In today’s increasingly busy work environment where (admittedly) more is expected and (unfortunately) we have the same number of hours, Scott Hanselman has some great suggestions for scaling yourself. I saw him speak in a quick and efficient 15-minute session on productivity at SXSW last week. If you were following our tweets and SXSW blog, you may have seen our team geeking out over him and his session. It was a little difficult at times to keep up with every word he was saying, but for those of you that missed his insightful words of wisdom, the gist of it was that the interruptions in our life are useless, and it is important to only focus on what is necessary and moves us towards our goals.
Essentially, with every activity we do in our workday, Hanselman wants us to consider if that task is helping us advance to what we need to be achieving. Now, for myself, I do find that a 5-minute Buzzfeed quiz is actually very helpful; I know that to take a break between editing a document the 14th and 15th time is actually essential to making sure that I clear my mind between versions, and I am then able to completely refocus a few moments later when I come back to it. However, I know that I can get totally lost in Pinterest; it is all consuming and can capture my attention for hours at a time without me realizing it. So knowing this, I have to stay away during the workday. I think this realization would make Hanselman proud.
Another recommendation that Hanselman made, one that I am not 100% sure I can get behind, was to wait until lunch to reply to any morning emails. He says that if we can achieve three things that we set out to do each day before lunch, we will feel more successful in our lives overall. And by responding to emails, we immediately get sucked into the grind and get away from our goals for the day. I can completely see where he is coming from with this piece of advice, but cannot imagine that feeling of seeing my inbox pile up and not responding. That’s definitely my own anxiety to overcome.
Overall, I enjoyed Hanselman’s talk: his reminder that there is really no such thing as a busy season, that re-stacking the pile doesn’t actually help you remember to do it on time, and while it sounds obvious, a great reminder: the less you do, the more of it you can do.
SXSW is an awesome experience for inspiration, education and a chance to work ON the business versus IN the business. This opportunity for personal development, networking, fascinating conversations with industry leaders, and of course, team bonding, comes once a year and we are already counting down the days until SXSW 2015.
Written by: Allie Danziger