Outcomes Not Output; The Key to Getting Things Done
In many parts of the world, including Australia we are still conditioned to work to a set number of hours each day. Unfortunately, sitting in front of your computer for eight hours a day doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to be productive.
Getting things done often takes a different approach than we’re conditioned to, but if you can shift your thinking you can enhance your productivity and get more done each day.
Why thinking hourly doesn’t work
Most people can’t concentrate for more than one or two hours intensively. On top of this, the distractions that we all face (especially if we work in a busy office) mean that it’s unlikely we are going to be able to get an eight hour block of uninterrupted time to focus on anything.
Generally speaking, the number of hours you spend working on a task doesn’t necessarily correlate to the value of the finished result or whether or not it achieves the desired outcome.
Make time for intense periods of focus
Working at full capacity for a few hours is probably going to get you a lot more done in the end than working for eight hours at 20% but how do you put aside the time and space to really focus on something when you are surrounded by distractions?
Blocking out a few hours a day where you are completely alone and there is little possibility of distractions can be a big help if you have to power through complex or intensive tasks. For those with the flexibility this may mean working for a few hours late at night or getting in to work early in the morning.
Keep your energy levels high
If you are feeling sluggish and tired it’s unlikely that you will be working to your full productivity. It’s important to make time for exercise and ensure that you eat well and get plenty of sleep.
There’s no one size fits all way to keep your energy levels high, you may have to experiment with a few different methods to find the solution that will work best for you but it will pay off in the long term, not just in terms of your working life!
Focus on a few goals every day
Instead of sitting down with the intention of working for eight hours, try to focus on a few things you want to achieve and tell yourself you are going to work until you finish them. If you finish early you can reward yourself by taking a break, getting a coffee or going for a walk. This simple mindset shift can give you an incentive to work faster and more efficiently and you might find you get a lot more done.