I recently finished reading The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey and this quote early on at the book really jumped out at me:
“Productivity isn’t about doing more things, it’s about doing the right things.”
How many times have we all found ourselves doing something that’s of very low impact because we get sucked into it or because “it just popped up”. And I don’t mean “wasting time on social media”, I’m talking about defocusing from productive work to immediately respond to emails, getting interrupted by co-workers mid productivity zone, or working on the easy repeatable tasks instead of tackling the tough ones.
In my role as CEO of BrightGauge I find this happens to me quite often because I split my time between “strategic CEO” doing things like planning out our goals for the year and “tactical VP Marketing” planning the content for an upcoming webinar or writing a blog post.
Being deliberate about my time is a focus of mine this year and to start I have been very mindful to structure my days/weeks around my productivity zones. I’ve now moved my weekly schedule to as follows:
Monday (Planning) – I plan for the week in the morning and then meet with my team for our weekly standup at 11:00am. The afternoon is all one on ones with each of my teams to discuss any issues that are blocking them from their work and game plan for the upcoming week.
Tuesday (Tactical) – Inevitably after a few hours of planning, and 4 intense team meetings there are a lot of to dos that come from that. Tuesday is my catch up day to capture all those to dos and make sure they get prioritized and then properly assigned out, many times ending on my plate.
Wednesday (Strategic) – The middle of the week is my strategic time, my team is set with their work and priorities, I have already followed up with all the meeting to dos, so now I can focus on being strategic. Wednesday is when I do most of my deep thinking, my writing and I meet with my brother to talk about BrightGauge. This is an off site day, so I work from home and meet with my brother out of the office.
Thursday (Tactical) – In the morning I focus on tactical tasks that I need to get done for my team like reviewing content for our blog, reviewing customer projects, recording podcasts, etc. Then I spend the afternoon meeting with the team from our sister company, Compuquip Technologies, which is a fast growing IT Security company I am also responsible.
Friday (Casual & Catch Up) – Fridays I tend to leave flexible because if it’s an intense week I’m usually mentally wiped out or I can use it to catch up on something that may have slipped through the prior days.
This was a conscious change for me in planning my weeks in 2016, I’m only 3 weeks into the new schedule but I’m already seeing the benefits.