Do More With Less Time: How to Avoid Fake Work

Posted on - in Productivity Hacks

Do you wish you could do more with less time? A smart way to begin is by eliminating fake work.

People often do fake work instead of digging into the real task at hand. What exactly is “fake” work? It simply means you’re working on things that don’t really make a difference.

One way to do more with less time is to get out of the mentality that working hard is all that’s required to succeed. You’ve probably heard people say, “Work smarter, not harder.” This saying rings true when it comes to accomplishing more, but knowing how to move away from busy work isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are some specific steps you can take that will help.

1. Recognize Fake Work

Do more with less time by identifying the work you do that doesn’t move you toward your goals. One way to figure out which tasks aren’t necessary is to stop and ask if that task has any impact on your actual objective. Identify time sucks, such as people coming up to your desk and asking if you have a minute to talk. These interruptions make you less productive.

2. Communicate With Company Leaders

Once you’ve figured out what is wasting your time, schedule a short meeting with your manager and explain what you’ve discovered. Brainstorm together to figure out ways to eliminate fake work so you can focus on those tasks that move the company forward. While you might not get rid of all busy work, any amount you can eliminate will take your performance up a level.

3. Don’t Multitask

Multiple studies show that multitasking doesn’t work for the majority of people. Your brain is forced to shift rapidly from one task to the next, reducing your focus and the overall quality of your work. 98 percent of people don’t multitask effectively, and shifting from one activity to the next reduces productivity by 40 percent.

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4. Prioritize Tasks

One way to do more in fewer hours is to prioritize your most critical tasks. Take the time to give all of your responsibilities a priority rating and complete them in order of importance. Not only does this ensure that you finish the essential tasks promptly, but it also motivates you to move forward as you begin to see progress in your work.

5. Ask for Efficiency Tips

There are times when you can’t recognize the issues with your work, but an outsider will pick up on time wasters almost immediately. Ask a co-worker or someone you trust to observe your work for a day or two and give you feedback on how to work more efficiently. For example, if you get up for a bathroom break and then get up again 30 minutes later for a coffee break, you’re wasting time walking from Point A to Point B. Instead, combine the two tasks to save time.

6. Save Fun Tasks

In every job, there are things you like to do and things that aren’t as enjoyable. Set the fun tasks aside for when your motivation is waning. When you feel unmotivated, turning to the fun tasks allows you to do something enjoyable and keep moving forward. This approach can increase your productivity because you won’t zone out and waste time.

Avoiding Fake Work

Eliminating fake work is a matter of figuring out which activities are essential and which ones waste your time. While you might not be able to avoid every trivial task, prioritizing real work can help you make more meaningful progress in less time.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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