People tend to think that increased productivity is going to be exhausting. They believe that they’ll have to work all the time, at full capacity, to fulfill their ambitions.

But in fact, the opposite is true. The more productive you are, the faster you can finish your work. That means more time to do the things that matter to you. And, as a consequence, you will be happier and more refreshed, which will make you even more productive. So how can we enter this positive cycle? It’s really all about simplicity. Productivity is about developing a certain Zen sense of business, expending minimal effort for maximum results.

In this post, you will learn:

• how to plan your work efficiently;
• how to stop losing time and find focus; and
• why you really can work less than eight hours a day.

No matter what your job or industry, we all want to learn how to be effective at work and achieve our professional goals. But true productivity is more than simply checking tasks off a to-do list—it’s about doing more of what matters. Luckily, all it takes is a few adjustments to your daily work habits to see an improvement, so start with these simple tips and watch your productivity soar.

Tips for efficient work planning:

• Plan only 4-5 hours of real work per day. There is always something to fill in the remaining time (additional work, entertainment, sleep, etc.).
• Work more when you feel well rested. Give yourself a chance to rest when needed.
• So-called multitasking (working on multiple tasks simultaneously) will not help you to finish tasks quickly, rather the opposite.
• If the task is possible to be divided into ‘thinking’ and ‘implementing’ parts, divide it up and work on each part separately and comprehensively.
• Time similar types of work together – e.g. telephone calls, e-mail handling, etc.

Ways to stop wasting time and increase focus. When it comes to your time, the choice isn’t one of quality versus quantity. It’s a choice of how you spend your time – the degree of quality you put into it – whether for work or play, because try as you might, you can’t up the quantity of hours you get in a day.

Fortunately, a 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Report by Deloitte reported that “we are entering an era of ‘doing less better’ rather than ‘doing more with less.’”

Stop multitasking. Start focusing for better results. If you want to learn something, you need to immerse yourself in it and give it your full and undivided attention. This allows you to absorb the information, interpret it and apply it to your life/situation. It is not about getting something done; it is about mastering it.

There’s an optimal way to structure your day—and it’s not the 8-hour workday. The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labour that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor.

Like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in eight-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!

This antiquated approach to work isn’t helping us; it’s holding us back.
According to studies, the ideal work-to-break ratio is 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique level of focus in their work. For roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish.

Aside from changing up hours, there are other hacks you could try to make your workday better. Using prioritisation techniques, for example, combating the source of procrastination, or even drinking nootropic coffees — workers all over the world are trying all sorts of remedies to get their productivity levels up and their stress levels down.