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How to shorten your working day by 3 hours (change only one)

May 25, 2020

Stop wasting time doing everything at once.

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How to shorten your working day by 3 hours (change only one)
How to shorten your working day by 3 hours (change only one)


A few years ago I tried different work styles and found that one of my strongest skills was optimize my time.

I did everything I could to make the most of my precious moments. For example, if it took more than a second to load a website, I “optimized” my time by doing something different so that I didn’t waste even five or 10 seconds. I would return to the website in about 30 seconds to see if the required page has already been loaded.

Wow, my middle name was “Efficiency“”

I have worked many hours in my life. I often came to the office before 8 a.m. and although I left at 6 p.m., I worked from my laptop at home almost every evening. It seemed like he always had tasks to do.

During the same period, however, I often went to bed thinking, “What have I really achieved today?” I found that many days that felt like a homework hurricane actually showed a significant lack of progress on really important projects.

I knew something had to change.

David Meyer, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, argues that multitasking (multitaskingmakes us less productive, not more. For starters, the term multitasking is misleading. This means that we perform two tasks at the same time. However, the reality is that our brains cannot consciously watch two things at the same time. Try to imagine a pink elephant and add 16 + 32 at the same time. It is impossible.

A more accurate name for multitasking is “task switching”. Meyer describes that two things have to happen with every change of task. First the “target activation”. In other words, your brain says to yourself, “I will stop concentrating on this task and concentrate on this.” The second thing that happens is “rule activation”. Here your brain “closes” access to the skills required for the task you are currently performing and opens the tools for the task you are starting. That is, when you stop imagining the pink elephant starting to add, the brain changes the active tools.

In research into the change of duties, professors from the University of Michigan and the Federal Aviation Administration discovered another very important reason not to do multitasking. They found that simply changing tasks took up to 40% of the time. In other words, it takes time for the brain to switch from one task to another.

To carry this over to your typical workday, extend your workday unnecessarily if you love multitasking. If you work eight hours a day, the bottom line is that you can leave the office at around 2:30 p.m. if you only focus on one task at a time. instead of 5 p.m., exactly the same level of productivity is achieved.

To sum up, you only have to concentrate on one thing if you want to save three hours from your typical working day.

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