Work less and get more done

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

A NEW study from Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity found that pro­duc­tiv­ity per hour de­clines sharply when the work­week ex­ceeds 50 hours, and pro­duc­tiv­ity drops off so much af­ter 55 hours that there’s no point in work­ing any more. That’s right, peo­ple who work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week ac­tu­ally get the same amount done as peo­ple who work 55 hours.

Suc­cess­ful peo­ple know the im­por­tance of shift­ing gears on the week­end to re­lax­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. They use their week­ends to cre­ate a bet­ter week ahead.

This is eas­ier said than done, so here’s some help. The fol­low­ing list con­tains 10 things that suc­cess­ful peo­ple do to find bal­ance on the week­end and to come into work at 110 per­cent on Mon­day morn­ing.

1. They dis­con­nect Dis­con­nect­ing is the most im­por­tant week­end strat­egy on this list, be­cause if you can’t find a way to re­move your­self elec­tron­i­cally from your work Fri­day evening through Mon­day morn­ing, then you’ve never re­ally left work.

Mak­ing your­self avail­able to your work 24/7 ex­poses you to a con­stant bar­rage of stres­sors that pre­vent you from re­fo­cus­ing and recharg­ing. If tak­ing the en­tire week­end off han­dling work e-mails and calls isn’t re­al­is­tic, try des­ig­nat­ing spe­cific times on Satur­day and Sun­day for check­ing e-mails and re­spond­ing to voice­mails.

For ex­am­ple, check your mes­sages on Satur­day af­ter­noon while your kids are get­ting a hair­cut and on Sun­day evenings af­ter din­ner. Sched­ul­ing short blocks of time will al­le­vi­ate stress with­out sac­ri­fic­ing avail­abil­ity.

2. They min­i­mize chores Chores have a funny habit of com­pletely tak­ing over your week­ends. When this hap­pens, you lose the op­por­tu­nity to re­lax and re­flect. What’s worse is that a lot of chores feel like work, and if you spend all week­end do­ing them, you just put in a seven-day work­week. To keep this from hap­pen­ing, you need to sched­ule your chores like you would any­thing else dur­ing the week, and if you don’t com­plete them dur­ing the al­lot­ted time, you move on and fin­ish them the fol­low­ing week­end.

3. THEY RE­FLECT Weekly re­flec­tion is a pow­er­ful tool for im­prove­ment. Use the week­end to con­tem­plate the larger forces that are shap­ing your in­dus­try, your or­gan­i­sa­tion, and your job. With­out the dis­trac­tions of Mon­day to Fri­day busy work, you should be able to see things in a whole new light. Use this in­sight to al­ter your ap­proach to the com­ing week, im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency and ef­fi­cacy of your work.

4. They ex­er­cise No time to ex­er­cise dur­ing the week? You have 48 hours ev­ery week­end to make it hap­pen. Get­ting your body mov­ing for as lit­tle as 10 min­utes re­leases GABA, a sooth­ing neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that re­duces stress. Ex­er­cise is also a great way to come up with new ideas. In­no­va­tors and other suc­cess­ful peo­ple know that be­ing out­doors of­ten sparks cre­ativ­ity.

Whether you’re run­ning, cy­cling, or gar­den­ing, ex­er­cise leads to en­dor­phin-fu­eled in­tro­spec­tion. The key is to find a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity that does this for you and then to make it an im­por­tant part of your week­end rou­tine.

5. They pur­sue a pas­sion You might be sur­prised what hap­pens when you pur­sue some­thing you’re pas­sion­ate about on week­ends. In­dulging your pas­sions is a great way to es­cape stress and to open your mind to new ways of think­ing. Things like play­ing mu­sic, read­ing, writ­ing, paint­ing, or even play­ing catch with your kids can help stim­u­late dif­fer­ent modes of thought that can reap huge div­i­dends over the com­ing week.

6. They spend qual­ity time with fam­ily Spend­ing qual­ity time with your fam­ily on the week­end is es­sen­tial if you want to recharge and re­lax. Fam­ily time on the week­end is so im­por­tant to Spencer Ras­coff that he flies home for the week­end, no mat­ter how far away he is, even if he has to be in the same city the fol­low­ing week.

Week­days are so hec­tic that the en­tire week can fly by with lit­tle qual­ity fam­ily time. Don’t let this bleed into your week­ends. Take your kids to the park, take your spouse to his or her favourite restau­rant, and go visit your par­ents. You’ll be glad you did.

8. They wake up at the same time It’s tempt­ing to sleep in on the week­end to catch up on your sleep. Though it feels good tem­po­rar- ily, hav­ing an in­con­sis­tent wakeup time dis­turbs your cir­ca­dian rhythm. Your body cy­cles through an elab­o­rate se­ries of sleep phases in or­der for you to wake up rested and re­freshed. One of th­ese phases in­volves pre­par­ing your mind to be awake and alert, which is why peo­ple of­ten wake up just be­fore their alarm clock goes off (the brain is trained and ready).

When you sleep past your regular wake-up time on the week­end, you end up feel­ing groggy and tired. This isn’t just dis­rup­tive to your day off, it also makes you less pro­duc­tive on Mon­day be­cause your brain isn’t ready to wake up at your regular time. If you need to catch up on sleep, just go to bed ear­lier.

10. They pre­pare for the up­com­ing week The week­end is a great time to spend a few mo­ments plan­ning your up­com­ing week. As lit­tle as 30 min­utes of plan­ning can yield sig­nif­i­cant gains in pro­duc­tiv­ity and re­duced stress. The week feels a lot more man­age­able when you go into it with a plan be­cause all you have to fo­cus on is ex­e­cu­tion. — En­tre­pre­neur

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