It’s important to feel productive and useful. However, many erroneously associate “productive” with “busy.” The image of an office worker who can simultaneously handle a phone call, fire off an email and staple the new cover to his TPS Report is enviable. “Multi-tasking” is a buzzword which suggests a peak state. We should all be so busy, so motivated, so … productive.
He’s getting things done for sure. But I’d argue that the most productive part of my week is when I appear to be doing the least.
Each Sunday morning I sit at my desk with my notebook and pencil. Rdio plays my Weekly Review Playlist while a cup of hot tea silently lets off steam. My computer is off. Nothing is printing, beeping or chirping. It’s my favorite part of the work week, and I’m sharing it with you here, including a Rdio playlist of my weekly review music. Enjoy!
Each of my open projects has a folder in my Support drawer, and each folder contains a project overview sheet, which lists the overall goal and all action steps that must be completed before I can mark the project “done.”
I’ll pick the action steps I want to accomplish during the upcoming week and move them to my notebook, and cross off the steps I completed during the past week. I repeat this process for each folder, and when I close the last one, I’m done.
If any items I’ve delegated remain unfinished, I make a note to contact the appropriate person on Monday.
What’s in the inbox?
Once I’m finished reviewing my projects, I review my inboxes, with are
- My notebook It never leaves my side and captures all the verbal requests I receive, things I hear on the radio, etc.
- Email I go through all my messages one at a time, decide what needs to be done (if anything) and act accordingly.
- Voicemail A necessary evil (for now!).
- Physical inbox Handouts from my daughter’s preschool, paper mail, etc. are piled in my plastic inbox during the week. Each is processed in turn and an action step (if any) is moved to my notebook.
At this point, I’ve done several things. First, I know where I stand on all of my open projects. That’s a tremendous feeling.
I’ve identified my goals for the week. I’m the kind of person who likes to be told, “Here’s a list of exactly what I need you to do.” This way, I give myself such a list.
Finally, I’ve crossed off many completed actions. That’s an even better feeling.
As a special thank-you to all my readers, I’m sharing my Weekly Review Playlist via Rdio. I hope you enjoy it. I’ve also enabled collaboration on this playlist, so if you’re a Rdio user, feel free to add your own tracks! I’ll love to year what you listen to while working quietly at your desk.
Now, turn off your computer, find a quiet place, make a lovely cup of tea and experience the most productive two hours of your week. The tracks are:
- My Only Swerving – El Ten Eleven
- What Are You Asking Me? – James Newton Howard
- Drive! – Rolfe Kent
- Los Olivos – Rolfe Kent
- Picnic – Rolfe Kent
- Demon Host – Timber Timbre
- No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
- The Thief – Jeremy Larson
- Jezebel – Iron & Wine
- Rise Up With Fists!! – Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins