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5 Ways to Work Less, Accomplish More, and Have a Better Life

5 Ways to Work Less, Accomplish More, and Have a Better Life

Do you ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done that needs to get done? You spend eight, ten, maybe even twelve hours a day slaving away, yet when you do lay down at night you don’t feel like you’ve accomplished a fraction of what you should have for all your hard work.

There are five things that some of the greatest achievers in the history of the world all knew, and it’s a pretty safe bet that, if you’re struggling with productivity, you aren’t doing any of them. As with most things, these are general guidelines and should always be tailored to your particular needs. However, the principles are sound and neglecting any of them is sure to drop your productivity off a little bit.

Get on a Schedule

Maintaining a schedule is the single biggest secret all the greats of the past knew[1]. Having a schedule allows you to plan your day to ensure you have enough time to work (six hours, not eight, is the ideal number of work hours in a day), and fit in all the other things that are going to help keep your productivity high and help you have a better, more fulfilling life. How you schedule your time is entirely up to you, but following, for example, Covey’s 4 quadrants will make you much more effective (

Exercise, Diet, and Meditation

Everyone knows what it feels like after you eat a big, unhealthy, meal. Your mind slows down, it’s hard to concentrate, and most of the time you just want to sleep. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet provides your body with the correct fuel without slowing you down.

Exercise and Meditation both help your reduce stress and clear your mind. It’s been shown that moderate exercise and meditation can be two of the most beneficial additions to your daily routine to help increase your productivity.

Divide Your Workday into 90 Minute Blocks

Ninety minutes work block give you the optimum amount of time to work at peak performance. If you try to push yourself beyond 90 minutes of work without a break, your productivity will quickly decrease and it won’t be too long before you become negatively productive.

The ideal arrangement is three work blocks in the morning. Schedule a thirty minute break between the first two, and then a two hour lunch break after the third. After a two hour lunch a fourth, and final 90 minute work block finishes off the work day.

Take Time to Relax

Relaxing is not the same as sleeping. Relaxing involves a whole host of activates which include reading, casual writing, watching TV or a movie, listening to music, socializing, playing games, the list goes on. If you spend your whole waking day preparing for work, working, and returning from work without allowing your body to mind and body to relax, you will find sleeping difficult, your stress levels will rise, and your productivity will surely drop.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is not necessarily eight hours of uninterrupted slumber. Some people find they function best with a full eight hours, while others may only need six hours in a night. Whatever sleep schedule works for you is the one that is right. The key is always to listen to your body, if it’s telling you you’re not getting enough sleep then you need to make adjustments. Without a fully rested mind and body you will never be able to function at peak productivity.

[1] “The Daily Schedules of Creative Geniuses (Interactive Graphic).” Catherine Clifford. Entrepreneur. 10 July 2014. Web. 1 March 2015.

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