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To be more productive in a way that won't burn you out over time, you have to understand how to be more efficient. Productivity often leads to working harder, while efficiency focuses on working smarter.
When companies have more work than they can handle, they tend to ask, "Who will do this work?" But the better questions are:
Identify what can be automated, delegated or be replaced in favor of something else. Even if it only saves you a few minutes, it will add up over time.
Efficiency is not limited to how you perform specific tasks. Consider how the general way you work impacts your efficiency.
Set goals that go beyond simple quantity measures. Find other ways to work smarter that could lead to significant productivity increases.
It is better to do less and accomplish more than to do more and accomplish less. Consider how you do every task during the day, regardless of the size.
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Even if you think it’s too big of a dream but it’s something you want, write it down anyway.
When you write something down, studies say you’ll be 33% more likely to do it because it sets an intention and puts a goal into motion.
Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.
Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.
“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.”