Here’s what I wrote in Late August of last year, just after the release of Coaching Business Builder, and before the launch of PlanDoTrack for Remote Professionals.
“[I recently launched the Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner and later this year will release PlanDoTrack for Remote and Virtual Professionals]. In the workbook section, I touch on a variety of productivity tools, or hacks, to consider. These are things that I have seen transform the work of business owners and leaders I have both coached and worked with over the years. As we gear up for back to work next week, I thought it would be useful to share with you four productivity hacks and frameworks I think might be useful for you. These include:
1. Schedule in time for your regular planning. Whether it’s daytime or night, the act of scheduling time to identify, note and focus on your own tasks which are upcoming can save a lot of time. An old project management adage has said that for every 10 minutes of planning you save 60 minutes of unfocused effort. Think about how having a list every day can help you navigate the changing waters of tasks and priorities, as they shift. When do you want to schedule in planning? Daily planning? Medium term planning? Long term planning?
2. Consider what time of day works well. One of the key learnings which still stands out for me almost 30 years after being an undergrad science student at McGill University, is the importance of our circadian rhythms. Research continues to show how we each have a different internal clock, helping, and hindering us to get things done at different times of the day. This concept has been revisited and revived recently with books such as Daniel Pink’s When, where he explores the concepts of larks and owls.
When are you are your peak (morning/night/another time)? What can you do to tweak your schedule to leverage those windows?
3. Build in pockets to get things done without interruptions. Interruptions are everywhere in today’s working world – from the bings of emails, to phone calls, to people dropping in. Research by Gloria Marks and her team have discovered how every interruption has an extended impact. She has found that after an interruption it can take upwards of 25 minutes to get back on task. 23 minutes and 15 minutes to be exact. Look at her research here. What can you be doing to build in pocket to get things done? Minimize interruptions?
Check out this article from Inc entitled “Six Tips to Maximize Productivity on Remote Working Days” from Inc here.
4. Finally, consider what the priorities are – yours, your bosses and/or your teams. Schedule in time for this in your calendar and get it done! Covey’s Urgent/Important Matrix constitutes to be a valuable framework to help us all take into account what is truly important and urgent. Check out a past blog post I have done on this here. What would you like to focus on this fall? Which one area would make the biggest impact on your work?
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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