Timeless Productivity Tricks From The Four Hour Work Week
In my last blog post, I wrote about the wisdom of implementing a 4 day work week, which you can read about here. In short, it is scientifically proven that people are more productive if they take breaks and are rested, and believe it or not, implementing a 4 day work week is not impossible.
Well, what about the four hour work week – is that even possible? Tim Ferriss, author of the best-selling The Four Hour Workweek, says it is and he really does lay out the steps you can take to get there in his book. I haven’t been able to figure out the way for a four hour workweek but some of the tips below are helpful to improve your productivity!
While you think about the feasibility of a really, really short work week, here are timeless productivity tricks from The Four Hour Workweek that will definitely make your work life easier:
Focus on your top clients
If you look at your client list, you can easily pick out your top clients – the ones who order the most with little effort on your part. Focus on finding more clients like them and fire the clients who cause nothing but headaches while providing very little in the way of revenue.
Give yourself tight deadlines
The more time you give yourself to complete a task, the more stressful that task will become, taking up precious mental space. I wrote about this previously, but basically, you want to set very short and clear deadlines for your most important tasks – and do them first.
Do not multitask
When you multitask – reading email while on a call and eating lunch – it will take you longer to do everything. Do one thing at a time. You will work faster and be more focused, resulting in better outcomes. You will accomplish more and also begin to be more mindful.
Start proposing solutions
Instead of asking for opinions, skip ahead of the inevitable back-and-forth in trying to come to a decision and propose a solution. If you were going to ask, “Where would you like to meet for lunch?” say “May I suggest we meet for lunch at noon at Café Deluxe in Tyson’s Corner?”
Remove the distraction of email
Email can be a constant distraction and therefore a huge time-waster. Turn off audible alerts when email hits your inbox and start checking email specific times a day, maybe first thing in the morning and mid-afternoon – whatever works for you. Create an auto-responder that alerts people of your email checking schedule.
Raise your hand if you’re a fan of in-person meetings. Exactly – no one. You can streamline communications and get more done in less time if you choose to communicate via email. If you get a voicemail, respond with an email. Only set up in-person meetings to make a decision, not discuss a problem, and define an agenda and end-time so those meetings are productive and fast.
Empower your team to make customer service decisions
Tell your team that they should do whatever they can to make a customer happy, as long as they stay within a few parameters that you spell out. You’ll have happier customers – their problems will be resolved quickly – and you will have a happier team – trust can really boost morale.
Every time someone asks you for something, think about whether it is important and will increase revenue or make your life easier. If it won’t, say “no.” You can soften your reply by saying, “I really can’t – sorry. I’ve got too much on my plate right now.”
What other productivity tricks do you use? Share your ideas below!
If you found this article helpful and think someone else would benefit as well, remember, sharing is caring - thank you!