Ways You Can Reduce Your Work Week Without Sacrificing Productivity

Productivity in the workplace You can become more productive by cutting your work week.

Americans work long hours, although they?re not necessarily productive hours. Meanwhile, people in Paris enjoy 32-hour work weeks. You can too, as long as you?re willing to look for the right company and be firm with yourself.

1. Look for employers who practice four-day work weeks.
While this approach seems like a pie in the sky dream, more and more companies are coming around to a four-day work week. Alternatively, look for employers that allow you to set your own work schedule and telecommute as long as you achieve results. Startups and smaller companies are your best bets.

2. Approach your company about adjusting its schedule.
Yep, chances are, you still have to work for a five-day-a-week company. By no means should you shut up and take it. Approach your employer with information and data on other companies who have unorthodox work schedules, and explain why it works. If nothing else, make the case for flex time. Before you do all this, however, make sure that you have surpassed expectations and are performing at an above-average level. Request a probation period, such as a couple of months, to start with.

3. Actually cut the time you work.
Slash the amount of time you allot for a task. For example, if you?re used to taking five hours to edit photos, try doing it in three hours. Tasks often expand to fill the time allotted for them, which is counterproductive. Build in firm cutoff times that force you to finish work on time. For example, a dentist appointment 15 minutes after you get off. Establish times for you to check your email only once or twice a day. Avoid distractions such as Facebook and other social media.

4. Focus on the highest returns.
Prioritize work that has the biggest payoffs for the smallest investments. Determine what to do and what not to do. If you?re an editor, this means a project that pays the most for a minimal amount of time.