The pace has all of a sudden advanced to light speed. Your ‘to do’ pile just doesn’t seem to shrinking fast enough. Yet more work comes your way. Welcome to the annual pre-holiday frenzy. Fun right? Thought not. It’s that special time of year when getting stuff done so you can actually relax over the holidays, becomes paramount. Here’s how you can do just that.
Like many others, I start each day with my to-do list. It’s difficult sticking to it though with emails, phone interuptions, texts and all the other distractions…particularly at this time of year when everyone seems to need stuff done before the holidays. It doesn’t take long before I’m off track and by day’s end am left wondering how it was that I was so darn busy yet didn’t knock much off my to-do list. Know the frustration?
This all changed a few weeks back after reading Dan Pink’s blog on The Power of an Hourly Beep. In it he interviews productivity expert Peter Bregman and the tools Peter offers are deceptively simple yet incredibly powerful. Here’s how it all works:
Begin by setting hourly beeps. Each hour when your watch, computer or phone beeps, stop whatever you’re doing and ask yourself two questions:
1. Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now?
2. Am I being who I most want to be right now?
Like Peter, when I first considered this, I thought that this would be in and of itself, pretty disruptive. But, in fact, these one-15-second-every-hour interruptions proved incredibly effective. They constantly brought me back to doing what, and being who I needed to be to make it a successful day. This happened so quickly and powerfully for me that I was blown away by how much more productive I became.
So, in this lead up to your holiday break, give this strategy a try. In fact, use it all the time to create a powerful new habit that allows you to do more in less time. For me, it has made the difference between ending the day feeling frustrated that I didn’t get enough priority stuff done and ending it satisfied that I had. Perhaps it could do the same for you.
Here’s to a clean break from work over the Holidays!