Work less, do more

Rebalance your power
Studies show that productivity and personal effectiveness vary with the time of day and the day of the week. Make sure you're using your prime time for prime assignments:

Observe the 80-20 rule "Use the first 20 per cent of your day - 96 minutes - to tackle the most important tasks," Alessandro says. By the time distractions creep in, you'll have made some progress.

Reserve the toughest stuff for your prime times Mary Crane, a business-life expert, recommends scheduling "major cognitive tasks" (reading, calculating, problem-solving) for 8am to noon, when your mind is sharpest. "Night owls should adjust everything to three or four hours later," Crane says. The day of the week also makes a difference, she says. We focus best on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Set aside time to organise Choose half a day once every week or two to take care of back-office things like clearing out your inbox, filing and doing expenses, Alessandro says.

Do one thing at a time "Multitasking is making us crazy," Alessandro says. Take the time to do a task right the first time and save your double-duty act for no-brainers like exercising while walking the dog.

Now, get back to work!

Photo by Women's Health Nov 10, 2011

Work less, do more

The average woman wastes up to 5.6 hours of her work day. Here, 20 ways to get 'em back.

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  1. MaAternal09:40am Saturday 10th March 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I have found this to be the case, my mind is sharpest in the morning, come 3pm, I'm heading to the kitchen for coffee. I power eat during the day to counteract tiredness, I keep a container of cut raw veg and fruit on my desk and graze. It really helps.