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One thing at a Time

This is a natural follow up to my post last week, Focus on FocusTony Schwartz‘s post on the Harvard Business Review blog challenges the common practice of multitasking and claims that we are more effective and efficient when we focus. Schwartz estimates we a task takes an average of 25% more time when we divide our attention and the drain on our energy levels are even more costly.  Schwartz offers suggestions for both managers and individual contributors:

For managers:

  1. Maintain meeting discipline.
  2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day.
  3. Encourage renewal.

For individual contributors:

  1. Do the most important thing first in the morning.
  2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically.
  3. Take real and regular vacations.

Focus on Focus

Harvard Business Review wordmark

Harvard Business Review wordmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, has written two outstanding articles for Harvard Business Review | HBR.org which focus on, well. . . focus.  New professionals and CEOs will benefit alike.  After implementing these habits, you will gain laser-like focus in as little as 10 minutes per day.

In Two Lists You Should Look At Every Morning, Bregman recommends creating two lists: 1) Your Focus List; and 2) Your Ignore List and reviewing them every morning.  These are not to do lists, but rather major areas of focus for your life and serve as a guide when deciding how you spend your time each day– “because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can’t work 25/8” as Bregman notes.

In The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day, Bregman recommends reserving Read more

Why I Emptied my Email Inbox?

For 2012, I resolved to keep my email inbox empty.  You might ask, “Why would anyone consider taking on such a challenge?”

The reason is simple: I feel like I have been losing the battle with my email . . . and it doesn’t seem to be getting better and there is data to support this uneasy feeling.  According to The Radicati Group’s Survey: Corporate Email, 2011-2012:

The number of emails sent per day continues to increase, despite growing use of social networking and instant messaging. In 2010 users were receiving an average of 72 emails per day, and sending an average of 33 emails per day.

The data is alarming, but what is more concerning is Read more