Getting More Done in Less Time? Here's How:
As it would turn out, humans are in fact not very accurate when it comes to predicting how long something will take them or how much time they will need for a task. Because we subconsciously know we are 'guessing' about time allocations for things, humans do something else: they 'sandbag' their task time-allocations. In other words, we give ourselves more time than we know we need to accomplish tasks.
Further, when subjects were given shortened time slots to complete tasks in, they were more 'present', focused, strategic, calculating, and conscious of the steps in a task as well as their 'time budgeting'. Effectively, subjects monitored their own progress and actions more closely and sped up or slowed down at intervals to meet their expectations of how long steps in their task should take. Researchers found that people did this quite effectively - people were able to get MORE done in shorter and shorter time allocations.
There's good news in these two phenomena (we over-budget our time requirements for a task; when required, we can super-focus to increase our rate of output): if we want to get more done, we need only allocate ourselves *less time than we think we need* to get it done, clear the decks, and rally all cognitive resources toward that one task, project or goal.
Miniaturization of time allocations and 'micro-scheduling' helps increase efficiency, output, and productivity, while leaving much more time for other things in your day - and who doesn't want more time back in their day for the fun stuff in life?!
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