A few years ago I did something unintentionally that has probably allowed me to be far more productive than I ever thought possible. Seriously, it was the easiest thing ever. It took all of 2 minutes and it’s still paying off 5 years later. Are you ready for this, it could change your life too?
I opened up my calendar and scheduled 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM on Monday and Friday as an appointment called “offsite work.”
Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound as impressive as I led it to be. Here’s the deal with me. I follow my calendar to the letter. Granted, I’m often running late, but I go where my calendar tells me to go when it tells me to be there (yes, someone could play a really good joke on me). If I have an appointment called “offsite work,” well, I’m going to go offsite to work. Usually I’m headed to a coffee shop, Panera or even McDonalds and I crank out a bunch of stuff that needs to get done.
Here’s the beauty, everyone else who tries to schedule appointments with me sees that I’m “unavailable” from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM on those two days. That means I never (okay, rarely) have an appointment then. Yes, that’s six uninterrupted hours every week to focus. That’s about 10% of my week. The Pareto Principle says that 20% of my work yields 80% of my results. That means I’m not checking my email in this productivity sweet spot.
What’s your trick for getting solid and focused productive work done?
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