Productivity Meme: Play More


(Photo from Freder1k on Flickr)

Andrew Wee has tagged me on the latest meme sweeping the interwebs…

Write a post on your best productivity tips. Challenge yourself by picking your single best productivity tip (although this isn’t a requirement; you can give us more if you want!)

Wow.  I am probably the most disorganized person in the world, yet find some way to manage all that I have on my plate.  Distilling my crazy practice of aggregating note taking, Blackberry checking, feed reading, project work and communications into a few tips is nearly impossible.

Running a full time blog, teaching two college courses, working on finishing my PhD in ancient near eastern history, being a husband (soon to be father), putting together PlanetBeta and actively managing four affiliate programs is downright crazy and not to be attempted.  However, I manage to do it all and still have time to sort through the 700 plus feeds I subscribe to everyday, watch my beloved Chicago Cubs on and have an active social life… and a clean inbox.

The secret is to play more.

My Productivity Tip: Only “work” 30 minutes out of every hour.  “Play” the other 30 minutes.  No matter what.

I have a countdown clock that I keep on my desktop that is set to 30 minute intervals.  Whatever I’m doing, at the end of those 30 minutes, I stop, stand up, breathe deep, make paper airplanes, play with my dogs, take a walk, browse YouTube, call my mom, eat, check in on the Cubs, attempt to hack up my blogs and Ubuntu boxes, go play basketball, or something “fun.”  Then, 30 minutes later I’m back to “work.”

This is not for everyone.  You certainly can’t do this in an office setting (unless you work for Dunder Mifflin).  However, I “work” from home and love what I do and I have worked myself into a situation where I have complete flexibility of how I want to live my life.

However, if you know me, you know that I only sleep about 4 or 5 hours a night and am usually in possession of a laptop within a wifi hotspot during my waking hours.  So, in those 20 or so hours that I’m awake, I easily get a “full day’s” work done and then some.  Working in an office 9-5 is not for me and not for most humans.  It’s unnatural!  It’s not worth it…quit your “job.”

Oddly enough, I get more “work” done than anyone I know (including my physician wife).  I’m certainly not to this level of productivity, delegation, automation and efficiency yet, but I’m working my way there!

So, there you have it… embrace your natural animal curiosities and don’t chain yourself to some desk with some plastic chair.  Life is short and time is long!

So now I have to tag five others.

Hmm… I tag:

Scott Jangro

Jeff Molander

Jeff Doak

Shawn Collins (guessing it will involve Diet Dr Pepper and a picture of Ronald Reagan)

Jonathan (Trust)

Stephanie Agresta 

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