Get more work done hiding

Find a place to hide. Book a conference room for an hour and get the real work done where no one can interrupt you.

Sound like a joke? It’s not. Professor Sune Carlsson did a study of how CEO’s get things done. What did the research show? None of them could work longer than 20 minutes without an interruption.

So how did they accomplish things without distraction? They worked for 90 minutes at home before coming into the office.

Source: This Is How To Be Productive: 5 New Secrets Proven By Research

Link: Hacking Your To Do List with Your Calendar

Explained like this, this makes a lot a sense:

“When accepting a task, this philosophy proposes immediately allocating time in the calendar to accomplish it. Consider the due date, the time required, and the relative importance. Then book the slot…. This extra step reinforces the rigid time constraint immediately, not later when I’m staring at a lengthy to-do list and wondering where to begin. Each yes to a commitment is an implicit no to another. The calendar visualizes the tradeoff of each potential yes, making explicit the commitment to a task.”

Source: Hacking Your To Do List with Your Calendar

Creative People Say No


Kevin Ashton:

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

I love and agree with everything about this post.

Hey, it’s pretty good framing. It’s like the old programmer saw about how much interruption actually take – 2-3x the time spent in the interruption because you have to get back into “flow.”

I spent a lot of time saying “no” the past week (mostly the email and my own desires to distract myself with meta-work), and ended up writing 5 or so reports. It worked out well.

There’s a whole concept of that “meta-work” that needs to be explored: it’s “meetings,” analyzing team performance in spreadsheets and KPIs, dreaming up marketing support, etc. Stuff that isn’t core production. Once you master avoiding goofing off and get yourself some sort of GTD system in place, that meta-work is the next friendly assassin to watch out for.

Creative People Say No