Work at your own pace, and with great efficiency using science
“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher
Ever wonder how these top-ranking students/businessmen achieve their positions? Whenever we see a release of rankings of any kind, we’re always in awe with whoever makes the cut, especially to the one on top. It can be encouraging or discouraging, depending on how we see it. But most of the time, looking at these people’s accomplishments are inspiring. But before we can become like them, we need to start from ourselves.
Here are four easy steps to having an efficient and effective work system:
- Set deadlines for each of your tasks. – Parkinson’s law states that the amount of time spent on a task is correlated with how much time you make available to complete that task. If you don’t put a deadline on a job, it will make you lenient and complacent in finishing it. Completing a mission before time runs out is an attainable goal. It produces just enough pressure and stress to give you full focus, thus enabling you to use your skills to their highest potential.
- Break projects down into smaller tasks. – Harvard Business Review analyzed over 12,000 diary entries of knowledge workers. They found that a sense of progress, no matter how big or small, was the most critical factor in boosting emotions and motivation. A sense of accomplishment is very encouraging.
- Set your tasks within ultradian rhythms. – After breaking down your tasks and having deadlines, it’s essential to take into consideration the ultradian rhythm. It is the 120-minute biological interval of your body where mental focus peaks at the first 90 minutes and rests for the next 30 minutes. However, a 90-minute straight activity can be tiring; that’s why most successful individuals incorporate the Pomodoro technique during the 90-minute sprints (Work for 25 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes).
- Silence your inner perfectionist. – Perfection hinders productivity. Repeatedly reviewing your work, triple-checking for errors, and doing extra work rather than entrusting it with others delays progress, drains energy, and ravage your emotional health.
The thing is, though, you can continuously polish and refine your work, it will only produce marginal improvements — and by then it’ll be late.