no substitute for rest. Get a good night’s sleep and jumpstart your morning with a refreshing shower and power breakfast.
#10) Just Stop>>>

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