I know virtually nobody these days who doesn’t find themselves overwhelmed at least some of the time. The better we are leading others, the more people want to interact with us. That’s a good problem to have, but it becomes an obstacle if we can’t learn to work more efficiently.
I’m always looking for ways to get better here, and have utilized these three methods recently to help me work smarter. Here’s what I’m doing and where I still struggle.
1) Block email times: For all the wonderful things that email has brought, it also takes huge chucks of our day to process it. There is research showing that every email that interrupts us takes us off task an average of nine minutes. Sitting on email all day isn’t efficient.
What has worked well for me recently is blocking time to process email just a few times a day. Right now, it’s first thing in the morning, the 5pm hour, and late evening after Luke is asleep. I am massively faster when I respond to emails all at once instead of handling them piecemeal throughout the day.
Where I still struggle with this: I’ve spent the better part of 20 years with a email window open on my computer. I still need to close it a lot more.
2) Eat less, more often: Meals are a great time to connect with friends and family and bring tons of joy (dinner is normally that time at our house). However, during the workday I’ve found that large meals can be more of a distraction and energy/time drain than they are worth.
When we moved to our new home last year, I started just doing little snacks throughout the day when working from home instead of large breakfasts and lunches. My energy level stays more consistent and I’m not spending lots of time eating unless it’s really intentional (like meeting a friend or business associate for a meal).
Where I still struggle with this: Starbucks venti iced mochas. Easy ice. Thanks.
3) Work, workout, work: At least once a week, Luke and I go to the gym together. He plays in the kids area while I run and do weights. However, I struggle to find the time to workout the rest of the week.
About six months ago, Bonni and I got FitBits and it’s motivated me to monitor how I keep moving. Since my home office is right by our front door, I’ve taken to walking around the neighborhood when I’m working at home and on long phone calls. The neighbors probably think I’m a crazy phone addict, but I average close to 9,000 steps a day.
Where I still struggle with this: Not running as much as I used to (3-4 miles a week instead of 8-10 previously).
What are you doing that’s helping you work efficiently these days? Share your ideas below so we can all benefit.