Tag Archives: productivity


May 27, 2010

Stop Checking Email 100 Times A Day

I read Tim Ferriss’ book. I understand his vision for streamlining your day and concentrating on the one big thing you need to get done.  He has it right here.  But….. can you do it?  Can you put down the crack cocaine pellets? I’m having difficulty….





Mar 9, 2010

Work is a Symphony of Interruptions

Midday on a Monday, I’m sitting at work, working at my computer with my office door open.  Note that much of my work requires thought. If checking email requires 10% cranial capacity, this work was like 80%.  In the span of 15 seconds:

1.  I received a mobile phone call that could have waited until later.  Yup, I answered it.

2. While on the mobile phone, a loud overhead page was made at work that could have been easily avoided (just get up and go see the person, we work in a small office. Damn, that speaker on my office phone is loud!)

3.  A person came to my door and knocked, took a few steps in, expecting me to talk to them (yo, I’m holding a phone near my ear! And talking!)

4. An urgent email came in. I often stare at my computer screen while talking on the phone. Of course it was urgent and sort of made my heart skip.

5.  Someone then buzzed me on my office phone – this came in after the overhead page, although an incoming office call can interrupt an overhead page on my phone. When that happens, hopefully the overhead page isn’t for me!

What was I working on again?  Calling this 15-second chain of events a “symphony” is being generous – all of this incoming work and personal stimuli is nothing more than a cacophany of productivity destroyers.

I’m not even qualified (yet) to give you advice on this – I am struggling with this mightily right now, and I’m losing.  People often say, “How are you getting all of this done,” and the answer is that I’m chopping through it like those rainforest explorer dudes chop through the underbrush with machetes (I’m convinced this only happens in the movies).  It’s ugly, and all of this is turning my brain into a rewired mess of scrambled eggs, but I’m getting stuff done.

However, I don’t want my brain rewired in such a way. I want to return to a simpler, quieter time, where my creative brain can work unfettered.  I want to break through and harness the power of big ideas.  Can I do it?  The answer might be no – with a full-time job, Rizzo Tees, this blog, Social Media Club of St. Louis, a 4-family apartment building I own, a wife and two kids, and then maybe a wee bit of time for doing things that actually interest me….. I’m busier than ever.

After reading some Tim Ferriss, I’m starting to take steps to cut down on the incoming email.  Here are two other recent articles that got me thinking more about this subject:

Chris Brogan’s blogpost on The Assault On Anywhen

Jason Fried’s awesome video and transcript on Why You Can’t Work At Work (God I love this)

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Am I just full of excuses here, or can we take steps to restructure our workday to get more done?





Mar 4, 2010

Link Roundup on Rizzo Tees – What I’m Reading 3/4/10

Playing the part of Internet DJ, here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading the past few days.

1.) Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Work Week – I have not read this book, and had no plans to. There is no shortcut to success, and the whole premise of his book sounded flawed to me.  However, I am reconsidering the book, and may even buy the new updated version of it, after reading this post on the 9 habits to stop now.  Included on the list is something I’ve been giving great consideration – somehow getting a better handle on email. I need to turn it back into a productivity tool instead of a business ball and chain.  Why did voicemail never turned into the time suck that email has?

2.) Mark Hayward is a new blogger I’ve stumbled upon.  His recent post, “It’s OK to BE Different” is just what the young, nascent entrepreneur needs to hear.  The psychology of the entrepreneur is one of risk-taking, but not all entrepreneurs are balls-out crazy.  Therefore, it sometimes helps to have people rooting for you. And those people would hopefully be friends and loved ones.  When they are the ones telling you that you are crazy, it’s good to have a.) thick skin, and b.) a solid, bullet-resistant business plan.

3.) Jason at A Smart Bear talks about “sunk costs” and explains that throwing good money after bad is quite obviously a terrible idea. And yet, businesses do it all the time.  This is a must-read post for not only entrepreneurs, but anyone in a decision-making position in business.  Kudos to A Smart Bear on this post – it rocks.

4.) Philip at UrbanBacon interviews one of my favorite people on earth, Arlene Maminta Browne of Robust Wine Bar. I have had some rough (read: awesome) nights at Robust, and I especially appreciate their embrace of Social Media.  Plus, it’s hard to forget that I met Gary Vaynerchuk there and got to drink wine with him.  If you can feel a certain enthusiasm coming from Arlene in this interview, that’s no mistake – she and Stanley love what they do.  Restaurants, take note – Social Media can help your business!