Work in bursts to maximize productivity

 

Pierre Khawand says that optimizing productivity depends on working in bursts.
Pierre Khawand says that optimizing productivity depends on working in bursts.

Some days, you feel like you got nothing done at work. It’s not uncommon: The email inbox grows, an instant messages pop up and colleagues interrupt your workflow. Productivity consultant and author of “The Accomplishing More With Less Workbook” Pierre Khawand says: “When we are working a few minutes here and a few minutes there, we are staying at the superficial level and not getting deep into anything.” Here are his strategies for digging in deeper to get more work done.

JOB_ProductivityGraph_0401

How can people reach their level of optimal productivity?

The first element has to do with how results change with time when we are working on a task. When we start to work on the task, we get results. But at some point, the results level off and then diminish, because either we get mentally tired and are no longer productive, or we need someone else to do their part before we can continue. This is all good in theory, but what happens in reality is that a few minutes after we start to work on a task, we get interrupted. When we get interrupted, our results go down to zero — this happens again and again, and again. It’s part of life in today’s work environment.

So how do we stay on task?

A key element is starting the day by identifying what we intend to accomplish that day and ending the day with a reconciliation process. That ensures that we close the loops on open issues. Instead of starting the day with e-mail, we should stop for a minute or two to reflect on what is important and what we want to accomplish. Then, put it in writing.

The idea is that we need to stay focused long enough so that we can achieve in-depth thinking, creative problem solving and get meaningful things done. Depending on the task, it can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes or several hours. Once we have accomplished something meaningful, it is time to stop our “focused” session, and switch to being collaborative — handle email, phone calls, have live discussions. This is the collaborative work where we get the most of our team productivity and equally important results. After the collaborative session, it is time to take a break — do something that gets us re-energized and ready for the next focused session. No significant productivity gains, and therefore no significant accomplishments, can be achieved if we don’t optimize our workflow by recognizing the concepts described above: focus, collaborate, then play!

Burst out:

Working in bursts manages tasks, interruptions and energy. It makes you feel invigorated and accomplished as a result.

  • Alternate between focus, collaboration and play.
  • Be intensely and wholeheartedly in each burst. That’s what the “burst” label is for — to maximize output.
  • Each burst should build toward and enhance the next burst.

For more tips and information, see here.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…