Yakety Yak (Don't Talk Back)
You didn’t finish the spreadsheets—again. How are you going to explain yourself this time?
Sorry, but I was too busy chitchatting.
Like that’s an acceptable excuse. Your boss and family won’t buy it. They don’t want to hear that most people are only really productive for about 35% of a typical 8-hour day or that huge chunks of time are gobbled up by things like email pings, phone calls, instant messages, cubicle chitchat or undefined meetings. They just want you to finish your work and get your butt home.
Today, do at least one thing to improve your productivity. Turn off your IM, don't attend meetings without clear agendas (assuming you have a choice) or send fewer emails. Focus on the distraction that interferes most with your work day and at a minimum, cut it in half. Then sit back and wait for your workload to start feeling lighter! It seems like a small change, but it will make a huge difference in the way work gets done…and it’ll leave you more time for the stuff that matters. Like drinks with co-workers. Or an hour to yourself before the kids get home.