Week 37

Here are some highlights for leading into Week 37 🙂

  • “9 Simple Tips That Will Make Your 1:1 Meetings Way More Productive” by Quora

    The easiest way to communicate to employees that they’re not important is to cancel their 1:1s, no matter what the reason.

  • “The 80/20 Rule: Find And Remove Your Internal Blocks To Improve Productivity” by Emily McIntyre

    Have you heard the folk story of two bricklayers who were asked what they did? The first bricklayer said, “Duh! I’m laying bricks!” and the second looked around at the unfinished structure and smiled, “I’m building a temple.”

    Are you laying bricks or building a temple? Whether you are self-employed or working for a corporation, if you don’t know the reason for your work you are asking for confusion.

  • “9 Simple Tips That Will Make Your 1:1 Meetings Way More Productive” by Quora

    Try to come up with a couple personalized ideas for how the employee could really distinguish herself. Don’t assign these as goals or projects, but mention them as opportunities. See which employees take the bait and go over and above to capitalize on the opportunity, or come up with others on their own. These are the employees that are striving, a key quality in any employee.

  • “Evidence Based Scheduling” by Joel Spolsky

    When I see a schedule measured in days, or even weeks, I know it’s not going to work. You have to break your schedule into very small tasks that can be measured in hours. Nothing longer than 16 hours.

    If you are sloppy, and pick big three-week tasks (e.g., “Implement Ajax photo editor”), then you haven’t thought about what you are going to do. In detail. Step by step. And when you haven’t thought about what you’re going to do, you can’t know how long it will take.

  • “How do I deal with a counterproductive scrum team?” by Stack Exchange: Software Engineering

    If they think dailies are a bad idea, you should not tell them to do dailies and try to punch your reasoning into them. Think for yourself what it is that dailies offer to you. Check with your team whether they value those advantages as well. Find out why they do not share your understanding – as in understanding their point of view, not as in convincing them of anything. Then check whether dailies actually help your team, or if you can achieve more with some other mechanism.

  • “How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate” by Jenny Blake

    Conduct an audit using the six T’s to determine what tasks make the most sense to offload:
    Tiny: Tasks that are so small they seem inconsequential to tackle but they add up. …
    Tedious: Tasks that are relatively simple probably are not the best use of your time. …
    Time-Consuming: Tasks that, although they may be important and even somewhat complex, are time-consuming and do not require you to do the initial 80% of research. …
    Teachable: Tasks that, although complicated-seeming at first and possibly comprising several smaller subtasks, can be translated into a system and passed along, with you still providing quality checks and final approval. …
    Terrible At: Tasks that not only do not fall into your strengths, but an area where you feel unequipped. …
    Time Sensitive: Tasks that are time-sensitive but compete with other priorities; there isn’t enough time to do them all at once, so you delegate an important and time-sensitive task so that it can be done in parallel to your other project-based deadlines.

  • “Most productive people: 6 things they do every day” by Eric Barker

    I try to have the first 80 to 90 minutes of my day vary as little as possible. I think that a routine is necessary to feel in control and non-reactive, which reduces anxiety. It therefore also makes you more productive.

  • “Most productive people: 6 things they do every day” by Eric Barker

    Why is checking email in the morning a cardinal sin? You’re setting yourself up to react.

    An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours.

  • “Most productive people: 6 things they do every day” by Eric Barker

    Focus is a function, first and foremost, of limiting the number of options you give yourself for procrastinating… I think that focus is thought of as this magical ability. It’s not a magical ability. It’s put yourself in a padded room, with the problem that you need to work on, and shut the door. That’s it. The degree to which you can replicate that, and systematize it, is the extent to which you will have focus.

  • “The Myth of Multitasking” by Christine Rosen

    In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”

  • ““Personal kanban”: a life-changing time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking” by Lila MacLellan

    Squeezing more than three items into the “doing” column, on the other hand, likely means you’re taxing your brain and slowing it down.

    Starting but not finishing too many projects puts a person at risk of the so-called Zeigarnik effect, named for Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychiatrist who, in the 1920s, discovered that people are better at remembering unfinished tasks than completed ones. Unfinished items that we’ve left hanging are like cognitive itches.

  • “Productivity advice for the weird” by Ramit Sethi

    People hate hearing the reality of what celebrities eat, because the truth is not sexy. It’s the same for sleep. Because if he can sleep 8 hours and still get a ton done, what does that say about me?

  • “Productivity advice for the weird” by Ramit Sethi

    Your sleep will not be improved with an app. It will be improved with you doing the hard work of digging into the psychological stories you tell yourself about sleep, then setting up a system to drive the behavior of sleeping on time, then honoring it.

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