Productivity expert Jason W. Womack travels the country with his patented training seminars and executive coaching program. His latest book, “Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More,” includes advice on identifying your own individual ways of learning and maximizing 15-minute blocks of time during the workday.
On your blog you seem to be micro-managing almost every moment of your day. Does that ever cause anxiety?
I have been accused of being a little overproductive. For me, it’s about creating a lifestyle where, if I get more done in shorter amounts of time, I open up windows of time to do anything I want.
What’s the simplest thing an office worker can change to enhance productivity?
Adjust the way they manage their e-mail. There are three kinds of e-mail: stuff they have to think about later, stuff that they’re managing over time and then there are some that are an action they have to take. Most people flag certain e-mail or forward it to themselves to kick it back to the top. But when you send them back to yourself, change the subject lines of your action e-mails to verbs: “Call,” “Review,” “Print.” Then suddenly your inbox becomes a to-do list, not just this random clutter of communication.
What’s something a person can do today to make a positive change in his or her career?
Subscribe to five magazines about something you want to learn about. Buy five books about that same topic, and sign up for five days of conferences. You’re going to get 60 issues of ideas about whatever it is you’re stepping into. The books will let you dive deep into the subject matter, and the conferences will create a social connection with what you’re growing toward. Those three things could set your year up for real growth.