Did we mention that we love to read? So much so, that we’ve already dedicated a blog category to the published word: SAGE Reads. Still, that doesn’t seem like enough. With this blog post, we’re launching another reading initiative: Sheri’s “9 Notes” Reading Series. Periodically, Sheri will share with you nine highlights she found most useful from one of her recent reads. Our first in the series offers handy ideas on how to transform your busywork to your best work.
Why 9 Notes (versus 10 or 12)? Why not!
Sheri Reads – the “9 Notes” Series:
“Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind,” Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei
Manage Your Day-to-Day offers a valuable, easy-to-read toolkit for when you feel overwhelmed by your constant connection to work. It is a guide to help move you from doing busywork to doing your best work.
What I Learned:
- Do your most important work first (your meaningful big-picture goals), reactive work second (emails, phone calls, urgent but unimportant tasks). P. 26
- Stick to a daily routine. P. 27
- When during the day do you have the most energy? Use this time to focus on your most important work – don’t waste peak energy on busywork.
- Limit your daily to-do list to what you can fit on a 3” x 3” Post-it note.
- Capture every commitment in a trusted system.
- Establish hard edges in your day – when you start and when you stop.
- Build renewal into your workday. Get lots of sleep, use 90-minute periods of work followed by a break (“pulse & pause”) and spend some time outdoors. P. 49
- Make time for solitude each day. Meditation will help you learn to quiet your mind, think more effectively and better focus on the task at hand. P. 59
(Read more SAGE thoughts about meaningful meditation.)
- Block off substantial chunks of time on your calendar so you can focus on your most important tasks. Consider going to a different location for this work – and use pen and paper to avoid online distractions. P. 74
- There is no such thing as multi-tasking, only task switching. You need single-minded focus to really get things done. P. 82
- Open yourself to serendipity. “The most important connections – whether with people, ideas, or mistakes that lead to key realizations – often spring from unexpected circumstances.” Put aside your smartphone and be fully present where you are – let chance work its magic. P. 112
- Let things go. Visit your e-mail in-box. Look at each e-mail and ask yourself: “Will this help me achieve my most important goals?” If the answer is no, consider moving on. Your time and energy are precious. Reserve them for what is truly important. P. 127
- Log on to social media with clear intention – then disconnect once you’ve followed through on your intention. (Although, revisiting Note #7, that intent may sometimes be to spend a specific period of time experiencing a bit of serendipity.) P. 134