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3:22 Minutes Of Time-Sucking Productivity Tips For 2012

January 9th, 2012

Just because you’re a reader of this blog, we have a special gift for you: An extra day next month to catch up on things.

OK, OK. Caught us. It’s leap year, so everyone will get that extra day. But hey, if you’d rather use it for fun, then stop doing stuff that only offers the illusion of working.

You know what we’re talking about. Things like checking your email every time that message icon pops up, or dropping what you’re doing to respond. Or actually reading every article on a Reply All list.

Author, business strategist, and consultant Dorie Clark has five suggestions for becoming more productive this year. These aren’t the usual time management yadda, yadda. None of those “finish one task before going on to another” kind of tips. Though, and here is a brief digression, it’s worthwhile to keep those routine efficiency tips in mind. And to actually practice what the experts preach. For instance:

  • Make a daily list of key tasks and check each off when completed.
  • Don’t just sort paperwork; handle it, then file it.
  • Prioritize tasks. Important things first.

No less an authority on work and gens X & Y than Penelope Trunk says most multitasking reduces productivity. So, to be most productive, don’t multitask.

Now, back to Dorie Clark, whose time suck avoidance list reads like a list of secret sins. There’s the “Reading Annoying Things” ban, she proposes after confessing ┬áto having “a dozen newspaper and magazine subscriptions, the result of alluring specials ($10 for an entire year!) and the compulsion not to miss out on crucial information.”

For your amusement, here’s a time wasting video addressing the very point Clark makes.

Her list (blogged on the Harvard Business Review, no less) provides ammunition to ignore “Mindless Traditions” and to eschew doing “Work That’s Not Worth It.”

Sure, it’s hard to break old habits, which is what makes taking Clark’s suggestion a good workplace resolution.

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