If you’ve been running a business for a while, you probably know more than anyone that there’s never enough time in a day for everything. For most people, the obvious solution is to stretch the hours. But as research indicates, productivity falls sharply after working for 50 hours a week, so much so that if you were to keep your office open for 60 hours, your staff would produce close to nothing in those extra 10 hours.

So, what’s the answer? Well, according to Daniel Pessin, the founder and CEO of Digital Mind Inc., the key is not to work harder, but to work smarter. Here are his five proven tips on achieving a smarter, more productive workplace.

Tips on Working Smarter, not Harder by Daniel Pessin:

Trim the to-do Lists

If you’re in the middle of a crucial project, it’s easy to flood your mind with different thoughts about what approach to take and what you’ll need to get the work done on time. Making a to-do list can be a big help when it comes to managing your time, but make sure your list isn’t overloaded with too many things.

The issue with long lists is that they put a lot on your plate and leave you with less time for the most urgent and essential tasks. So, instead of bombarding your schedule with everything you think needs to be done that day, refine your daily to-do list, so you’re focused on your most demanding jobs. This means scheduling your most demanding jobs for the day first. That way, you can get them out of the way in the morning when you're most productive, and then move on to the less critical tasks.

Keep Parkinson’s Law in Mind

Parkinson's law states that work naturally expands to fit the allocated time. For example, if you have all day to file your taxes or make sales calls, it will take you all day. On the other hand, if you're racing to beat a deadline, you accomplish a lot more within a short time-frame.

It’s one thing to have a concise to-do list, but if you want to push productivity to the next level, use this law to your advantage and give all your tasks, even the least crucial, a deadline. A deadline can be a very effective time management tool. Deadlines motivate people to work more efficiently by taking away their freedom to procrastinate and replacing it with a gratifying sense of achievement.

Talk More and Email Less

Emails may be fast, but nothing gets the message across quicker than a phone call. If you want to improve how you communicate and resolve issues with your employees, clients, consultants or vendors, start cutting back on the emails you send. A quick conversation over the phone will give you instant assurance that the information has gotten to its intended recipient. When communicating with more than one party, go beyond group emails and have a conference call instead. A 30-minute virtual meeting can convey more information while also enabling you to avoid costly delays.

Make as Few Decisions as Possible

Managers, even those in small businesses, spend a sizeable part of their workday making decisions. Of course, making decisions is part of the job, but if you want to accomplish more, try to eliminate the small choices so you can focus your energy on more meaningful ones.

One of the best ways to eliminate all the small decisions is to build routines and habits for repetitive tasks. With habitual workflows, your employees will only come to you for answers to critical, unique questions. You can also employ digital solutions like accounting software, automated emails, and data management applications so that you spend most of your time doing, not deciding what to do.

Measure What You Achieve, Not the Time You Spend Achieving

Keeping track of how long you or an employee has worked in a day can be a useful strategy for productivity, but in my experience, measuring their results is a much better approach. Despite today’s technological advancements, some employers still measure output by the time they spend at their desk, rather than what they accomplish.

Make sure you have goals that can be measured and achieved. Measuring goals will make you and your staff feel motivated and focused, regardless of how much time you've spent on a task.

The following answers were given by Daniel Pessin in regards to productivity in the workplace. In his opinion, these tips can help with all forms of business.

Author's Bio: 

Hello, my name is Karen Cole and I live in Philadelphia, United States. I am the founder and editor-in-chief of the HealthBenefitAdmin online magazine and I take pride in publishing content that helps my readers to live a happy, healthy and sustainable life.