How to Get Twice the Work Done with Half the Effort

How to Use Your Timing to Improve Productivity

One of the easiest ways to get twice the work done with half the effort is to use your timing to increase productivity. When I share this with clients it consistently saves them time, frustration, and money…

‘Timing is Everything’

You can improve your productivity by paying attention to when you do your work activities (aka timing). I once consulted with an executive team of an organization that supplies delis and bakeries.  They told me early on:Browse Media Files

“Ben, timing is everything. There is always someone short here, someone short there, and every day is like a fire drill.”

Then they won a large contract that doubled the size of their business. Things quickly got even more chaotic, and the team realized they were burning the candle at both ends. They were headed for burnout, but we developed a personal operating system for each executive that was established on two fundamental principles that helped them handle the increased work load and experience more success:

#1 Not all hours are created equal. You are consistently more productive some hours than others.

Are you a morning person or a night person? What is your most productive time of the day? Seize your most productive hour. Your focus, energy, and motivation are limited. Invest them where you get the greatest return.

The company executives started protecting their most productive hour, and they communicated that productivity nugget to the rest of the team.  The simple coordination helped them become more productive as a unit.

#2 Choose to align your most important work with your peak performance hour.

Once you’ve recognized when you’re most productive, consciously choose what you’ll work on during that time. Otherwise, all the effort you’ve made in protecting that time will be wasted.

The executives found that after their daily 15-minute check-in team meeting, the day’s biggest priority was usually obvious.  They used to help drive what they would work on in their protected, peak performance hour.  This led to more productivity as individuals and as a team.

How to Use Timing to Improve Productivity

Now that you know the role of timing, let me quickly show you 3 steps to use timing to improve your productivity at work.

Step 1: Determine your peak hours

Ask yourself, when are you at your freshest?  When are you in flow? When do you have the most positive mindset?

Step 2: Protect your time

Once you know the time you are the most productive, take the initiative to block that time on your calendar. If not daily, do it periodically. Negotiate and keep the blocked time for things that are really important. Prioritize the activities you want to get done during that time.

Step 3: Choose your own adventure

There are two ways of using your ‘peak time’ to your advantage.

Grinding: Matching the difficult tasks to the most productive time can be a smart way to use timing to your advantage. For example, if you have a backlog of reports and a looming deadline, you can get all your difficult tasks done during your most productive hours.

Maximum output: Matching easy tasks to the most productive time can also increase your productivity. For example, you can check off all the easy items from your to-do list, then you are left with only a few big items to deal with the rest of the day.

Now give these three steps a try and notice how they boost your productivity.

To getting twice the work done with half the effort!


P.S: Download my free report, The Catastrophic Cost of Quitting: How Organizations and Employees Pay the Ultimate Price