Can You Get More Done in Fewer Hours? A Lesson in Productivity
There's been a recent craze hitting the workforce, one that promotes fewer hours … but without reducing one's workload. It's a way to work more efficiently and to get more done, without sitting behind your desk (or wherever it is that you work) all day, every day. The idea has become so popular that there are a growing number of books teaching readers how; it's even becoming a regular thing in European countries. (Google the four-day work week or shorter working days and see just how much info you can find.)
Besides, it sounds pretty great, right? Who doesn't want to earn the same amount of money while earning more free time for themselves? While doing your dream job in the process – sounds almost too good to be true!
But can it actually be done? And how can you accomplish the same for yourself and your franchise?
First things first – there are only so many hours in the day. Certain ones we want to be working, and others, it's nice to have time off for resting, eating, being with family, having hobbies, or whatever else it is that you like to do. Nothing new there.
Now, it's time to look at how you spend the hours you're "at work." How many breaks do you take? How often are you stopped and talking to others? Though we think we are working, there is so much more that can be packed into a day, simply by planning smarter.
Start reducing your hours spent at the office by cutting out down activities that don't get things done. Aimless chatting, frequent breaks, etc. might be nice at the time, but they are actually killing your entire day, and forcing you to stay at work for longer. Try to break yourself of these habits; use a productivity tracker if needed (you can download an app or a toolbar to your computer) to see just where all of your time is going, and where you can better use it instead.
Before you know it, you can be running your business like a well-oiled machine.
Reward System/Working in Bursts
A good way to ensure you stay on this path is by adjusting your day in spurts. Changing too much at once (just like a diet) can cause you to fail or to "cheat." Reward yourself every time you follow directions as planned. It can be fast, so as to not waste time – or save up a bigger treat at the end of the day, once all of your goals have been met.
Another way to prove success is by working in bursts. Make your list for the day and mark off a few tasks in a row, then do something lighter or run an errand. Making time for hard sessions will create more progress in less time. And of course, the more you see yourself getting done, the more motivation you'll have to keep rolling for the day. This is a great way to set up good habits for your franchise, without getting burned out on long days.
When the Hours are "Off"
As a business owner, you might not always get to work an 8 to 5 position. Instead, you might need to come in at night or pick up a shift when others aren't able to follow through. That doesn't mean these same methods can't be used, but rather that you have to get more creative about making them happen. Give yourself long breaks during the day, keep track of how many hours you're actually "on the clock," and be sure to sprinkle in enjoyable activities throughout the day. This will help ensure you aren't jumping to tasks just because it's "work hours," and that you still get your breaks.
Finally, take note of what can be done faster by others. Even thought it might cost a bit more, you have to take into account how much of your time will be used, too. If they can get it done right and quickly, it's often not worth busting your own back to try and do the same – with a way longer timeline.
It can get easy to become caught up with everything that needs done. Especially when you are opening your own business and in charge of each and every task. However, with a few set timelines, you can adjust your day as a franchisee to get things done, without overworking yourself in the process. Consider streamlining your days for better efficiency … without losing progress along the way.