Of course it is early days yet. The new year has just begun and the pace of work is still slow as some people are still away on leave. The challenge will be to increase my productivity so much that even when business is in full swing, I am still able to leave at 6 pm.
I have already implemented all the seven productivity ideas mentioned in my earlier post. Here are three additional ideas that I will be implementing.
- Using the Blackberry while commuting. On most days, I use public transport to go to work and to return home. So I will use this time on the MRT or bus to read my emails and draft replies. For example, if I leave office at 6 pm and the bus or train ride takes 40 minutes, I can use those 40 minutes to check my emails.
- Having lunch early or late. I can beat the lunchtime crowd either by going for lunch early, or very late. This means saving the time that would otherwise be spent queueing to buy for food and waiting for a place to sit. I can then use the regular lunch (12:30 to 1:30 pm) to do more work in the office.
- Using a to-do list. I have often used some sort of to-do list, but now I am trying to be more consistent about it - in other words, to use it every day. Using a to-do list helps to track my work and also prioritise the different matters. There is an art and skill to using to-do lists effectively. This merits a separate blog post for the future.
These are the perils of working in an extremely international organisation. I estimate that in a year, I might do about 16 conference calls at night (after 8 pm Singapore time). I don't think that it is really possible or desirable to avoid these calls - in fact, they tend to be quite important - even though they are not in line with the spirit of my 6 pm project.
On the plus side, I am usually able to take these calls from my home. So they do not technically interfere with the 6 pm target.