After a fair amount of feedback from those who read my first “Reflections” post, I’ve decided to share my lessons learned from week 2. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Meetings can be value-add or non-value add, but that depends on you. I remember going to meetings in my first go-around in corporate and complaining about a) how useless they were, b) how many of them there were, and c) how much they got in the way of real work. This time around I realize that I was as much of the problem as the meetings. If you don’t go to a meeting with a clear agenda of what you need to get out of it, you’ll always feel like it is a waste. If you are not sure of that answer, ask the meeting organizer why they want you there. And if you are the one scheduling it, make sure you have a game plan for what you need to accomplish, state it clearly, then get people back to work. Everyone will be the happier! Need some help prepping? Check this out for ideas.
- 60 minutes of work at your desk ≠ 60 minutes of work. If this 60 minutes comes before 8 am or after 5 pm, it’s likely equal to 90-120 minutes of work between 8a-5p due to the number of interruptions and “multi-tasking” we try to do. If you have things you need to get done, coming a bit early or staying a bit late can yield quick productivity gains. Not able to do either, consider going to a coworking space where you can get away from your usual work distractions.
- 60 minutes of activity at your desk ≠ 60 minutes of work. Think this is a repeat? Read it again more carefully. More specifically, we spend a lot of time “doing” stuff at our desk that is considered work of the “busy” variety. Pushing emails from here or there, moving paper around from stack to stack, or “researching” items on the interwebs. But many of these things don’t actually get the “to-do’s” in our job descriptions done. Feeling unproductive? Try eliminating many of the above off your list or limiting the time you do them to certain parts of the day. Want to really go to the next level? Check out the Pomodora technique.
- Declutter your space to free yourself up. I mentioned last week that I have chosen to keep my workspace as spartan as possible to allow for ease of moving between departments and workspaces. It has a second benefit. The less “junk” I have, the move physical and mental space I have for creating. For example, if you have more than 3 pens in your desk, you have 2+ more than you’ll ever use at one time. 2 staplers… why? Unless you are preparing to work through the zombie apocalypse, hording supplies won’t do you much good and just adds more clutter to your life. I hope to stay clutter free, but I also plan to clean out my drawers on the last Friday of every month to keep from accumulating more than I need to efficiently work. Need some help getting started? Check this out for some great ideas.
- Give yourself a break. It’s a good idea to schedule in a few short breaks in your day to make sure you take a breath, stretch your legs, or generally refresh your mind. If you work in an environment where meetings are a way of life, that may actually mean scheduling them into your calendar so others can’t steal all of your time. You’ll be surprised at how much 15 minutes can make a difference, especially if you get out of your chair and get a change of scenery. Feeling especially drained? Take a break and wash your hands in the bathroom sink. It’s sounds crazy, but there is something, both mental and physical, that happens when you do that resets your body for another round of work. Try it and see if it works for you!
I’m considering making this a weekly, or bi-weekly ritual if you feel it is of value. But that will be determined on 2 variables… both of which you control.
- I’d love your thoughts on what I’ve written via comments below. Agree? Great, tell me why. Disagree? Excellent, share your different view. Trying to sell me SEO? Don’t bother, just click here and save us both time.
- Share your own “top lessons” reflections so I can learn from you. The more discussion, the more we learn together.
Did you miss my Week 1 Reflections? You can find them here.
Until next time…