It’s estimated {that a} surprising 60% (or much less) of labor time is spent productively, in step with Atlassian. Time is our scarcest useful resource, but we spend such a lot of it doing issues which can be unproductive — normally with out which means to.

Emails, conferences, unending notifications… We’re certainly being pulled in additional instructions than ever ahead of, however it’s no longer simply era conserving us again from benefiting from our time. In lots of instances, we’re the ones liable for our personal loss of productiveness.

As a contract faraway employee, I’ve needed to tango with my self-sabotaging productiveness quirks greater than maximum. I used guilty my workload and atmosphere; it wasn’t till I used to be totally in keep watch over of the ones components that I used to be left with the belief that I used to be the issue all alongside.

Such as you, I’m extra a success and satisfied after I’m productive. We’re all at the hunt for the magic bullet answer; this has resulted in the unending manufacturing of AI productiveness equipment and life-hack lists. How are we able to produce extra whilst doing much less?

We glance over at the one that turns out to get all of it finished whilst nonetheless managing to have a existence, and we ask ourselves: What does she know that I don’t? Is there a secret to prime productiveness?

With some paintings, most of the boundaries to productiveness are solvable. On the other hand, to actually give a boost to productiveness, you wish to have to first are aware of it. Right here’s what science says.

Desk of Contents

  • The Science of Productiveness
  • 9 Science-Confirmed Tactics to Get Extra Performed in a Day
  • Information-Sponsored Productiveness Equipment

The Science of Productiveness

“Productiveness is the artwork and science of reshaping your self and the arena round you in some way that makes the arena paintings higher,” stocks creator and group professional Frank Dollar, Ed.D.

“Whilst the literature on productiveness is very large, all of it issues again to that one definition. Mental analysis courting again to no less than 1966 (J.B. Rotter) means that those that really feel they may be able to keep watch over their environment act upon the ones ideals, persist longer, and reach better effects,” Dollar concludes.

Society has lengthy been conscious about a shared want to strengthen productiveness, but the fashionable international has moved us additional clear of that dream.

Era supplies consistent, unending distractions — and we feed into this through being subconsciously hooked on data.

Scientists have stumbled on that the dopamine neurons in our brains deal with data as a praise.

Whilst this is sensible evolutionarily — gaining access to related data like the site of meals resources way we make higher selections and are much more likely to live to tell the tale — it additionally way we’re naturally interested in distractions outdoor our number one targets.

Insert: our telephones. Smartphones are a distraction crisis. Right here’s how to conquer the hurdles that era gifts.

9 Science-Confirmed Tactics to Get Extra Performed in a Day

A handy guide a rough Google seek will display you that almost all productiveness lists counsel synthetic intelligence tool (AI). I’ll proportion one of the most most sensible AI productiveness equipment in a minute, however I beg you to take AI equipment with a caution.

An unproductive individual throwing AI apps at their workload is like making use of wax to a automotive ahead of washing the grime off. The entire AI functions on this planet gained’t spice up productiveness when you nonetheless undermine your personal luck. Get started with the following pointers as a substitute.

1. Use a to-do checklist.

Create a job checklist for your self that incorporates ALL of your to-do’s, regardless of how small. Every merchandise in your checklist must be independently achievable. Spoil giant duties into small, particular person steps.

The advantages are three-fold:

  • Know what must be finished. Process introduction is a step within the decision-making procedure, and it’s extra time-consuming than it appears to be like at the floor.
  • Take away the danger of forgetting. Depending on a psychological to-do checklist creates needless pressure and pressure, and looking to ad-lib your workload will lead to ignored duties and deficient time control.
  • Create a workload that you’ll be able to reach. Writing unachievable activity lists creates the sensation that you just’re ceaselessly in the back of, and the shortcoming to estimate your paintings output will ultimately create a real downside. Era author Steven Okay. Roberts nicknamed this “The Roberts Legislation of Fractal To-Do Listing Complexity: Every merchandise on an inventory is simply the identify of some other checklist.”

Why It Works

Believe when you sought after to make a loaf of bread. You could possibly by no means make a choice to bet and stumble your means in the course of the procedure: “What comes subsequent? Milk? I’m wondering how a lot I must use?”

No person would make a choice that trail, but many of us manner their workload with this ad-lib mentality. A to-do checklist is sort of a recipe on your paintings, and it’s extraordinarily efficient when used correctly.

Harvard Industry Overview says there are unending upsides to the use of to-do lists, with the one attainable problem being that they don’t pass a long way sufficient to push us to practice via.

“If each and every time we added an merchandise to our to-do lists we additionally got here up with a plan to specify what movements we want to take and when the ones movements want to be taken, that will assist decrease the percentages of our to-do lists changing into graveyards of unfinished pieces,” researcher E. J. Masicampo shared with Harvard Industry Overview.

Checking out It Out

I’m no stranger to to-do lists. I fell in love when I used to be in school. I’m assured my to-do lists are the one explanation why I graduated, held down a role, wrote a e-book, or have ever finished anything productive in my existence.

On the other hand, the Harvard Industry Overview interview made me understand that I wasn’t leveraging the entire attainable of to-do lists through no longer including a time frame to my intentions.

Generally, I create a to-do checklist for the week however don’t assign the ones duties to a selected day. For the impending week, I attempted assigning each and every activity to an afternoon of the week. I didn’t adhere to this completely, however this did do away with the decision-making a part of my morning, the place I considered what I felt like operating on.

2. Simply get began.

Whilst it’s human nature to delay duties that really feel intimidating, it’s extremely counterproductive. Merely beginning a job is a surefire technique to kickstart your productiveness.

For some, this would possibly imply diving proper in, even though you’re no longer certain the place to start out. HubSpot UX Editor Beth Dunn advised me that once she will get author’s block, she simply opens Google Medical doctors and begins typing away, even though the phrases don’t imply the rest.

For others, it will imply splitting giant tasks into smaller ones. HubSpot Co-Founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah stated he loves to “deconstruct” the massive downside to hand into smaller, bite-sized chunks.

Every of the person, smaller issues appear surmountable on their very own, and it calms him to understand that if he conquers all of the ones small issues, he’s necessarily conquered the massive factor.

Why It Works

Consistent with a learn about through award-winning psychology researcher, Dr. John Bargh, ahead of we embark on giant tasks, our brains try to simulate actual, productive paintings through specializing in small, senseless duties to cross the time.

Because of this, this prevents us from getting actual paintings finished. Now it is sensible why my school dorm room used to be by no means cleaner than all over finals week!

When you recover from that hump of beginning, there’s just right information: We really feel naturally pressured to complete a job when we’ve already began, because of the Zeigarnik Impact.

Consistent with Social Psychology and Human Nature, the Zeigarnik impact is “the tendency to revel in intrusive ideas about an function that used to be as soon as pursued and left incomplete.”

Checking out It Out

I examined this concept out through creating a strict plan for my Monday morning workload. Prematurely, I determined:

  • What I’d paintings on.
  • The place I’d paintings from.
  • Precisely what time I’d start operating.
  • Which tune I’d concentrate to.

This quantity of construction used to be overseas so I felt some herbal resistance to it, however it did stay me from falling into the lure of busy paintings at moments within the day. Once I awoke and considered my day, I had fast readability.

3. Paintings with others.

Make your self part of a gaggle, and also you’ll be impacted through the focal point and just right conduct of the ones round you. This may also be finished in individual on the workplace or in a coworking area, or you’ll be able to just about co-work 24/7 via platforms like Find out about In combination.

Why It Works

Whilst you see others modeling just right conduct, there’s unconscious power to evolve. You’re much less more likely to bust out your telephone and read social media posts when everybody on your direct neighborhood is doing their paintings.

It’s a grown-up model of peer power, which Brett Laursen, Ph.D. stated is actually outlined as affect. When interviewed at the American Mental Affiliation’s podcast Talking of Psychology, Dr. Laursen stated that “peer power follows folks throughout their complete existence path” and may also be certain.

Checking out It Out

As a faraway freelance author, I haven’t skilled coworkers in seven years. I’m aware of operating on my own, however I nonetheless eagerly examined out the digital coworking area Find out about In combination.

Whilst this team used to be designed for college kids, I nonetheless lift a backpack and love a library paintings consultation up to somebody, so I entered the digital coworking consultation on a Saturday morning in conjunction with 213 others in my classroom (pictured underneath: me about to go into my classroom).

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Once I joined, there have been an astounding 17,801 contributors energetic throughout all rooms. I used to be stunned to really feel a way of belonging on account of the gang dimension. All of us labored silently along each and every different, and I actually loved the impact this had.

On the other hand, I feel it’s a lot more tough in individual.

It’s vital to notice that coworking too can paintings in opposition to your productiveness. The psychology of peer affect works each tactics, so when you’re surrounded through unfocused people, you might really feel your self being negatively impacted.

4. Paintings in sprints.

Everyone knows that an eight-hour workday isn’t supposed to be swallowed in a single chunk; it must be damaged up, however how? Reinforce productiveness through breaking your day into predetermined paintings classes with deliberate breaks.

Why It Works

Have you ever ever heard of the “fundamental rest-activity cycle” people revel in once we sleep? Physiologist Nathaniel Kleitman, the pioneering sleep researcher who co-discovered REM sleep, could also be widely recognized for looking at that people trade gradually between mild and deep sleep in 90-minute classes.

Consistent with a Harvard Industry Overview article through Tony Schwartz, Kleitman discovered that we function through that very same 90-minute rhythm all over the day through shifting gradually via classes of upper and decrease alertness.

After operating at prime depth for greater than 90 mins, writes Schwartz, we commence depending on pressure hormones for power. The end result: Our prefrontal cortex begins to close down, and we commence dropping our skill to assume obviously and reflectively.

“We transfer from parasympathetic to a sympathetic arousal — a physiological state extra usually referred to as ‘combat or flight,’” Schwartz says.

So as a substitute of artificially overriding classes of low alertness with caffeine, sugary meals, and pressure hormones, you’ll be able to higher arrange your time at paintings through respecting the human want for rhythmic pulses of relaxation and renewal.

Checking out It Out

I’m a seasoned dash employee, so I didn’t want to take a look at this system. On the other hand, I used to be stunned to be told that this has yielded effects throughout numerous fields.

A person named Anders Ericsson carried out a learn about of elite musicians and located they don’t essentially apply extra — they only apply extra intentionally.

They focal point their power in packets,” says Gregory Ciotti in a proof of Ericsson’s learn about.

This implies “classes of intense paintings adopted through breaks, as a substitute of diluting paintings time over the entire day. They don’t depend on strength of will — they depend on addiction and disciplined scheduling.”

Ericsson’s learn about of elite violinists discovered they generally tend to practice 90-minute classes of onerous paintings with 15- to 20-minute breaks.

Relaxation classes get a foul rap in nowadays’s operating international, however it seems they’re integral to prime productiveness over lengthy classes.

5. Don’t do away with outdated conduct; alternate them.

For a few of us, it’s unhealthy conduct like checking e-mail each and every couple of minutes or opening up social media that value us (and others) valuable productiveness time.

Now and again, those conduct develop into so computerized that we don’t even understand we’re doing them. Establish the addiction that disrupts your productiveness essentially the most and change it with one thing else.

Why It Works

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg spent years researching the facility conduct have over us. He discovered that moderately than looking to do away with an outdated addiction, folks in finding extra luck in converting that addiction through changing it with a brand new, much less harmful one.

Why? As a result of each and every time you’ve got an urge and also you do something positive about it, the praise you get from it creates a neurological pathway on your mind.

Whilst you repeat that motion and revel in the similar praise once more, that neurological pathway will get somewhat bit thicker; and the following time, even thicker. The thicker that pathway will get, the simpler it’s for impulses to shuttle down it.

So whilst you attempt to extinguish a addiction totally, you’re in fact making an attempt to make use of strength of will to damage a neural pathway. It’s imaginable, however it’s useless.

So when you’re having hassle getting rid of a addiction that’s protecting you from being productive, right here’s what Duhigg suggests you do:

  1. Diagnose the “cue” or the urge that units off the addiction.
  2. Diagnose the praise you get from doing that addiction.
  3. Change your addiction with an exercise that’s each precipitated through the outdated cue and delivers the outdated praise or a model of it.

See the entire go with the flow chart right here.

Checking out It Out

When my mind buffers and I desire a fast dopamine hit, I succeed in for my telephone with out pondering. As an alternative of looking to hand over this habits, I changed checking my telephone with checking my pc background.

The usage of Canva, I created a collage of pictures that reason emotions of gratitude, happiness, and anticipation. As an alternative of achieving for my telephone, I now press “home windows+M” (to attenuate all tabs) and get a dopamine hit that makes me really feel thankful, targeted, and interested by the plans I’ve forward.

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No longer best do I waste much less time on my telephone, however I’ve additionally changed my customary social media scroll with one thing that leaves me feeling higher.

6. Create productive rituals.

Talking of creating higher conduct, Schwartz says one of the simplest ways to get issues finished “is to lead them to extra computerized in order that they require much less power.”

As President and CEO of The Power Venture, he advises his purchasers to broaden rituals: extremely explicit behaviors finished at actual instances that, through the years, develop into so computerized that they require no aware will or self-discipline.

As an example, Schwartz makes a addiction of in an instant writing down new duties he wishes to perform and new concepts that happen to him. That means, he by no means has to stroll round preoccupied with the load of remembering one thing.

David Allen, productiveness marketing consultant and creator of the best-selling e-book Getting Issues Performed, would agree: “Other folks don’t seize stuff that has their consideration. And it assists in keeping rolling round within the organizational psyche in addition to the non-public psyche, draining power and growing fantastic psychic residue.”

Consistent with Allen, when folks say they’ll do one thing however don’t write it down, it is going right into a black hollow.

“That will be effective if it have been only one factor, however it’s loads of items … Your head is for having concepts, no longer conserving them,” Allen says. “Simply dumping the entirety from your head and externalizing this is a massive step, and it may possibly have a vital impact.”

Why It Works

We mentally select up items of data all day and allow them to slosh round our unconscious minds. Emails, duties that want to be finished — they acquire like choosing up groceries on the retailer till your palms are overflowing and also you begin to drop issues.

With out rituals that dictate whilst you resolution that e-mail, which order to take on your to-do checklist, and each and every different micro-decision on your day, you’re time and again half-handling duties all day lengthy.

Some other model of Schwartz’s philosophy is what Harvard Industry Overview’s Gretchen Gavett calls OHIO: Most effective Maintain It As soon as.

As an example, whilst you undergo your e-mail, make a decision in an instant what to do with each and every one — in an instant reply to those that want answering, and delete the unimportant ones at the spot. By no means learn an e-mail and assume, “I’ll circle again to this later.”

Rituals are theorized to be the name of the game to productiveness and happiness itself. In an age of selection, rituals are the important thing to happiness,” The Parent’s Tomiwa Owolade writes.

Checking out It Out

For every week, I carried out the OHIO strategy to my inbox control machine. I used to be in charge of checking emails across the clock simply to really feel up to date, however I by no means spoke back to them instantly. With out knowing it, I used to be dealing with each and every e-mail more than one instances.

This is going without delay in opposition to the OHIO idea, so for every week, I best checked my e-mail in the beginning and finish of my workday, and I treated each and every e-mail in an instant.

My inbox anxiousness necessarily disappeared, and I spoke back to the entirety in a extra well timed way. After every week of checking out this, I got rid of my e-mail accounts (each paintings and private) from my telephone altogether to make this part of my regimen.

7. Leverage height productiveness hours.

Everybody’s strength of will is restricted and usually more potent in the beginning of the day after they haven’t expended any power but.

You’ll leverage those height productiveness hours through scheduling your maximum vital or maximum tricky duties for the start of the day if in case you have the best strength of will to keep away from distractions.

Why It Works

Research have concluded that strength of will is a finite useful resource. Acts of strength of will, like making an attempt to bear in mind to reply to an e-mail or ignoring distractions, depart us with reducing strength of will all the way through the day.

Consistent with Lia Steakley of Stanford Medication’s Scopeblog, “as with bodily workout, the use of your strength of will muscle tissue is also tiring, however through the years the exercise will increase your energy and stamina. So, what begins out tricky turns into more straightforward through the years. New behaviors develop into conduct, temptations develop into much less overwhelming, and strength of will demanding situations may even develop into a laugh.”

As you construct conduct like responding to emails instantly and writing down your entire to-do’s, you’ll do away with the worry of forgetting — and subsequently, the load of remembering.

The end result: extra power, extra strength of will, and higher productiveness.

Checking out It Out

On the finish of my workday, I reviewed my to-do checklist for the next day. I known the following day’s maximum vital activity and determined to finish it first.

I normally love to paintings via my to-do checklist in keeping with my temper, so it used to be onerous to power myself to paintings on a selected activity. In whole honesty, I didn’t be successful on my first strive, however I attempted once more.

Even if I didn’t reach 100% luck, prioritizing my workload nonetheless made me really feel much less wired and extra in keep watch over of my day.

8. Time-blocking method.

Time blockading is the method of figuring out precisely whilst you’ll paintings on a selected activity and scheduling the ones duties as when you’re scheduling a gathering.

Those duties are added for your Google Calendar, and you’re going to display up on the predetermined time and do the deliberate paintings.

Why It Works

Maximum people wouldn’t skip a gathering simply because we didn’t really feel like going, however we deal with our personal paintings duties like this always.

Once we say to ourselves, “I’ll paintings on X very first thing the following day,” after which we fail to practice via, our self belief and talent to execute our intentions dwindles. Time blockading builds the muscle that restores this skill to practice via.

Cal Newport, creator of the acclaimed e-book Deep Paintings, advocates for detailed time blockading of your whole paintings day. “A 40-hour time-blocked paintings week, I estimate, produces an identical quantity of output as a 60+ hour paintings week pursued with out construction,” says Cal Newport.

Time blockading is in all probability essentially the most impactful technique to strengthen time control. Observe-through is progressed, as is the standard of your centered paintings.

Checking out It Out

A job I’ve been procrastinating on is updating my monetary Google Sheets (a laugh, I do know.) For weeks, I’ve been pondering, “Do exactly it. You’ll thank your self when tax time comes round.” On the other hand, I nonetheless haven’t made any concrete development in this activity.

I time blocked 3 hours on my Google Calendar for subsequent week to care for this. Even if I haven’t finished the duty but, having put it on my calendar makes me really feel much less apprehensive as a result of I do know it’ll be treated through the tip of the allocated time.

9. Process batching.

Establish repetitive duties on your workload and condense those to-do’s right into a unmarried activity.

Right here’s a job batching instance: If you wish to put up a submit on LinkedIn each day, you’ll be able to get up each and every morning, get a hold of a posting thought, write it, and hit “put up.”

Or, you’ll be able to batch this activity as soon as every week: For 2 hours each and every Monday morning, you’ll be able to get a hold of seven submit concepts, write all of them, and agenda them to put up for the remainder of the week.

No longer best do you sidestep author’s block each day, however the repetition naturally accelerates the velocity at which you create this content material.

Why It Works

Process batching will mean you can whole your duties in a extra environment friendly means whilst decreasing multitasking.

The human mind isn’t stressed to multitask; it may possibly cut back your productiveness through as much as 40%. The inverse of multitasking is monotasking: specializing in a unmarried activity, taking out distractions, and finishing the duty to hand.

As an aspect impact, this activity control method additionally is helping you strengthen the potency of your paintings. Inefficiencies on your workflow aren’t all the time simple to identify whilst you paintings on a job periodically.

Whilst you power your self to copy a procedure a number of instances in a row, you naturally in finding time-consuming steps that may be condensed or treated through AI productiveness apps.

Checking out It Out

Like maximum marketers, content material introduction is part of advertising and marketing my trade.

It’s one thing I have a tendency to delay as it’s no longer part of my consumer deliverables. Pinterest is certainly one of my trade’s maximum vital channels, and I used to agenda pins week through week.

The usage of the duty batching method, I deliberate two months of content material introduction without delay. I created all the pin photographs, wrote the descriptions, and scheduled them.

It used to be a long procedure, however it used to be a reduction to understand that this to-do used to be off my plate for the foreseeable long run.

Whilst batching this activity, I stumbled on simply how a lot time I used to be losing when finishing it week through week. I’ve adjusted my procedure completely.

Information-Sponsored Productiveness Equipment

With the psychology understood and our private conduct tested, it’s time to have a look at the equipment and AI apps that may assist take our productiveness even additional.

Pomodoro Timer

Be mindful physiologist Nathaniel Kleitman, who stated that we paintings higher in cycles? Make cycles part of your regimen with a Pomodoro timer.

The Pomodoro Method is a technique evolved through Francesco Cirillo, which breaks blocks of time down into chunks of labor and breaks.

You’ll use any time configuration, however a well-liked one is 25 mins of labor with a 5-minute ruin, then taking a 15-minute ruin each and every 4 paintings cycles.

Don’t use your telephone timer as a timer; as a substitute, set up a browser extension just like the Pomodoro® Assistant Google Chrome extension. It’s loose and shows how a lot time is left on your time block in your display screen, taking out the temptation to test your telephone.

Right here’s what pops up in your pc whilst you’ve earned a ruin. Every pink dot represents a finished paintings consultation:

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What I really like: I by no means really feel in charge or wonder whether I’ve “earned” a ruin when the use of my Pomorodo timer; I depend on knowledge as a substitute of feelings, and it takes all the guesswork out of structuring my day.

AI Productiveness Equipment

In 2009, Apple invented the catchy word “there’s an app for that.” Now, there’s an AI device for that, too. Listed below are some common duties and the AI productiveness equipment that help with them:

  • Take a look at AI transcription apps like Fathom.
  • Automate repetitive duties with equipment like Bardeen.
  • Analyze knowledge with equipment like Tableau.
  • Maintain mission control with equipment like ClickUp.
  • Draft emails with equipment like HubSpot AI.

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Best possible for: Rushing up delicate processes, doing mundane duties, or automating repetitive duties.

Process Control Tool

Process monitoring is a very powerful device on your productiveness arsenal, and there’s a job control app for each and every taste and choice.

Listed below are a few of my favourite activity control apps, which all have loose variations with top rate upgrades to be had (aside from for HubSpot Duties, which is loose):

Those mission control equipment additionally incorporate AI. We evaluate them in our AI mission control equipment research.

Process control isn’t extra vital than whilst you’re operating on collaborative tasks. All of those apps paintings for people in addition to groups.

What I really like: I like seeing mission updates at a look and the versatility to seize all concepts by means of unending media, attachments, and notes.

Information Feed Eradicator

Any individual who works in social media control or content material introduction is aware of what a double-edged sword social media is for productiveness.

If being on social media is part of your activity, you’ll be able to make it much less of a productiveness black hollow with the loose Information Feed Eradicator Google Chrome extension.

This device blocks out the inside track feed of social media web sites, whilst nonetheless permitting you to reply to messages, communicate in teams, respond to feedback, and so on.

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Best possible for: Individuals who want social media as part of their day by day paintings however wish to restrict how time-consuming it’s.


Is there a selected web page that sabotages your productiveness?

Make it inaccessible the use of the app BlockSite. BlockSite is a loose device that’s to be had on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, the App Retailer, and extra.

The loose model lets you block 3 web sites, and you’ll be able to improve so as to add extra.

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What I really like: This fosters a degree of self-awareness and mirrored image that’s wholesome and productive.

Do your distractions require a more impregnable hand? The “GO ‘FREAKING’ WORK” (expletive got rid of) Google Chrome extension does the similar factor however provides a verbal insult each and every time you open up a blocked web page.

Getting Began

Which of those ways will alternate your existence?

I will be able to say with utter self belief that OHIO (best care for it as soon as) has already modified my existence; I’ve discovered myself becoming it into dialog and recommending it to everybody. There used to be a equivalent “love to start with sight” impact after I stumbled on to-do lists and the Pomodoro method years in the past.

Whether or not you’re pursuing instructional luck, want assist specializing in explicit duties, or simply wish to get your treasured time again, the following pointers will mean you can regain some keep watch over over the way you spend your time.

Who is aware of what attainable is hiding beneath your whole unproductive conduct.

That time beyond regulation might simply transfer mountains, adjust your occupation, or totally alternate your existence. Higher get started nowadays!

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