Category: Productivity

The Importance Of Scheduling Nothing

Filed under: Best Advice, Productivity, Rational Thought, Time Management

If you were to see my calendar, you’d probably notice a host of time slots greyed out but with no indication of what’s going on. There is no problem with my Outlook or printer. The grey sections reflect “buffers,” or time periods I’ve purposely kept clear of meetings.

In aggregate, I schedule between 90 minutes and two hours of these buffers every day (broken down into 30- to 90-minute blocks). It’s a system I developed over the last several years in response to a schedule that was becoming so jammed with back-to-back meetings that I had little time left to process what was going on around me or just think.

At first, these buffers felt like indulgences. I could have been using the time to catch up on meetings I had pushed out or said “no” to. But over time I realized not only were these breaks important, they were absolutely necessary in order for me to do my job.

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A Remarkably Simple Way To Save Time

Filed under: Efficiency, Productivity, Quick Tips, Time Management

If you never have enough time, invest just 90 seconds in this article and you can learn how to free up space in your daily schedule.

My solution is called minus one, and it is based on the observation that each of us does a lot of things that ultimately prove to be unimportant or unnecessary. The problem is that we find it hard to recognize in advance which tasks will fail to be worthwhile,

The goal of minus one is to do less but accomplish the same, or more.

To benefit from minus one, you simply eliminate one task at a time from your schedule, then evaluate whether doing so had any negative consequences.

If eliminating the task did not cause a problem, you succeeded in saving time. If it did, just add the task back to your schedule. The risk is low, but the benefit of applying minus one can be great, if you stick to it over time.

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Why Being a Perfectionist Can Hurt Your Productivity

Filed under: Career Advice, Distractions, Perfection, Productivity

Do you ever “back door brag” about being a perfectionist?

Unlike other obsessions and addictions, perfectionism is something a lot of people celebrate, believing it’s an asset. But true perfectionism can actually get in the way of productivity and happiness.

I recently interviewed David Burns, author of “Feeling Good”, who has made this exact connection. In his more than 35,000 therapy sessions he has learned that the pursuit of perfection is arguably the surest way to undermine happiness and productivity. There is a difference between the healthy pursuit of excellence and neurotic perfectionism, but in the name of the first have you ever fallen into elements of the second?

Taken to the extreme, perfectionism becomes a disorder. Burns shares the wild example of an attorney who became obsessed with getting his hair “just right.” He spent hours in front of the mirror with his scissors and comb making adjustments until his hair was just an eighth of an inch long. Then he became obsessed with getting his hairline exactly right and he shaved it a little more every day until his hair receded back so far he was bald. He would then wait for his hair to grow back and the pattern continued again. Eventually his desire to have the perfect hair led him to cut back on his legal practice in order to continue his obsession.

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The Internet and Employee Productivity

Filed under: Career & Money, Distractions, Efficiency, Focus, Productivity, Technology, Your Career

New research from Deloitte and Google found that flexible approaches to technology contributed to staff satisfaction, retention and collaboration; when staff was happy with workplace IT, they were one-third less likely to leave their job than those who were dissatisfied. Woolworths and Air New Zealand have established “bring your own device” policies to allow staff to use their own technology while still ensuring security.

National University of Singapore researchers found in 2011 that “browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function,” more so than texting, emailing or working without breaks.

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Why Productive People Work On Sundays

Filed under: Productivity

Sundays aren’t just for rest and recuperation. When used wisely, they’re actually the perfect way to start your week with a bang.

Mondays often feel like a catch-up day from the weekend. There’s usually a full inbox and things that need your immediate attention as soon as you walk into the office. To avoid this productivity-killing situation, I schedule some time for work every Sunday to get my week started with a clean slate.

It’s up to you how long you choose to work on Sunday. But If you’re looking to get more done on Monday and use that momentum to power your week, here are a few things to accomplish:

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