We have here in Finland discussions about the amount of hours of work per day and week. We had a huge 6 minutes daily work time increase some years ago. But is this really the important thing. Would the world be different, if everyone would work half an hour more. Or less? And when you answer that, what do you think about those people who seem to be doing so much, much more than most of us? Workaholics? People without real life?
The real question we need to ask ourselves is, how productive I am? That is not connected to number of hours. There are people who work 12 – 14 hours a day. Busy all the time, tired most of the time. Still they have the feeling, that they are not doing enough! You hear them say ”if I only had a few hours more”. There is a big mistake in that thinking. You may have heard ”it is not the work that exhausts, it is they way you work”. Well, a lot of these traditional wisdom is not backed up by science. This time there is a proof of evidence. At the University of Lapland the productivity of work has been measured. The question they asked was ”how much of work time is really used on doing the work?”. The results are stunning, frightening one might say. What they found out, was that ONLY ABOUT 60 % of working time we are truly productive. The rest is consumed by different types distractions! There is a way, which will improve your productivity and eventually success and happiness. It sounds easy, it is easy. But, like mastering anything, it is not a pill to take. It is about daring to challenge you existing beliefs!
The most successful people are not the most brilliant and emotional intelligence skilled. The one thing, that puts those ”achievers” apart from most of us has three (3) elements. The first is their ability to use one single question in leading their daily life ”is this really important for achieving my goals?” The second element is that hey dare to answer to that also ”no”. The third is about executing their decision. What does this mean? I mean really, what is the impact of this 3 step process to your productivity?
Let us do a little math here. You work for 8 hours a day. With 60 % of truly productive level you are actually focusing 4,8 hours a week (that is 4 hours, 48 minutes). Now, lets have a look at a different scenario. What if you could be focused and productive for 80 % of your time. That means, that on every hour you still have 12 minutes for some other stuff, chitchat, social media, coffee or what ever. But, with 80 % of productivity you would get the same amount of work done in 6 hours! That would leave you 2 hours extra, for family, hobbies or even studies! If you an entrepreneur, you could get two more hours for customer work!
Why are we behaving like that? Are we lazy? Are we just terrible in planning? The answer to all of those is no. Having time of from focused work has its roots in the evolution of human being. Our systems and behavior has developed over hundreds of thousand of years. For some very basic elements even over millions of years. It has not been but for a couple of hundred years, that there has been a totally different world. Our core system just doesn’t change so fast. Having a break is about monitoring the risks around us, it is about preserving energy for actions under threat. Both things that we mostly don’t encounter in contemporary world as we did during evolution. The good news is, that our brain is much more elastic than we can even imagine! We have the possibility of choice!
The ”high achievers” just maintain their preferences right, they maintain focus and put distractions and disruptions aside. You can do that too. Changing or behavior is about learning to use our inner tools to support us. The 3 phases of of upgrading your productivity are: A) accept that your old behaviours can be changed, B) study what are your strengths that will get you through your change process and C) do it.
It is not about how many hours, but what is in the hour! The choices you make, the focus you take, that is the way to raise you to a higher level. Someone said to me years ago ”Kari, don’t try to work harder, find ways to work smarter”. I owe a lot to this comment, not to mention Henrik, who said this to me.
This is no magic, it doable to all of us. For those, who want to get to fast track, the solution is to get a coach. Using a coach supported by proper assessment to identify your personality related strengths will change you life in weeks! Yes, the science has proven, that after about 21 days of practice there are new neuron pathways in your brain. Pathways that will help you succeed. The more you give minutes (yes minutes) for this on a daily level, the stronger the effect. And the best part is, that you should split those minutes. Not doing all in one go. But to stop like for 3 minutes every hour (which when you are at the 60 % level of productivity still leaves you 21 minutes for something else). Even, when you are at 80 %, you still have 9 minutes for something. In case you’d like to know more, to start today, get in touch. The rapid coaching solution (I’m certified in that) will take you there fast, effective and for long term results!
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor and coach