Day 334: I did. Did you?

Yesterday, I talked about a productivity tip I was going to try. The concept was to set my stopwatch on my phone for 90 minutes, and then take a 15-minute break. By repeating that cycle, over and over again, we’re supposed to be more productive.

Did anyone else try it today?

I sorta’ tried it today. Sorta’, because I didn’t use my stopwatch literally, but my day was broken up by about 90-minute increments due to meetings, so I thought I could try to do it because of forced appointments throughout the day. The first part of my day is usually spent talking with my team about what projects they’re on. I often do that before I go to my office. That helps me know what timeframes I have and what the priorities are for my team. Often they get asked directly to help on projects, which works out well, as long as those projects can be intertwined with the other things we have scheduled to get done, and it just means that I don’t always know what they’re working on.

By the time I got to my desk today, I had about 90 minutes before lunch. I decided to get my inbox cleaned out. My inbox serves as a to-do list. By answering requests and providing the materials that were needed, it did take about 90 minutes. So I ran and got my salad, and used my lunch time to do a couple of errands. A good break.

After lunch, I didn’t fare so well. It seemed like in the next 90-minute segment, that I kept getting interrupted every few minutes by people dropping by and by phone calls. The interruptions were good ones, and I did get stuff done, but it wasn’t one block of time…it was spurts. I didn’t feel as productive, but in hindsight, it was probably better than I thought.

Next, I had a short meeting on the 6th floor, so I walked down there, and chatted with a few people along the way that I hadn’t seen in a while. It was a good distraction for my mind, so when we started our meeting, I felt fairly focused. It was over in less than 30 minutes, so I thought I would have a better block of time at the end of the day to prepare for our budget meeting at the end of the week. Funny thing is, I started researching some products I wanted to budget for and I ended up chasing a rabbit down the hole. I found what I wanted, but I didn’t get much ready for Friday.

Today’s experiment wasn’t as effective as I hoped it would be, but I’m not done trying it out. Tomorrow looks a lot like today, in terms of the calendar is concerned, so I’ll try again. Maybe this time, I’ll follow the instructions better.

DAY 334 HOMEWORK: I’d love to hear if you tried this experiment, and if it worked for you. Can you think of other things that might work better for you? Please share!

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