Today in productivity news

No matter how you organize it, break it into 15 minutes Pomodoro chunks, GTD it or scientifically manage it, the day still has 24 hours. And because nothing will stretch them, the tricks you need are the ones that make you achieve more in those 24 hours.

So here’s where this interesting post, challenging some of our long-held assumptions, comes into play.

Ideas I’d like to share:

– Differentiate between knowledge workers, i.e. people who work with ideas and must deliver creativity, and technical workers, whose output can be measured in quantifiable units.

– Working more delivers a limited productivity boost, that can be valuable for short term project advancement, but it’s followed by a loss in overall productivity as the team recovers from the effort. Notably, the productivity boost is not commensurate to the added volume of work, i.e. 60 hours work weeks will not produce a 50% increase over 40 hour work weeks.

– Intense pressure and added effort can deliver the opposite effect. More in, more out works for the technical, industrial environments, but is likely to stifle creativity, eloquence, and other knowledge generating pursuits.

– Don’t assume repetitive patterns of effectiveness, meaning that productivity will vary from day to day, and that scheduling based on assumed maximum productivity levels is likely to end in underestimating the time needed to produce good results.

And of course, I can’t write about productivity without harping on multi-tasking: the illusion that we can do several thongs at the same time and still be effective at them. NOT. The brain needs several seconds to  reset, shifting from one activity to the next, and multiple switches as well as interruptions result in loss of time and sometimes, loss of precious ideas as the train of thought is disrupted.

So, with these lessons in mind, here’s to a more productive today.


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