‘More Hours’ Doesn’t Always Mean ‘More Productive’

September 16, 2014

Career Advice

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The typical work week is 40 hours per week. Now imagine if you were given 20 of those hours completely uninterrupted — no meetings, no emails, no phone calls, no Facebook surfing, no pesky coworkers gossiping at your desk. It seems almost unimaginable right? Unfortunately, that says something about how much actual ‘work’ we do in any given day. If we’re truly working less than part-time hours in a full-time job, what are we doing wrong?

The truth is we have to be more productive with the time we’re given. Instead of coming in early and staying late, is there a way to double-down extra hard in the few hours we have to get work done each day? After all, sometimes we confuse being ‘busy’ with being ‘productive.’ Here are a few strategies that cut out the busy work and allow you to be more productive in the little time you have:

  • Don’t accept a meeting unless you absolutely know you have to be there.
  • Block off an hour or two of your schedule to get work done each day — no exceptions.
  • Don’t draft up a long email when a quick phone call can get the task accomplished more efficiently.
  • Don’t touch anything twice — deal with the little things immediately instead of adding them to your growing to-do list.
  • At the end of the day, think about which three things you must accomplish tomorrow.
  • Don’t feel like you have to respond to email immediately. Disable the notifications that interrupt your workday.
  • Let the phone go to voicemail if you have to.
  • Ask for help and delegate as much work as possible.
  • Take occasional five-minute breaks and a short lunch break away from your desk to re-energize yourself.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. The Key to Career Success Is… [Insert Anything Here] | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - September 25, 2014

    […] We write a lot about how to be successful in an interview, in your job, and in your career from how to be more productive during the workday to how to land a job within your own company to three career mistakes we hope you’re not […]

  2. Can’t Find Work-Life Balance? You May Have One of These Problems. | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - January 10, 2017

    […] You could be…unproductive. You may not realize it, but there are lots of little things you do each day that seem productive but are the exact opposite. For example, multitasking and emails are just two “productive” tasks that aren’t really productive. You need to learn how to use your time more efficiently. After all, more hours doesn’t mean that you’re more productive. […]

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