I thought I’d give myself more time to work in December (we’re releasing some big products) so I consciously cut out holiday parties during the week. This was especially important this year since the holiday season started early due to an early Thanksgiving.
Now I love holiday parties … they’re a lot of fun. But sometimes one has to cut out some hard stuff to buy time.
how much time did I gain thus far? I estimate a gain of 15-20 hours year-over-year (2006 to 2005 comparable). That’s huge. … now I hope I don’t blow it watching all the Christmas spoofs on YouTube …
If you are like me and you keep all your home/work/life tasks in one place, you might want to consider ordering your tasks by the location you most efficiently can perform them in. Some tasks you can only do at one particular location (like I can only do laundry or dishes at home).
Some tasks, like business calls, can only be done during the day. other tasks are best done at night. some, like calling, are most efficiently done while you are driving (because you cannot do much else in the car). before driving on trips more than 30 minutes, you can have a call list of the people you want to call. sometimes, if it is a new contact, you can even pre-type the numbers in my cell phone so you don’t have to fumble while in the car.
My personal secret is to have a list of tasks do to when I am on the phone. these are generally low-CPU tasks (like cleaning up my house, reordering my contacts, typing up a business card, and other mindless tasks). Whenever I get a call I immediately switch to my phone task list and start crossing off to-dos while jabbing away.
some small things i do to increase my productivity and the productivity
of others around me:
– only check email once an hour (and turn off all email reminders) …
sometimes i submit to the guilty pleasure and check email every 30 minutes
– when i get an email, i reply right away.
– jettison IM
– don’t check email on my phone unless i need to.
– respond to all emails before i go to bed every day. never have
anything in my in-box before i fall asleep. (sometimes i respond to
emails with a "i’ll get back to you on tuesday on this")
– i try never to CC other people unless absolutely necessary. it is
unfair to waste their time.
– i speed read (or sometimes just delete) emails i am CCed on
– when i reply to emails, i try never to "reply all" as it is a waste
of other’s time. i try to respond directly to the person were my email is
– i always try to have the minimum number of people from my company in
mtgs. if only one person is needed, then two never go.
big waste of time. sometimes we determine that zero people are
– phone mtgs are often better than in person mtgs.
– i to do list everything. in the last six months i have written
and completed 4358 tasks … that is about 24 tasks a day.
– jettison TV
– i try to be on-time to all meetings … i want to respect the time of those
– I try to save time of those around you be not giving them things that are
half-baked. i try to communicate so there is not ambiguity so
they’re not doing double work.
(my biggest pet peeve: when someone does not respect my time)
Scott Kirsner writes a great column in today’s Boston Globe:
It’s a scary time for Monster.com
(two small quotes from me in the article)
with the advent of meta listings sites (like SimplyHired) and more proactive candidate push sites (like WooMeNow and TheLadders) Monster is becomming less relevant to the passive job seeker.
and new services like H3 and KarmaOne are attracting the passive jobseeker that Monster has never been able to get its hands on.
After Fortune called me a “Corporate Yenta,” people who never really understood what I do had a much better understanding…
My job is to set-up companies with business development relationships. It is basically the same strategy as setting people up on dates. My objective is to get enough interest that there is a second date. That is a success for me.
I know that not all my set-ups will result in marriage. But I want people to be excited to meet each other. The worst case scenario, like in dating, is when one of the parties calls me and says “what were you thinking!” luckily, that doesn’t happen very often because it is common sense … you don’t want to set up a supermodel with an ugly, unemployed dude … unless, of course, he’s unemployed because he just sold his Internet company for a billion dollars … then it is ok if he’s ugly …
Michael Fitzgibbon passed on this great post entitled:
80% of New Employees Fail Within the First 5 Years
it is a great defense of entrepreneur ship and goes nicely with my notion that it is more risky not to take a risk.
quick thing you can do to boost your productivity:
Make your default browser homepage blank.
So you won’t be tempted to do something else when you open a browser to accomplish a task.
people who have their browser default page MyYahoo or MSNBC are in for a productivity suck as they will be likely drawn to an interesting news article every time they open a browser instance.