Archives For Productivity

Remember to rest!

Michelle George —  January 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take a few days off to spend with the kids and to recharge a little before the year gets back into full swing.  The lovely people over at posted the following infographic as a reminder that a series of little breaks throughout the day are great for your health and for productivity…it’s American focussed…but I reckon it translates pretty well to Aussie workplaces, and I’ll be trying to get into some better working habits this year! I have a tendency to get busy and work through without breaks and then wonder why I conk out at night. :( Do you consciously include breaks into your workday? How to you make it work?
Take a Break!

53-2012 // 2012 review 3




Over the years my friend Mike Rohde has become known as the father of sketchnoting - an innovative method of taking notes that allows you to capture your thinking visually rather than as slabs of monotonous text – and he has just released his first book to share his secrets with the world.

When Mike asked me to be a part of his book project a couple of months ago, along with a bunch of other super talented sketchnoters from around the globe, I jumped at the chance (who wouldn’t?) !  I set to scribbling down my ideas immediately! I was *so* excited!

Those of you who follow my Facebook page will have seen snippets of what I called “the sekrit project” …the picture above is the fruit of my labour

I can’t wait to get a copy of the book and get a close up look at Mike’s work, and the work of the other sketchnoters!

 Want to know more? Want to buy a copy? Click HERE.

So…how are the headaches? Started thinking about the year ahead yet? Sworn of food and beer? Nah…didn’t think so :)

I’ve decided that I’m taking a completely different approach to planning my year this time round.

Last year I did an experiment where I plotted out about 25-30 concrete goals in a number of defined areas of my life and listed a series of to do items in order to complete the goals. In terms of getting things done it was pretty successful…I think I hit approximately 85% of the goals, which isn’t too bad considering quite a few of them were outside of my control. The problem that I encountered was the amount of administrative overhead involved in regularaly analysing where things were up to. This was combined with the stress that hits in the middle of the year when life starts to get busier and I can see that I’m probably not going to hit a lot of the goals. That makes for a rather large lump of artificially constructed angst and aggravation that didn’t need to be there.

So, as an experiment in large scale stress management, and contrary to my normal “plan everything down to the last detail” approach I am making a few changes for the year ahead to see how it works.

I am:

  • moving from a hierarchical priorities list to a wheel model that uses a hub around which all else revolves.
  • maintaining an ongoing awareness of the four-fold wholistic health areas that allow me to follow my passions in a way that builds up rather than is destructive.
  • using my passions to guage whether or not an activity is worth my time.
  • gaining an understanding that life works as a rhythm more easily than as a balance. When I understand the rhythm of life I will be content when I spend more time on one passion than another, knowing that as the wheel turns, each passion will get it’s time in turn.
  • using a “bucket list” system to list things that I’d like to do this year — these were carefully measured against my passions list before being added.

That’s a bit of a dry list, but I’ve captured it as a diagram (perfect for my visual mind) that will give you a better idea. It has more detail too if you’re interested :) (and yes I know I spelled rhythm wrong in my diagram…that word is my nemesis. :( )

In theory, operating out of my passions should mean that I still get a lot done and continue to move forward, but without the distractions of nice-but-useless activities and without the administrative and performance angst. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Click to enlarge

Kudos must go to my lovely life coach Immik who helped me to identify the pressure points in my life and worked with me to find the right solution for me. This year is going to be a delcious and exciting experiment!

How do you approach planning your year?

I’ve been feeling pretty wound up and stressed again lately…a combination of work and study and general household busy-ness has crept up on me again. This morning I read this post  from Anne Jackson over at Flowerdust about how we tend to prioritise our time and the resulting fall out. Many people (me included) think about life’s priorities as a lineal hierarchy, she proposes a cyclical model that looks like it makes a heap more sense to me. Pop over and check it out and jump into the conversation.

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