Let me start with a disclaimer: I love Michael Hyatt’s blog. There is rarely a week that goes by that I don’t recommend it to someone and I could (almost) write a corresponding blog post for each and every one of his. For those of you that don’t recognize his name, Mr. Hyatt is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world.
Mr. Hyatt recently re-posted an article entitled “How to Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week”, which really struck a chord with me (especially since I said goodbye to the 40-hour work week a long time ago). I agree that the premise of The 4-Hour Work Week promoted by Timothy Ferriss probably isn’t reasonable but we can all use some short cuts to be more productive (I also found Getting Things Done a bit too self-helpish for me).
After reading his post, here’s what I’ve committed to:
- I will engage in a weekly preview at 8:00 AM on Monday mornings (Eventually I’d like to move this to Sunday evenings but I’m just not there yet).
- I will engage in a weekly review at 4:30 PM on Friday afternoons.
- I will be proactive about scheduling time to get my work done, including specific times to tasks in Outlook.
- I will limit my time spent with Google Reader to one 30-minute block of time from 4:00-4:30 PM each weekday.
- I will do easy (or quick) tasks immediately to avoid touching them more than once.
Many (if not all) of these items have already been committed to my Outlook calendar and synced to my iPhone in an effort to keep me honest and we’ll see how successful I can be. I am confident, however, that even applying a few of Mr. Hyatt’s thoughts on a consistent basis will help me to be more productive.
On a personal note, I really struggle with the idea of cultivating a habit of non-finishing, especially when it comes to books. I’m an avid reader that averages 3-4 books a month from a variety of genres and on a myriad of topics. I understand that all books are not created equally and that some aren’t worth reading but how can you ever be sure that one is not worth finishing? What if the most relevant thought to you is found in the next-to-last chapter?
Do you have any other tricks or habits that have helped you be more productive and work less? If so, please pass them along.