How to achieve more by doing less

Original author: Lisa Evans
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By chasing yourself to the workplace, you are unlikely to start generating brilliant ideas. How to find a way to do less, but achieve more in a day ? Lisa Evans will talk about this today.

So, give the floor to Lisa!


Given the increasing number of tasks that need to be completed in a certain time, there are days when we really want 25 hours in a day.

But Christine Carter is the author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work(A comfort zone. How to find your niche at home and at work), says that an extra hour is unlikely to help us deal with conflicting responsibilities and an imaginary lack of time, energy or patience. She claims that in order to achieve more in a day, in fact, less needs to be done. Here's what it looks like in practice:

Take more breaks


When confronted with an important project, you probably believe that the best way to deal with it successfully is to charm yourself to the desktop and concentrate fully on the task until the project is completed. But it's actually a little different, says Carter. She argues that successful completion of the project is not necessarily associated with additional time costs, increased concentration of attention - you just need to alternate periods of intense concentration with interruptions. “Our brains cannot work equally efficiently all the time,” says Carter. By regularly changing the type of activity that you deal with during the day, you give your brain the opportunity to work with maximum productivity and do more in significantly less time.

“By focusing on the task, you engage only one part of your brain,” says Carter. This means that by staying attentive for a long period of time, you automatically turn off other parts of the brain, for example, those that are responsible for creativity. Moving away from the main task for a while, and switching to doing something else, you activate the work of various neurons, gaining access to many resources of your brain and making its work more efficient.

Do morning things on autopilot


Willpower is a depleted resource that disappears as we make various decisions throughout the day. Reserving the will for the most important work, according to Carter, we guarantee ourselves protection against premature “burnout”.

The problem is that many of us wake up and immediately grab the phones, checking messages and notifications on social networks, emails and reading texts. All this takes part of our willpower before we even get out of bed. To keep the will for more important things planned for the day, Carter advises keeping your smartphone away from the bed, and doing morning tasks on autopilot. “Doing the same thing in a certain sequence every day in the morning, you do not think and do not make decisions, and thus, sitting down at your workplace and starting work, you feel completely fresh and able to concentrate,” explains Carter

Decide When Already “Good Enough”


We spend too much of our intellectual energy trying to jump above our heads. When deciding, for example, where to hold a corporate event, you can sort out dozens of options and spend hours trying to figure out which establishment will make the best impression on employees. Thus, you spend not only your intellectual strength, but also time, because you may come across six or seven places that will fully meet your requirements.

Instead, Carter recommends a process that she calls “satisficing” —that is, working on something only until you realize that the result is “good enough.” Outline your eligibility criteria and stop at the first facility that meets your requirements. Do not continue to search for other options. “We are very tempted to find more or better,” says Carter. “People believe that the more, the better, but in most cases, it’s not. Ask yourself the question: “Will the project necessarily be executed better if you research even more material”? If the answer is no, stop working as soon as you manage well enough.

Focus on the positive


“Positive emotions allow you to be as productive as possible,” Carter says. A large number of psychological and neurobiological studies have proved that our brain works much better when we are in a cheerful mood. In those moments when we are positive, our thinking is more active, creative, flexible and effective. With this attitude, you can even become a successful leader. “When we are happy, we are more sensitive. We are able to feel the emotions of others. We see what other people need. We better understand what they are talking about and feel connected with them, ”says Carter. To help yourself maintain a positive mood throughout the day, open a gratitude journal and write in it three things for which you are grateful for the day.engage in meditation on a regular basis .

Say yes only when justified


“We need to abandon the idea that the more, the better, and that employment is an indicator of importance,” Carter says. “Employment is just a sign of employment. But the importance of man is not at all indicative. ” Pay attention to how you feel when deciding to complete a task, and take on only what really inspires and motivates you.

“Our emotions often tell us whether we will succeed in what we are going to do and whether we will work with enthusiasm,” Carter said. By agreeing to do something that does not motivate or inspire you, you should be prepared for the fact that you will not only spend more than the planned time, but also hardly add to yourselves a sense of happiness and success.

PS Another article relates to this topic -Why great achievements will not make you happier (and what to do about it!) . Recommended!

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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