When I was a but a wee lad, me and my best friend would often lose ourselves for hours on end in an activity. Playing soccer. Climbing trees. Fishing. Simple pleasures in simpler times, with nary a distraction in sight.
It’s been a few years since I last wore a wristwatch on a regular basis, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you no longer wear yours, either.
The late Jim Rohn once said “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” As far as being concise goes, it’s an excellent summary of the necessity of managing that which would otherwise manage you: here’s my slightly longer take on 5 essentials with which – and how – to begin.
Picture this: it’s monday morning, and you need to schedule an urgent meeting with James. A few mouse clicks and a fist pump (optional) later, you have successfully laid claim to an hour in James’ half-empty smorgasbord of a calendar. Meanwhile over at his desk, brows knitted and shoulders raised, James is fretting to fit two other meetings into his schedule with rising concern for what his week will end up looking like – yet somehow ends up accepting your meeting request.
If you’re ever on the lookout for an example of good intentions gone bad, look no further than your nearest basic course in how to get the most out of Microsoft Outlook. Almost invariably, such courses are replete with productivity faux pas: here are a few gems I’ve collected.
From the moment we wake up, we start doing things – some of which we must, and some of which we want. Brush our teeth. Have breakfast. Go to work, or stay at home. Pave a road, or draft a presentation. There’s a seemingly endless number of things to do – but where do they all come from?
Growth happens outside our comfort zone – or so it’s often said. Personally, I’d rather say it is vastly accelerated, but perhaps the distinction is moot. Regardless, few of us like to think of ourselves as creatures of comfort – because society now dictates that we must continuously challenge ourselves.
According to science, the storage capacity of our brain remains a matter of some debate. Let’s ignore for a moment that the complexity of our brain negates a direct conversion from brains to bytes, and rather focus on how estimates still range from a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) to the petabyte range (1,000 terabytes) – either of which seem to indicate that the brain offers storage space in abundance.
You would think it goes without saying, but forgetting to capture ideas while they are fresh is a rather veritable productivity no-no.
Within the confines our e-mail inboxes, we all rule supreme. Multi-level hierarchies? At our beck and call. Mark as unread? A mere right-click away. Sort by person? A cold stare alone might achieve it. This, of course begs the question: which kind of ruler are you – and how efficient is your style?