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Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

Some people talk about the notion that they don’t have enough time. They talk and talk and talk… but they don’t take any action and change what they’ve got. They hope their circumstances change so they can benefit more from what they do.

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    Smart people take charge. They change their lives by doing things differently. They understand that the only change they can count on is the change they create. For those people, this is the article that can make them save 2 hours per work day. Of course everybody else is invited to read along as well. Just make sure you don’t just read. You have to read, implement, and benefit. Reading alone won’t make you save time.

    This Is The Basis Of 2 Hours Saved Per Day

    Since you have time to save and not time to waste, I won’t go into all the tiny details. I know you are a professional, highly educated person who can think for yourself. So here are the 4 rules you can use to start saving time.

    1. Know what you want and do everything possible at any moment to get there.
    2. Make a clear plan and start working consciously.
    3. Learn smart working techniques (more on that later).
    4. Analyze your working day and remove all that is not helping you (outsource, eliminate, etc.).

    That’s basically it. When you do that, there is no way you cannot save time when working.

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    Smart Working Techniques

    Plan Your Time

    One of the most important things you can do is learn to plan your time ahead. I’m not just talking about the current day or week, but also this month and probably even this year! Many people let others dictate their schedule. This could be co-workers, your boss, customers, etc. Find out your own productive times and do what you do best during those hours.

    Interruptions

    Make sure you don’t just outline your day with the things you can plan, also schedule time for interruptions. That’s right, you must schedule your interruptions: all of the people who have questions, those who want to chat with you and just try to put their problems on your plate. You need to schedule this into your planning.

    You could say that from 12:00 until 12:30 everybody can ask questions on whatever they want. Outside these hours, people should not do any kind of small talk. I know this may sound harsh and cold, but think about it… what is your biggest goal at work?

    Are you paid to get results or be a person who talks with others about nothing all day? Small talk is great, but not all day. And of course, you can make it 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, or 4 times for 30 minutes, whatever you want. Just schedule this so you can get things done!

    Educate People

    One reason why you will get more done using the ‘schedule interruptions’ method is because you educate people that you want to work during your non-interruption moments. Of course, the way you deliver that message also has a big impact on the way people look at you. :) Educate people with clarity and a good heart; be firm and let them know why you do this.

    You also educate people by the way you work with them. You can schedule interruptions and still have this fail. Why? Because if you start to make small talk with everybody else during your normal working time then you will not set a good example.

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    Be the change, live the change, and change will occur! If you can’t change, how can you expect other people to change for you?

    Meetings

    One of my rules about meetings is this: I don’t take part if it is not really, really necessary for me to be there.

    Even if my presence is needed, I make sure that I influence or change the agenda in such a way that my sections are at the beginning. I enter the meeting when it starts. I leave when the meeting has discussed my points.

    Also, when a meeting is really unstructured and seems to go nowhere, I tell people I have to leave. My time is really valuable and I don’t want to waste it. Doing what I do best has more impact than sitting with a group of people who are sitting there to kill time.

    Does this work? You bet! Do I get to see strange faces when I leave? In the beginning, people thought this was strange. When I explained to them why I do this, they usually understand.

    Email

    Oh boy… the big one. The one thing that most people start at the beginning of the day and close when they go home is their email client.

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    When you need distractions, and you have lots of time, you must keep your email client open. If not, close it. Don’t open it until the end of the morning. Process all your emails and close the tool again. Then, at the end of the day, you open up the email tool and process your emails again.

    When this is working out for you, only go through your emails once a day. Just imagine, before you had a look at each email coming in — all the time you were losing, a minute reading that email and responding to it (another 1 to 2 minutes). That means 2 to 3 minutes per email.

    Just say you receive 40 emails each day (that few??? Yes, because this is an example). 40 emails mean 40 distractions and 80 to 120 minutes of email time.

    Now you do this only once and you see immediately that things are solved via email by others, things are no longer relevant, etc. You can email back faster because you see all of them. Perhaps you include a couple of people in one response. You can easily save 60 minutes alone on your email time!

    Reading Materials

    Yes… you can save time when reading. You probably heard about speed reading techniques.

    Now don’t go wild and imagine that you need to read with 1000 or perhaps 2000 words per minute to make a real difference.

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    Imagine you read 2 hours each day. When you double your reading speed, you save one hour each day. Simple stuff, yet you are able to save lots of time. And that is done by just doubling your reading speed! The beauty is that you can do that easily in a couple of short sessions. Then, from that moment on, you can read twice as fast as you did before.

    The Result

    What do you think will happen when you start applying these ideas? Do you think 2 hours per work day is a lot or just the beginning? I am sure that the moment you do what you learned here, you will be on your way to wonderful working days again.

    You will be home on time, have lots of free time, accomplish more, and have less stress. The biggest pitfall is this: you look at what you just read and think “I know this stuff and it works,” but you don’t actually use it on a consistent basis. When you don’t use this every day and you just think about the article… you just wasted a couple of minutes of your own time.

    Sorry to be this direct, but you know in your heart this is the truth.

    Action Points

    People who want more time take one of the items above and use it for at least a week. People who want to change their lives, have a lot more free time, accomplish a lot more in the time they have… they start using all of this right now! These are the people who will benefit the most.

    Action point: use what you read

    Action point: if you don’t use what you read, stop talking about the fact that you don’t have enough time. You now have a way to do and be more in the time you have each day.

    Action point: Make a list of things you want to accomplish with the 2+ hours you get each working day from now on. You need this :)

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    The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

    The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

    It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

    Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

    “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

    In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

    New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

    There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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    So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

    What is the productivity paradox?

    There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

    In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

    He wrote in his conclusion:

    “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

    Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

    How do we measure productivity anyway?

    And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

    In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

    But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

    In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

    But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

    Possible causes of the productivity paradox

    Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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    • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
    • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
    • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
    • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

    There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

    According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

    Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

    The paradox and the recession

    The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

    “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

    This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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    According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

    Looking forward

    A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

    “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

    Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

    “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

    On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

    Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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