By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Most of us work anywhere from 40 to 45 hours a week. But are we actually productive during that time?

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One Microsoft productivity study found people say 16 hours a week spent at work are typically un-productive. Time wasted, basically.

But I’m all about making lists in an effort to get things done!

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So today’s Lauren’s List has advice on how to be productive without actually doing more work!

  1. Manage your mood: Simply starting the day feeling calm can get you on more focused footing. According to, the author of the book “The 4-hour Work Week” says he tries to manage his mood by making sure the first 90 minutes of his day are as routine and non-reactive as possible, in order to reduce anxiety and help keep you calm.
  1. Don’t check emails first: This one is tough for me. I immediately reach for my phone to check emails when I wake up in case I missed something major in the 6 hours I was sleeping. The problem with checking emails is you are immediately put into reaction mode. You’re not planning your own day and prioritizing, you’re letting your day be dictated by the sender of those emails. Save them for later on in the morning.
  1. Faster isn’t better: If you feel like it’s impossible to get everything done, it’s probably because you’re doing too many things. Doing something quickly to check it off your to-do list doesn’t make you more productive. The author says it’s you shouldn’t ask yourself how fast you can do something, but whether you really need to do it at all.
  1. Set goals nightly: Experts say you should make this your closing ritual. Just like you brush your teeth before bed, make a list of your top two priorities for the day, the night before! Try writing those things down even before dinner. Studies show writing down what you need to do tomorrow relieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening. So you’ll be more productive, and more relaxed. Sounds like a win-win!

What do you do to work smarter, not harder?

Tell me on Facebook page or Twitter.

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Lauren Pastrana