Inbox zero is a myth, an urban legend relayed by merry pranksters who want you to go crazy trying to respond to every email you ever receive. At least that’s how I feel.
You might be rocking headphones while you read this—but does what’s playing make you better at your job?
These tips will help you figure out how to put your qualms about summer productivity levels to rest.
To many, the concept Summer Fridays—a half day or day off every week during vacation season—seems more myth than reality.
Instead of leaving work early on a Friday, we often spend more time chained to our desks, struggling to come up with new ways to keep our productivity up, turning the so-called summer slow-down into a time just as busy as any other.
But what if the solution to lower summer productivity levels is more time off? How could this possibly make sense?
Well, we asked a number of bosses for their thoughts on implementing a Summer Friday policy, and what they had to say may surprise you.
10PM to 7AM: sleep. 9AM to 5PM: be a genius.
Even Beethoven and Balzac had just 24 hours in a day. How did history’s most prolific minds schedule their greatness?
“Everyone knows that multitasking doesn’t work. It’s inefficient, and stunts creativity, productivity, and emotional intelligence. Yet, we all do it—I have seven tabs open right now, and the task bar looks pretty roomy to me. Fast Company has offered its readers various "monotasking" hacks, but Tabless Thursday might be the most accessible step in the right direction for a happier, more productive you. Here’s a useful guide to joining the movement.”
“I thought walking outside would blow everything out of the water but walking on a treadmill in a small, boring room still had strong results, which surprised me.”
Amid all the talk of inbox zero, there are actually advocates for engineering email inundation into your work flow. If it’s time to embrace the bloated inbox, read on.
MORE BRAIN SPACE FOR OTHER THINGS
For Mazur and Cerulo, their inboxes serve the same function as a master to-do list. Cataloging tasks in one easily searchable place opens up bandwidth for other things. “We don’t waste brain space trying to remember if this got done, or losing sleep about some little thing that the other one may have taken care of, or bugging each other about scheduling nonsense,” said Cerulo.
[Image: Flickr user Terry Johnston]
Author Brigid Schulte says companies should stop rewarding overworked employees and focus on productivity instead.
At one company, staying late at the office is actually viewed as a sign of inefficiency and can result in dismissal. “[This company says] if you cannot figure out how to do your job in 40 hours, we will fire you.”
“Repetitive lateness is more often related to personality characteristics such as anxiety or a penchant for thrill-seeking. Some people are drawn to the adrenaline rush of that last-minute sprint to the finish line, while others receive an ego boost from over-scheduling and filling each moment with activity.”
"While I’ve tried different online to-do lists, I cannot work off of a to-do list that isn’t written or typed. The delete button will never give you the kicks that crossing off tasks will give you.”
Daniel Boulud talks of opening a restaurant for the day like he’s asking the sun to rise. “How can we make the day different, every day?” he asks himself and his staff. “By having a good creative meeting, a good goal to set.” Short, productive meetings are the order.
Getting up early is a real chore for many—especially when it doesn’t come naturally. Set your alarm earlier, and you may be surprised at how easily…
Are you thinking of that first sip of coffee before your feet hit the floor? You might be overriding your body’s natural waking process.
Happy Friday! Today, do the hardest things on your list first.
Getting lost in email or mindless tasks can suck away much of your energy. It’s also a great way to avoid tackling the tough projects. But ultimately, when you’re not focusing your greatest energy on your most important tasks, you’re wasting it. He’s a big proponent of doing the most challenging,most important things first-thing in the morning when you’re rested and less prone to distraction.