Thursday, May 27, 2010
Three productivity tips to work less & get more done this summer
Summer unofficially starts this weekend. Want to get more done but take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather? Here are three things to start immediately after the holiday weekend:
- Take Tuesday and Thursday evenings off. Leave the office as close to 5:00 as possible, and turn everything off until the next morning. No email, no Blackberry, no working. I guarantee those days will be your most productive of the week. Why? You have a deadline. You can't leave things to work on or "finish up" later in the evening. You'll be more focused on cleaning your plate and preparing the for the next day before you stop working for the day at 5:00.
- Choose & finish a major project by Labor Day. Go back to your list of priorities from January, and find the one thing that's both most important to you and hasn't been completed (or started) yet this year. Set a goal to have it completed by Labor Day Weekend, and set milestones for the end of June and July, respectively, to get yourself there. Then break down the specific things you need to do for the next four weeks (by Friday afternoon) to stay on task.
- Take a lunch and get to work (but not on work). At least 2-3 times a week, break for lunch. Get away from your desk, leave the building if possible, and separate yourself from the day's immediate priorities. Walk in the sunshine, eat in a park, but do one of two things. One option is to have lunch by yourself, but with purpose. Bring a specific topic you want to think about and focus on - without interruptions, and outside of your normal environment. Bring a paper and pen to record your ideas as you eat. The other option is to be more intentional about catching up with those outside of your office, your company or even your industry. Find people you can lunch with and learn from. Gain from their perspective well beyond your own, to bring renewed energy and creativity to your own areas of expertise and focus.
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