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Improving Productivity through R & R

I’m a firm believer that overworked people are not productive people. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. After awhile, you start getting the zombie effect. The team comes in and does their job, but sooner or later they start gnawing on each other. Nobody likes that. It’s nice to keep a full task list, but too much on the plate doesn’t leave time for the little things like, you know, lunch.

Despite the work that always needs to be done, holidays are a nice break. An extra day of rest and relaxation. This goes for me just as much as my employees.

I used to not take holidays off. I always have something to do so it was hard to take the time away and not do it. Mondays are busy enough as it is, but to stay home for a day, well, that just compiled the task list. With interest, it always seemed. In fact, on Mondays, I often feel like I get everything accomplished except the important stuff. Skipping Mondays is like starting a full lap behind in the Indy 500. It takes the rest of the week just to get caught up to last place!

But somewhere along the way in just the past couple of years I made myself take holidays off. I kind of felt like I was missing out on something important and it turns out I was right. So holidays now are the norm. At least mostly. I spend a few hours of my labor day in the office working, only not really working. Let me explain. No, no time for that, let me sum up.

I didn’t come in and do any of my “normal” work tasks. In fact, I stayed as far away from that stuff as possible, even though my task list for Tuesday now shows about 20 past due items and a similar size list of things that I should be done today but won’t be. Instead of working on my normal task I went to work on the back burner stuff.

Over the past few months, my desk has been getting more and more cluttered and even more recently has started to bleed out onto the floor. Normally I’m a very tidy person but papers, books, resumes, magazines, contracts, things to do, etc. have all been piling up with no place to put them. Today, I got everything organized! I can see my desk and my floor again.

I also took the opportunity to finish up a few tasks that have been sitting in my to-do box for a while. These are unimportant tasks that can be put off indefinitely, and they usually are, until a day like today comes around. I was able to knock a few things out which felt pretty darn good.

Once again I feel organized and ready to attack the day. Having not done any “real” work on the holiday I still feel as if I took the day off (only working a few hours helped in that regard as well!), but I was also able to get a ton of stuff accomplished around the office, things that will make me much more productive.

No, I attack my task list with vigor and keep things from congregating on my desk and floor for as long as possible. But if all else fails, Thanksgiving is just a couple of months away!

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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