I recently discovered Eric Barker’s blog site, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, after one of his
posts was shared on Facebook. The title of the post that caught my interest was
My first question to myself was – “How productive am I, really?” I clicked on the post and started to read. Here is my personal assessment:
1. Well, I have learned how to manage my mood on a day-to-day basis. Today, I took the “long” route to work along the Potomac to watch the sunlight sparkle on the water and the summer breeze blow through the trees. A delightful detour that only took an extra 10 minutes. Did my mood shift? Absolutely!
2. Over the past year, I have moved myself away from morning emails. I peek if I am expecting an appointment confirmation but that’s about it. I don’t actually open the emails, I just look at the header on my home screen of my iPhone, which is much less engaging and less stressful. I read the paper version of the Washington Post instead.
3. Do I do too many things? Well, yeah. I am a bit of a workaholic. I have learned that my ideas don’t always have to be carried out by me, so I have a support team to help me do the tasks I don’t do well or that take me away from the focus of my core work. The next step is to stop checking emails during the day when I am working on worthy projects.
4. My distractions are emails and phone calls. As I mentioned above, I am backing off of the “Speedy Gonzales” method of answering emails and phone calls in order to stick with my priorities. Not easy, so I recommend you wean yourself off of these habits slowly.
5. I have personal systems and a schedule that works for me when, and only when, I remind myself that my systems are there for ME to use, not ignore. Superwoman does not exist and a few deep breathes help me to stay with the plan.
6. Defining one’s goals the night before is a great idea. I like to define my week and month and review the next day before I leave the office and shift into my not-at-work persona. That is tough for me because Superwoman did not have a phone booth like Superman so I can’t change in private. Often I have trouble shifting when I first arrive home. One reason is that I love my work and the other is that when greeted by family (humans and pets), I don’t always have transition time.
My request for you is to consider the points in this article and take stock of your work/life balance, productivity and level of self-satisfaction. What works for you and what are you willing to change?