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1According to a BBC article, “The productivity of workers declines in [Ramazan] by 35-50% as a result of shorter working hours and the change in behaviour.” No wonder then, with Ramazan approaching, companies are gearing up for lower productivity.

To achieve more during the shorter working hours in Ramazan consider the following:

Follow the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is all about leveraging your time to produce the most productive results. Instead of letting only 20% of your executed tasks produce 80% of the results, focus on activities that add the most value rather than dedicating your time to things that demand your attention but are not as important. Pause and reflect on what you are doing and why, and do not get distracted by activities that are not mission critical.

Condense your to-do list. It is not about being busy and getting as much as possible done in the sanctioned time. Take a ‘less-is-more’ approach towards your
to-do list by focusing on accomplishing things that matter. Don’t just “work smart”, work smart on the right things. In other words, prioritise.

Take regular breaks. Research indicates that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity. Your brain becomes tired after sustained use and needs some rest before it can recover. Therefore, take a break now and then to give your brain a rest.

Take advantage of circadian rhythms.
A growing body of research suggests that paying attention to the body’s clock can help pinpoint the different times of day when you perform at your best at specific tasks. Organise your time around your body’s natural rhythms by rearranging your schedule so that you can take advantage of your peak mental alertness. Take on cognitive and challenging work earlier in the day when your brain is at its freshest. Save the less challenging tasks for the afternoon.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training,
e-Learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on July 7, 2013.