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Showing posts from September, 2013

Underschedule

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Work should be a mix of car and train, I wrote recently. But how do you make sure your work has the ‘car’ element, when you don’t travel by car?

I recently read this interesting article in which the big boss of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, explains how he makes time to listen and think. He basically underschedules. He deliberately has fixed time slots in which he has no meetings. These time slots are for walking around, talking to people and listening to them, sitting back and thinking everything through.

This is interesting. I’ve written about the concept of ‘slack’ before and how important it is for work in general and collaboration and networking (platforms) specifically. It’s important to me personally as well. I find I really need time throughout the week to restructure things in my head, generate some creative ideas for my clients, write things down for a blogpost or just to document things.

But I also know that in the society we live in ‘time is money’. ‘Billable hours’ are importan…

Work as a mix of car and train

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Recently I had to travel to Brussels several times. That’s a 2-3 hour drive by car or train from the city I live in. I usually travel by train. But with our little baby popping up any day I thought it would be best to take the car.
The great thing about commuting by car is that it takes me from the front-door of my house to the front-door of my client. But that’s about it. I have to sit in the car for a long time and do practically nothing. It gets even worse when the commute is prolonged by 1+ hour because of traffic jams.
This got me wondering about commuting and productivity. The great thing about traveling by train is I can do things. I can read, work on documents and presentations, make some calls, etc. It costs me some extra travel time, but the work I can get done makes up for it. (Of course, there are environmental reasons to mention here as well, but I’ll leave them out of the post for now.) On the other had, what I hardly do in the train is sit back and think. Or listen to …

Not everything is a task

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To me ‘Productivity’ is an interesting topic. There was a time that I was desperately looking for ways to be (more) productive. How do I manage my work as a knowledge worker? At the beginning of my working life I found I had a hard time structuring my work, showing progress, etc. I also found I was given little tools during university to help me be productive in my work life. I knew how to make sure I passed exams, but working on an open project with vague goals…?

What really helped me was David Allen’s book ‘Getting things done’. I love this book. His methodology gave me all the tools I need to get things done.

I still am a sucker for productivity tips and tools. And I’ll share things I find on productivity regularly.

As you know Allen’s advice is to make a task out of everything you need to get done. When you’ve captured your tasks, there’s room for flow. And this is true, it works for me.

But I have been wondering for years now: what’s the true productivity gain? Capturing and doing t…