I’ll admit it: some days my productivity meter doesn’t hit ten. As I walk across the parking lot in the evening I wonder, how did this day get away from me.
Usually it is a constant stream of meetings, calls, and stuff, with little pockets of time not big enough to move a large task ahead. I console myself with the recognition that most of those interruptions are why I am here, and that some of the days I feel most productive were days I just checked off a long list of small things. Maybe that happens to you.
Peter Bregan, in his Harvard Business Review blog, shares his solution.
Here is the short version: start by writing everything to be done today down on paper for 10 minutes (I already do this, so no prob), then 15 minutes of easy, fast tasks -(e-mail, phones, etc.) focus on finishing as many as possible. Then turn off phone, close windows on computer, and spend 35 focused minutes on the toughest task (of course many tasks are computer work – so modify accordingly) and only that without distraction, then a quick break and start over.