The average office-worker only does 1.5 hours of actual work an hour a day, not really doing any work at all until 11 am, and winding down by 3.30 pm. How to get more done? Trick your brain into thinking “work time” is a scarce resource, Steve Pavlina suggests. Seeing how much more productive I got after I started working again when my daughter was a year and I only had six hours a day of child-care, I believe this – but it’s hard to do. Those lists pile up and want to eat all available time.

9 thoughts on “make work time a scarcity?

  1. P?•l Nordseth

    Doing 1,5 hr worth of work in an hour isn’t all that bad, is it?

  2. Jill

    Uh, no, that would be bloody impressive, actually. Thanks 🙂

  3. Mum

    I cringe every time I read the ‘b’ word in your blog ‘cos I know who got you to be so familiar with it …

  4. Jill

    Oh dear. See, it was only in a comment, this time.


  5. vika

    Wow, I really needed this today. The week has been excruciatingly unproductive. By my own standards, that is: I think I’m way ahead of yon random office worker. 🙂

    Steve’s trick really works, too: I generally get a lot more done when there’s a meeting in the middle of the day, breaking up my tasks into “this needs to be done in the next two hours, not ‘sometime today’.” Thanks for the pick-me-up, Jill!

  6. Jill

    Cool! Of course I’m sitting here kind of working in the she’s-in-bed quiet time, stretching worktime out instead of making it scarce. Oh well.

  7. Stephanie

    I think this man is on to something. For those of us who share custody, we know the pressure to get work done before real life creeps in (picking up kids, cooking dinner, walking the dog, bathing everyone (dog included?), cleaning, reading bedtime stories). On the days that we have no ‘life’ to go home and play with, work can be done at a much slower pace, leaving the office at 7 rather than 3.

  8. Mum

    On the other hand guys, maybe 1.5 hours a day is getting down to what is more natural for us humans ….
    I understood typical hunter gatherers manage with for example ‘about two and one-half days labour per week. (In other words, each productive individual supported herself or himself and dependents and still had 3 to 5 days available for other activities.) A “day’s work” was about six hours; hence the Dobe work week is approximately 15 hours, or an average of 2 hours 9 minutes per day’.

  9. Jill

    Oh, now see, I could DO that.


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