It sounds too good to be true: Leave work early for greater success on the job.
Psychological Review recently published a study that claims that the key to success is working hard in short bursts of time.
It comes down to focus and choosing specific tasks over multitasking and taking breaks.
The study found that "deliberate" four-hour violin rehearsals accomplished more than seven-hour sessions of steady practice. The best performers set specific goals, practiced with greater intensity for shorter periods of time, and took planned breaks.
The study graphed their hours of productivity, noting that the most intense periods of work were before noon and again after 4. Eventually they found that successful individuals in other professions mirrored this work-less-for-success model.
Business Insider quotes the study:
"While completing a novel, famous authors tend to write only for 4 hours during the morning, leaving the rest of the day for rest and recuperation. Hence successful authors, who can control their work habits and are motivated to optimize their productivity, limit their most important intellectual activity to a fixed daily amount when working on projects requiring long periods of time to complete."
Tim Ferriss' bestselling The 4-Hour Workweek made similar conclusions, subscribing to the Pareto principle; 80 percent of outputs come from 20 per cent on inputs.
So instead of slaving away for 12 hours a day, try focused work intervals; your new-found productivity will set you up for success.