Who doesn’t want a 4 hour work week? I think the possibility of only working 4 hours a week is probably not possible for most people but there are a lot of great things I learned my reading The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss. It helped me prioritize my life and limit myself to only work on the most important items on my to-do list.
- If you had a heart attack and could only work 2 hours per day, what would be the most important thing in your day that you would take care of?
- If you had a gun to your head and had to stop 4/5ths of the time consuming activities, what would you remove?
- What are the top 3 activities that you use to fill your time so you feel like you are being productive? Do you invent more things to do and avoid the important things you have to get done?
(Note: Don’t read this book in your last week of grad school when everything you do is procrastinate studying for finals 🙂
Because I like challenges, I challenged myself to think about the top 2-3 things that I absolutely had to get done each day this week. I focused on these things and was actually able to complete all of them by noon instead of trying to finish them up at 5pm like I normally would do. This mini-challenge helped me really focus on getting the most important things done before jumping into all of the other things I tend to fill my day with. What was the outcome? Less stress!
Here are more ideas the book offers to improve your productivity. Would any of these work for you next week?
- Turn off your email alert and only check email twice per day (12pm and 4pm.) This allows you to focus on the priority items in your day and not get distracted by the new emails constantly coming in.
- Grant as much information and independent decision making to your employees as possible allowing you more free time. Give others a chance to prove themselves!
- Say no. If you have too much on your plate, don’t add more!
- Do not multitask – you will get less done. If you have something you have to do, do it from start to finish without any distractions.
- Leave work at 4pm and take Monday and Friday off so you have less time to work. This will actually make you more productive because you won’t fill your time with non-important tasks. I might have to try this one!! 🙂
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