It is not important for how long you work, what’s important is how efficiently you work when you work, whether you work for eight hours, or four hours. Here is an interesting blog post on why the world adopted the 8-hour model and how to know whether you are giving your best or not.
Needless slogging is never productive. According to the blog post, 4 forms of energy decide how productive you are:
- Your physical energy at that time
- Your emotional energy at that time – how happy or disturbed you are
- Your mental energy at that time – whether you’re focused on not
- Your spiritual energy at that time – what is the purpose behind doing what you’re doing
Throughout the day we go through highs and lows in all forms of energies and this has a big impact on your overall productivity. Among the above-mentioned energies, the most important are your physical energy and your spiritual energy. When these two energies are synchronized, the rest can be easily achieved. Your physical and spiritual energies decide your mental and emotional energies.
So how do you decide how much you are achieving in a given amount of time? This may depend on your personal capacities. Some people are fast workers, some are slow and nothing can be done about that unless some drastic changes are made. Suppose you are a writer but you type very slow. You may increase your typing speed by lots of practice but if you know that you cannot go beyond a particular point, you may consider using a dictation tool rather than simply depending upon your writing skills.
Another way of maximizing your work-time-efficiency ratio is by creating smaller tasks for smaller time gaps. According to the blog post, a person can focus on a particular task and do justice to it for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes you need a break. So it is advisable to decide what you can achieve within these 90 minutes rather than trying to figure out what you can achieve for the whole day. Of course this requires lots of planning. Dividing bigger goals into smaller portions takes time and effort.
Aside from maintaining your energy levels as you work, you also have to take care of copious distractions happening around you. This can especially be a big problem when you’re working on a computer or a mobile device that is connected to the Internet. Interruptions from the Internet can be unceasing and you will have to take measures to disconnect yourself in order to fully focus on your work.