Author and businessman Mike Michalowicz has come up with 3 productivity hacks that he believes can help individuals get twice as much done, in half the time.
In a posting on Americanexpress.com’s OPENForum, Michalowicz first asserts that productivity must be redefined. He believes the perennial “to-do” list is endless, and it is pointless to measure success by the sheer number of tasks accomplished. The true measure of productivity, he says, is how efficiently one accomplishes the most prioritized tasks. With that in mind, he offers these 3 productivity tips:
1. Rethink deadlines. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time available for its completion. In other words, a task will take as long as one allots to accomplish it. If one promises to produce a report in a week, then according to Parkinson’s Law he or she will take a week to finish it. But if they promise it in two days, they will hustle to complete it by the promised deadline. In light of this, Michalowicz suggests making commitments to deliver work earlier than expected. This greatly increases productivity by forcing individuals to work more efficiently.
2. Focus on burst work. During long periods of concentration, it is natural for enthusiasm to wane and for fatigue to set in. Instead of marathon work sessions, Michalowicz recommends burst work. This approach consciously builds in frequent breaks, especially those that involve physical movement such as walking or pushups. He also advises spending at least part of the workday at a standing desk to increase blood flow and stimulate productivity.
3. Prioritize. While Michalowicz believes it is vital to write down everything that needs to be accomplished, he stresses the need to actively identify the tasks that are most critical. By focusing attention on the high priority items, the most important tasks get completed, which is key to being more productive. After that, tasks of lesser importance can be addressed.