Work Smarter to be Productive – Hard work is not enough



Story for life lesson

I remember reading this story of two woodcutters (Lumberjacks), who cut trees for living both had different way to work. One woodcutter would cut trees non-stop who hardly took 15 minutes of break to eat lunch and that is it. However, the other woodcutter would take regular breaks after 90 minutes to sit down for few minutes. At the end of the day, the later one who took regular breaks cut more wood than the first one.

Looking at the result of hard day’s work the first woodcutter was amused and asked the second one, how did you end up cutting more wood than I? He said, while I was taking breaks I was eating a little every time, and sharpening my tool for better results.

The moral of the story is that taking regular breaks makes us more productive. Often in corporate environment we work non-stop, so we need to find regular breaks to re-energize us. So, everytime you feel you have a big day ahead, remind yourself to keep re-energizing with regular breaks to keep yourself productive.


Mental tricks to make you productive

  1. keep a progress bar for a key projects
  2. Wait five minutes. If you don’t need to respond to an email or speak up in a meeting very second, then to respond, as it will help form a response and may make yo rethink your position entirely.
  3. Keep your mind sharp. Read something new and challenging everyday.
  4. Challenging issue or project. If you have been putting it off. Devote 30 to 60 minutes a day to that problem and let it be the first thing in the day you tackle. Simply repeat and say to yourself “Do it now”.
  5. Work in 20 minutes chunks. Work 20 minutes, followed by a few minutes of physical activity such as walking to the water cooler or taking stairs with a few stretches.
  6. Set a timer. Got million little tasks, set timer with breaks and as many done as possible.
  7. Positive Feedback. Revisit it when you feel less appreciated. Remind yourself of your capabilities.
  8. Communication distraction. Set time throughout the day say 30 minutes three times to check your mails, IMs and cell phones.Don’t let communication dictate your work patterns.


Benefits of these mental tricks

  1. Enhanced Productivity. It helps you be more productive in a day.
  2. Reduced accumulation of excessive stress. Regular breaks with physical activity will help to reduce accumulation of stress.
  3. More Organized. It will help you be more organized in your work environment
  4. Increased Concentration. Less distraction from communication will improve effectiveness of your meetings and improve quality of work.



Sources: – – – –

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