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Last week, as part of the HMA Book Club, I presented my thoughts on The Harvard Business Review’s Guide to Getting the Right Work Done.

The thing is – I learned too much for simply one blog post!

So, here are some additional nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from the book.  (First batch of goodies are here in case you missed them).

  • Approach work as a series of short sprints – not a marathon.
  • At our best, our minds are really dumb computers – meaning we are not meant to keep long lists; run 50 programs simultaneously; keep going 24 hours a day, et al
  • Never work more than 90 minutes straight at 100 miles an hour. Not only are you a dumb computer, you are a gas-guzzling SUV that needs to re-fuel constantly with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual “gasses.”
  • Keep lists – not in your brain or on a computer. Write them down with a pen/pencil as it activates our mind in an old-fashioned, get ‘er done sort of way
  • Give yourself permission to mess up – focus on getting better/not just being good/the best
  • Nothing interferes with productivity more than anxiety. Nothing!
  • It’s not okay to simply throw your hands up and exclaim you are a procrastinator, like that makes everything fine.
  • Involve others – share in the worry/solution.
  • Involve people early and often. They won’t care unless you give them a chance.
  • You will not finish things you do not give a due date.
  • People who allow themselves to become distracted – particularly by email and phone calls – saw a drop of 10 points in their IQs while at work, which is more than twice the impact than smoking a joint in the office.
  • Develop rituals and do them at the same time each day. Best example is waking up at the same time every single day, no matter what. (And yes, you can have a nap later).
  • Don’t always let the monkey jump on your back! Empower team to handle some of their own monkeys and help along the way – and ensure they have the ability and desire to do so.
  • Reward yourself for doing dreaded tasks in one of the following ways:
    • Regenerative – doing something that makes your mind and body feel good like stretching, taking yourself out to lunch, et al
    • Productive – move your meeting to a great lunch spot, cleaning your desk
    • Concurrent – rewarding yourself while doing the task because it is just so boring and awful like organizing your Outlook while watching your favorite TV show
    • Cumulative – create a rewards points system and reward yourself into that system accordingly. A great example would be using iTunes, re-loading a gift card, et al
Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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