making room for creativity in Townsville

More palm trees. more productivity

Ahh, Christmas holidays – for many business owners it’s the one time of year that they can step away from work for a week or two, take a digital detox, recharge and set their intentions for the year ahead without that creeping sense of guilt lurking in the shadows.

I know I certainly fall into that category. To help balance the scales, I set the same intention every year, yet by mid-January all the proverbial wheels have fallen off and been left rolling slowly to a dismal drop in my dust.

The intention?

“I will make more time for palm trees in the New Year.”

It’s all about the change of scenery and carving out time to simply sit and think.

I find even a single day away from the desk can do wonders for my performance and enthusiasm at work.

I have brighter ideas.

Clearer thoughts.

Renewed energy.

I’m better at problem solving.

And I’m more productive when I do return to the desk.

I love little more than sitting at the CBar or in the shade of a tropical palm tree with a coffee and a few quality hours with my thoughts, a pen, a notepad and zero interruptions. In this day and age, that can be an anxiety-inducing though.

What? I can’t check my emails every 5 minutes??? Whatever will I do? Whatever will my clients do? How will people know I’m working hard if I’m not there to immediately respond?

Research shows it takes 25 minutes to get back on task after receiving an email notification, stopping to read it and taking action. That’s just one email.
Now think about how many times a day that happens to you. Multiply that by 25. Divide that number by 60 – that’s how many hours you spend in a day just getting back to the job at hand.

Many of us have forgotten what it’s like to be fully immersed in a task. We’re so hung up on responding to every ping, ding and tinkle, that we’ve lost the notion of finding flow in our work – the point where a project seems to take on a life of it’s own and we’re guided by it, rather than the other way around.

For creative teams like ours at Harshmellow these non-urgent interruptions can be especially stifling. It can be tricky to get into a free-flowing creative head space, even without having to switch gears without warning.

In 2017, I’m resolving to put an end to it.

I’ve chosen the following three proven methods of time- and energy-management to personally utilise this year:

  1. Disabling email notifications and checking my inbox only three-times per day
  2. Batching similar tasks and strategically setting time to work on these – bearing in mind the optimal conditions for each job and thinking about when I feel most creative, most sociable, most analytical, etc; and – without doubt the most ambitious method of all…
  3. Making every second Friday a non-contact day. This is my day to tie-up loose ends, conduct admin tasks, take thinking time (some of the best business leader swear by it), and work towards being the best business operator, leader and human being I can be (truth be told, you’ll probably find me doing all this under a palm tree somewhere)

I’ll be encouraging the rest of the Harshmellow team to rethink the way they manage their time this year too and I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same.

I honestly believe it will result in more creative, more efficient work and better results for all of our clients.


1 Comment

  1. Margie
    February 10, 2017 - Reply

    Very good advice., thank you

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