You are NOT a robot. So don’t work like one. It is important to remember that humans are not built to work like machines. Working for hours without recharging leads to really long, unproductive days with little time left for the things you love.
Here are some ways that you can be more productive in less time:
Batch your work
Doing everything at once is never a good idea. S p a c e things out. A good way to do this is by grouping similar tasks together. Answer all your emails or make all the phone calls you need to make at once. Grouping tasks decreases the mental energy required, but make sure that in between all of these you take breaks.
There’s no use in starting off strong and then doing the last few tasks when you’re at 2% battery life. Those tasks will most likely be done poorly. Human bodies are made to function in cycles. If you do everything at once, you won’t actually get as much done as when you break things up. At the end of the day, you’ll have done better work and you’ll have had more time for things you love.
Also remember, if you feel the need to get out of the office for a while, go! Take your stuff and work on something at Starbucks, at the library, or even in the open air of the park. You could probably use a change of scenery anyway.
Plan it out
Before you even start your day, or perhaps before you go to bed the day before, make a list of the most important things you have to get done. Those are obviously a priority, and when you get them finished you will feel more accomplished. As you go through your day, you may remember a thing or two that you need to do. When that happens, take two seconds to write it down to free yourself from the pressure of remembering that thing on your own.
Find out what motivates you and use that to fuel your productivity. Whether your motivation is to have more time to spend with family and friends, or simply to do your work better, use it and don’t forget it. It’s very easy to get lost in the work and forget why you started so keep a constant reminder of your reasons.
Let it go
It is important to know when to turn off work mode. Make sure play time is worked into your schedule and allow yourself to relax when that time comes. Turn your phone off when you’re out with your friends. Lose track of time when you’re with your family. Don’t become a work-a-holic. Let yourself be free when you’re away from work.