Counter-productive

So speaking of advice, there is no shortage of articles, blog posts, or e-newsletters being circulated with advice on how to be more productive at work. Like here and here.

For the record, I think most of it is highly repetitive and common-sense, but good. With exception to this one which actually recommends procrastinating, working less and giving up.

One of the more interesting suggestions is to find out at which times during the day you are most efficient and try to schedule appropriate work accordingly. I agree with this concept because I definitely have my prime times for focusing and being creative and my ideal times for just getting shit done.

The issue is that my prime times don’t exactly jive with the regular work schedule.

Like today. It’s Sunday morning at 7am and I would tag this time as one of my most productive. Assuming that I had a quiet Saturday night (which is practically a given), and that I’ve had a decent sleep, I wake up early and ready to go. I’m ready to take on work assignments that I’ve been putting to the side, read articles that I’ve been meaning too, catch up on blogs, write posts, and get organized for the upcoming week.

Those few hours (if I’m lucky) are gold.

Now, fast forward to mid-morning on Tuesday. Oh sure I’m working, but at full capacity? No. It’s a good time to handle those not-so-challenging items on my desk. Like organizing my pencil drawer. Or filing. Or screening CVs.

You know what would be cool? If I could trade out blocks of time. I could then say, I will work on Sunday mornings, but take Tuesday mornings off. Or how about declining a meeting invitation because the timing sucks. You know you are not going to be able to focus on anything other than the doodles you make on your note pad.

Le sigh.

So beyond trying to convincing my company to accommodate my schedule, I would also have to try to convince my family and colleagues to adopt a similar system. Or at least revolve theirs around mine. Which, for the record, I can’t believe they aren’t already doing this.

My most productive blog writing time happens when my husband is working nights (or sleeping in on Sundays). I find it easier to focus and spend the time when he isn’t here. Yes, I’m calling him out as being a distraction, but in a good way…when you have a shift-work household, time together is limited and so we both protect it. Fiercely. And that means even from my blogging.

For the past few weeks he has been off night shifts and while it’s great to have him on a more “regular” schedule – it’s seriously affecting my blogging mojo.

So what’s a gal to do?

I believe the word is adapt. Or as I like to say to my kids (and some employees), “suck it up”.

Oh I will continue to dream of and work towards my Utopian vision of an open concept work schedule where you get things done, regardless of when or where. But until that time, I need to take advantage of these pockets of productive time when they pop up and give people fair warning during my down times and defer when I can.

Because two other key aspects of being productive are communication and managing expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Counter-productive

  1. Pingback: Best Blogs 24 Jan 2014 | ChristopherinHR

  2. Pingback: Plagiarizing is the sincerest form of flattery | Accidental HR

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