I have updated this post August, 2018 to reflect a few more tips on how to work 4 hours a day and still get all your work done.
I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that I’m lazy.
Do I try to be productive while working at home? Yes, I do.
Do I sometimes show a complete lack of regard to my laptop, letting it wither on the counter while I suck up a Golden Girls mini-marathon? Heck yeah I do !
And what’s worse than that except, of course, a day of reading the endless tripe that spews forth from the internet machine.
I’m a full-time blogger, I take care of the house, and I love my vices. So, when I stumbled upon this time use table, my eyes were opened to how much time I actually spend doing the everyday things that are not work related.
And if I add in the time I spend making a living, well, I seriously have to cut back on the time spent on everything if I want to enjoy a little down time.
So I set a goal for myself: get all my work-work done in 4 hours a day. How do I pull it off, and how can you do the same ?
How To Work 4 Hours A Day And Get All You Work Done
This is a little trick I learned during my 9-5 office jobs (all of which I hated, by the way). Delegate. Back in the day it was called “passing the buck”, but I call it “letting someone else do the crap”. I can list off a dozen things that I have to do every day – things that I would rather pawn off to someone else. Like an intern. Or my kids. Yep, they’re great little worker bees when I need some paper-sorting and label-sticking sort of things done.
And if the “crap” is a bit too advanced for my kids, I turn to the freelance-finding platform known as Upwork. I’ve found some great – and cheap – freelancers who have saved my fanny on more than one occasion.
I Cut The Clutter
I don’t know about you, but I like to keep things simple. And when it comes to work, the less hassle the better. Unfortunately for me, this lesson took a lot of heartaches, stress and secret anger before it sank in.
This is what I learned NOT to do:
- Take on any tasks or projects if I know the job and I are not a good match
- Accept work if I sense a problem – like a scam
- Waste my time if I know – deep down – the project or job will be a pain in my rump
- Sweat the small stuff
Ahhh, the Kaboom toilet system…where have you been all my life? Even when I’m at my laziest I can clean my toilets.
I seem to have made it my mission to seek out tools that make all my jobs easier. Like scrubbing the pot. And sweeping the floor. Not only do I automate my everyday house cleaning chores, I find tools to be more productive and get my work-work done. Like setting up my browser’s start page to go directly to my blog so I get straight to work instead of looking at bath remodel ideas on Pinterest. And, if I actually used Twitter more often, I would use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets.
If only I had a robot to take out the garbage.
Is procrastination a fancy word for lazy? Well, if pulling out all of my delay tactics is kin to my slothiness, then yes. A study on procrastination tells us that it doesn’t matter when a task gets done as long as it eventually gets finished. And I couldn’t agree more because I do get all my work done…eventually.
Procrastinating as a good thing – it forces me to get off my butt and do what needs to be done. Looming deadline? No problem! I just look at my to-do list, figure out what I have to do NOW, what can wait til later, and get cracking. Surprisingly, the things I shove down to the “wait” section get done…eventually. You see, these are the things that must not be too important since I keep shoving them down the list.
Another little tid-bit I learned from my stint in the 9-5 world was to split-up projects into several smaller segments and do each piece when I was able to. I always seemed to have a deadline, but that only ensured the entire job would get done.
Now, Because I am a Golden Girls-aholic, I employ this work-in-short-bursts strategy so I never miss the slutatious antics of Blanche Devereaux. Truth is, working like this makes every job seem as though the entire project is smaller than it really is. I just have to be sure the end result is to the satisfaction of my client – even if my client is my family.
I love nap time ! Sometimes, a ten minute re-charge of my brain is all I need. A while ago I read about sleeping less to do more and I took on some of those little challenges. It didn’t take me long to realize that I could make sleep work for me. But sometimes I need a teeny-weeny bit more because it’s not always possible to wind down and get a good night’s sleep (especially when hot flashes are raging !). So I nap.
I Keep Notes
Trying to remember everything that goes through my mind can be a little challenging. Ideas for a new blog post. Reminder to make a new Pinterest Pin. The occasional non-staple grocery item. So I keep notes. A lot of notes. I scribble things down on a notepad I have in my office (and one in the kitchen), but my favorite note-taking device is my phone. It’s always handy.
I Turn Off All Notifications
This is a new one I started: turning off all notifications. I don’t need to be distracted with the stupid little “someone liked your post” or “here’s a new email”. No sir. Those things really bother me so I turn them off. Simple as that.
You Can Admit It: You’re Lazy, Too.
We all have a little bit of laziness in us. Even if it’s only sometimes. Use it to your advantage and you can get more work done than you ever thought possible. Do you have any laziness techniques that boost your productivity ? Go ahead and tell me about them in the comments.