I’ve read a lot of books on productivity and getting more done. Check out the NOTES section below for some interesting resources that will help.
What I decided to do when I moved last week was test my theory about productivity. If I gave the three guys who were moving us pizza, hinted at a good tip for a job well done, and took a break between moving houses, would they be more productive?
This might seem counterproductive to you, especially knowing I was paying them by the hour. So it’d make sense to make them push through cuz why would I want to pay for them to take a break for lunch that I bought for them?
Well, something interesting happened. The house we were moving from was two stories. AND, the new house we were moving to was only one story… So there was a lot of heavy lifting up and down the stairs to pack the moving truck.
When the movers started working and packing the truck, I told them there was a tip and some pizza involved if they kept up this momentum and did a job well done. (Check out the pictures below – the moving truck at our old house and the dog using the stack of boxes as a nice place to rest her head.)
They got the truck loaded in 3 hrs. Then we head over across town to the new house. Once they got there – pizza was waiting. We told them to eat up and take a break. So they grabbed some slices and went outside in the front yard in the sun to rest.
They didn’t take that long of a break, and we didn’t have to go after them to start again. They were satiated, rested, and motivated to empty the truck and get it done.
They were able to finish in 2 hours! (Yeah, it is easier to unload than load, yet they did have to put several things back together.)
When we sat down with the main guy and went over our bill, he said we were one of the best customers as far as having everything ready and packed. It made their job much more manageable. And the bill was a lot less too. This was the least amount of money I’d ever spent on a move, and this was a four-bedroom house!
We went out to the truck and gave each guy a nice tip when we were done. They left really happy. Once they were gone (Why does that always happen?!), we realized the legs of our ottoman were still in their truck. They turned around and came right back to get them to us.
This wasn’t necessarily a scientific test. Yet, in our book, it worked! They did a wonderful job, had terrific attitudes, and were very polite.
So if you’re ever struggling with finishing or starting something, step away from your desk and simply take a break. Shake things up, go for a walk, pick up a book, get a coffee or tea – do something different so that when you get back to your desk, you will have a fresh perspective and will probably get a lot more done in less time.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, yet, it really does work.
When I was struggling with writing a sales page for a client, I had to do a lot of research. Then when it came time to write it, nothing came. So I took a break, went outside, sat, and read for a bit.
Then, when I returned to my desk, I finished the sales page in less than an hour!
I hope this inspires you.
Some other tidbits –
- Phone Notifications – I turn off ALL notifications on my iPhone except for iMessages, and phone calls. This saves me tons of time – talk about distractions, especially when writing… If that phone dinged all the time with news and more notifications, I’d never get ANYTHING done. (Plus, I never answer my phone unless it’s a scheduled call.)
- Evernote – I keep ALL my notes in there. I can put graphics, websites, Google Docs links, and more. I love it because it’s automatically synced to their cloud, and I can access my notes on ANY device. The searching capability is pretty amazing too.
- Emails – I only look at emails first thing in the morning and at the end of my workday.
- Productivity Secret that Will Change Your Life – I use the Ivy Lee 6 Method for mapping out my essential six productivity tasks for each workday.
Toiling away and staring at a blank screen, or worse, not taking a break for several hours, will contribute to being less productive.
Breaks are good!
Happy President’s Day Weekend – February is flying by – Have you done your goals for the year yet? I can help. 😉 Go to the “about” page and send me a note. I’m here for you!
NOTE 1: Remember to revisit any blog post topic you may have missed.
NOTES 2: Resources –
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Getting Things Done The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
No BS Time Management by Dan Kennedy
The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
Online Project Management Tools
Clickup.com (I’ve tried them all and really like this one the best.)