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I am working in software industry and my job demands me working 10-12 hours everyday. In addition to this I spend sometime in travelling everyday 1.5 hours approx. When I reach home in evening (usually between 9 PM to 10 PM), I feel every tired and can hardly spend time on study/any things productive.

I have recently enrolled for a certification exam which will be in a few months. I need to study hard for it. I certainly need to modify my daily routine to find extra productive time. I am not able to find out way to get myself sometime to study everyday. I have joined aerobics classes in morning as well so maybe exercise bring some more energy but it did not help as well.

Please suggest.

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3 Answers

It is generally agreed that while 70+ hour weeks can be productive in the short term they actually rapidly lead to a dramatic drop off in productivity, such that you would be better off dropping back down to 45 hours or thereabouts.

I know long hours can be enjoyable and some cultures push you hard like this, but are you focusing on time rather than output at work? Do you actually have to be there each day for those 12 hours? Do you have to work at weekends? I would suggest seriously considering a change.

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I suggest you to keep an agenda on paper where you record in 15 or 30 minutes increments how you are using your time. Use a timer to remind yourself to document what you did.

After about two weeks, analyse your output and see how you are using and applying your time. You will certainly discover things to improve, time sink.

Working on your work pattern and habit will help you achieve more per day or the same in less time.

This is a true and tried approach of many coaches. For details and explanations, please read the book "the Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker.

I wish you all the best with your work and studies.

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Correct. Even I'm gonna try this approach. Thanks –  Jagz W Oct 7 '13 at 10:22
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There's 24 hours in a day. Suppose sleeping and other hygiene tasks take up 8 hours. This leaves you with 16 hours. If 12 are spent working and 2 are spent commuting (rounding up a bit), that leaves you with 2 hours of free time a day. Which is likely used for exercising, life chores, etc.

This leaves you with three choices:

  1. Work less hours. I agree with Rory that you aren't going to be more productive in 12 hours everyday than less.
  2. Admit that you can't work less hours and study for the certification on weekends.
  3. Study during the week during your commute and/or lunch. The study during commute option works best if carpooling/taking mass transit. But you can still prepare "study facts" over the weekend to listen to while driving if there are things you need to memorize. As for studying during lunch, don't eat at your desk where someone might ask you something. Even if your employer believes working a long day is essential, you should be allowed to take a lunch break.
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