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The first time you write your own schedule, you may default to an eight-hour workday, five days a week. But research suggests this is not the best option. Instead, it’s important to customize your work hours according to your unique needs.
Keep reading to learn how you can calculate the right number of hours for your workday.
The research looked at workers on eight-hour shifts. It found that employees were only productive for less than three hours. On five-hour days, their productivity stayed the same or, more often, improved.
This means that those extra three hours were unnecessary. In fact, they took time away from necessities like rest and social connection. Things that improve productivity in the long run.
2. Calculate Your Current Hours
The appropriate number of hours for you depends on your job. To learn the answer, you have to examine your workdays. Use a tool like CalculatorSoup to track how much you work. Or, if you prefer to track from your phone, try an app like Work Log for quick entry.
Keep up this journaling for at least two weeks. This helps determine an average. Make a note of your breaks, too. Taking a restorative break can make or break your productivity. Write down when you rested, for how long, and what you did during the break.
Lastly, use a daily journal app to keep notes on your mood, health, and energy levels. For each day, note the times when you feel you were most productive. Note also when you started to feel tired, and whether a short break helped.
Download: Work Log for Android (Free) | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Decide Your Perfect Work Hours
Once you have a couple of weeks of data, you can start figuring out the right number of hours. Compare the number of hours gathered with the journal info. You’re looking for links between how many hours you worked and the impacts on your production and health.
Pay special attention to the unproductive days and hours. But think carefully before cutting them, as you may be able to reclaim your productivity. Take note of what you were doing on the good days, and try to re-create the productive situation. If this doesn’t help, you can cut the unproductive hours.
Experiment With a Different Workday
The goal is to achieve more work in less time. You may find that cutting your workday creates pressure to complete tasks faster. Let this pressure motivate you to rise to the challenge. The feeling of success can help you maintain your momentum.
For a decade, Dame Luthas collaborated with global United Nations Organizations on the most pressing, multi-dimensional challenges. The experience uncovered new opportunities for tomorrow; and reinvigorated a clarity of vision and passion for empowering organizational, business, and technical harmonization here in the United States.
In this spirit, Mr. Luthas also created The Luthas Center for Excellence - committed to the establishment; and strengthening of collaborative global mastermind networks enabling multi-lateral network empowerment of Women and Children via the maximization of inherent gifts, talents, and abilities.
At Luthas we recognize the profound role of social systems in shaping outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. We believe it's our responsibility to support those working to improve and transform systems and to address the structural barriers preventing people from realizing their potential. The power of our efforts lies in ensuring systems and programs serve to support communities and reduce inequities.