How to Increase Your Productivity by Working Less

working less to be more productive

One of the common foes of productivity is pleasure–getting distracted by fun or fluff when we should be working. Facebook, Twitter, IM, text messages, phone calls, you know all the guilty parties.

Ironically, this often happens because we either aren’t getting enough leisure time or aren’t using what time we have well.

That’s because productivity takes work.

Mix productivity and rest to get less of both

The new iPad has a really impressive screen. This screen uses a lot of power, so the iPad also has a really big battery to ensure that it still lasts for 10 hours. This means it takes much longer to charge fully; and, because the screen is so draining, the iPad won’t really recharge if you use it while it’s plugged in.

This is a perfect example of rest/ work.

Productivity takes time. It takes dedicated charging time to refill each of our batteries, and not only does mixing work and “recharging time” prevent us from entering the next day of work with a full battery but it also isn’t the most efficient way to get work done.

The more focused you are on relaxing, the less productive you are. The more focused you are on productivity and producing, the less relaxed you’ll be.So then you’ll try to charge throughout the day but hinder your work by tethering yourself to an outlet. Plus, charging during work hours only prevents your battery from draining further–it doesn’t make up for lost time.

Whistle while you work, but don’t tweet

The key to productivity is to make stronger distinctions between work and leisure.

That doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks during the work day, but make those breaks clearly defined and limited to five or ten minutes.

Unplug from technology and distractions for a set chunk of time each day. Work hard, play hard, and sleep hard, instead of playing while you work, working while you play, and doing both at the expense of sleep.

Free your work of leisure and let your leisure lie

Whatever you are doing, do that. Your productivity will spike.

If you can, divide your work day into 45 minute or hour-long segments of time, and really focus for that stretch of time on the work at hand. Take dedicated breaks in between those hours and get away from your work.

Get up from your desk–talk or think about something that will let your brain get away from work for a few minutes. Apply the same dedication to your leisure time. Don’t attempt to multitask, but focus on the book you are reading or the show you are watching. Fully engage in the “non-work” of it.

Set boundaries for your sleep time, and don’t let work invade. You’ll get more done during your work hours, and you’ll enjoy the rest of your day more as well.

How do you increase your productivity?