Have you ever heard or said this?
"I had such a long week! I worked 60 hours this week..."
It really bothers me that telling someone that we work more than 40 hours is an indicator of how hard we work or how successful we are. I truly believe that we don’t have to work 40+ hours and neglect the other parts of our lives to be professionally successful. Instead we need to find ways to work smarter.
I have been reading the book The Four-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss and wanted to share his tips on increasing productivity so that we have more time to do what we actually want to do.
We could all take a cue from Pareto’s Law that says:
- 80% of outputs result in 20% of inputs
What does this mean when you apply it to your own work?
It could mean that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your effort & time. Or 80% of your revenue/sales is coming from 20% of your products/customers/clients.
Do a truthful analysis of how you spend your time each day and connect your time and effort to results and achievements. Take a look at your customers, what you spend the most time doing, and who takes up most of your time. I use www.Toggl.com to help me monitor how long it takes me to complete a task, which I can tie to projects and deliverables. At the end of each week and month Toggl gives me a report on how much time I spent on everything that I tracked.
One you have collected the date, prioritize:
If you find that 80% of your prospect follow-ups are unproductive, can you streamline your communications to them? Can you cut out high maintenance customers that contribute less than 10% to your bottom-line? Can you politely, yet firmly decline requests to work with difficult people who cause 80% of your frustrations?
Give it a try and work smarter, not harder!