Today I’m proposing that we all take about 30 minutes and set ourselves up for a refreshing, guilt-free long 4th of July weekend. (For our friends outside the United States, please join us, this 5-step exercise is good for everyone).
Let’s clear the decks.
Physical objects laying around the workspace, catching dust, inhibit your productivity.
Mental objects can be clutter too. Those un-captured ideas, multiple to-do lists, and procrastinated tasks all weigh you down.
1. Physical Space
Set a timer for 10 minutes. File and put away everything that’s on your physical workspace or desk. Then dust it. Here’s a great office organizing video that might help:
2. To Do Lists
Choose a single, centralized spot for all tasks, and consolidate to that list (I see your sticky note on the side of the laptop screen…get rid of that right now). Throw away the random scraps of paper, delete the multiple Notes in your iPhone, and put all of your outstanding tasks in a single place. It could be a legal pad, an Evernote notebook, or an application like TeuxDeux, but you can only choose one.
3. Email In-box
Go to the oldest 3 emails in your in-box and deal with them. If dealing with them means deleting them, then so be it. Go hard core. And if you’re inspired to really get control over your technological life, check out WorkHacks, the super-useful new resource from the “digital girl” herself, Julia Roy.
Now pick up your phone. Do you have any nagging voicemails messages? If you have any phone calls you need to return, return them right now. If it’s an unsolicited call you’ve been hanging on to for no reason, delete it.
5. Planning for Success
Are you coming back to work on July 6? Take 10 minutes and plan your productive day. Assign a few tasks so that you don’t have to spin your wheels when you return.
Now commit to yourself that you will use the long weekend to unplug, decompress, and breathe some fresh air.
Play, laugh, grill, and give your family the gift of your undivided attention.