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Getting the most out of your 360…so you can get the most out of life

March 29, 2010

360 Minutes is about achieving improved productivity in your life with less stress and more personal satisfaction. It’s about tasks, steps, projects, solutions, attitudes, and an occasional miracle – maybe. It’s intended to serve you within whatever framework of time/workload/schedule management you employ.

Be forewarned, YMMV. Mine does, and yours will, depending upon myriad factors in play at any one time: mood, health, level of busy-ness, other stressors, and the quality and quantity of inevitable distractions and higher priorities imposed by They Who Must Be Obeyed (supervisors, team leads, more senior executives, board members, the PTA chairperson…it depends on where you are).

There are approximately 360 usable minutes in an 8-hour workday. Why? Because you shouldn’t be working through lunch (60 minutes) and you should be taking breaks throughout the day.

There are far too many possible break times and lengths, so let’s just agree on principle to four 15-minute water/coffee/short meditation/prayer/walk-around-the-block/move-around-the-office-to-find-people breaks, shall we? So, that’s another 60 minutes, bringing us down to 360 in which we can be productive. While some of these may not be considered “breaks” by everyone, consider this: do they result in your brain or your body (or both) completely leaving the environment in which it (they) spent the last hour or three? Then it’s a break if you make it refreshing or revitalizing.

Could we argue – or have a constructive disagreement – over the fact that your workday is 9 hours…or 6…or something else so none of these suggestions apply? Of course we could, but we aren’t, because then I wouldn’t be making productive use of my time.

Personally, I use an amalgam of Steven Covey’s methods and David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” to decide what’s important, assess what needs doing, manage priorities, and plan projects and my daily actions. My GTD implementation is heavily customized to suit my work style, temperament, and natural organizing ability. Again, YMMV, but I would expect any implementation of a productivity enhancement methodology would need to be customized to the individual. I’ve seen many people abandon a workable system – to their detriment – because they tried an unmodified cookie-cutter approach.

If you want to pick up a copy of David Allen’s book, you can get it from any good book store, Amazon.com, or from Amazon.com here:

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

CAVEAT: I may derive revenue if you purchase after using the link above (which I will appreciate because it helps support my writing), but it won’t cost you more than just buying it from Amazon.com.

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