Lifehacks for Productivity

by Venessa Miemis

http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/?p=31426&preview=trueI’ve decided to add a new theme to my blog – lifehacks.

My attention of late has been focused on how to be more action-oriented, and I realized I’ve been poorly equipped with tools (techniques, processes, frameworks, and technologies) for Getting Shit Done [GSD].

I’m having success with a Morning Junto model, so I’d like to share how it’s working:

A friend and I have committed to meeting weekday mornings from 6:45am – 7:15 for a video chat online where we set our agendas for the day, and review the activities of the previous day.

We started a google spreadsheet, “Daily Activities Tracker,” with each of us getting a dedicated page.

From there it’s pretty straightforward: “week of,” “expected completion date,” “status,” and “notes.”

We fill it in in advance of our meeting, and make additions/adjustments to it as the days go by.

About a week in, we realized that some tasks are just mundane and dreaded, so we had to do something to “gamify” boring work and make it fun. So we created a scoreboard, and now give tasks a point value, and we also award each other points if we had a really effective meeting or made a new connection or whatever.

The good news is – It Works!!!

My productivity has skyrocketed in the past few weeks, I’m achieving more balance in life, and feel a greater sense of well-being and achievement. In addition to that, I’ve found that our meetings aren’t just about getting tasks done, but there’s a sense of mutual improvement and mutual accountability as well. We’re actually engaged in peer coaching and mentoring, and providing each other anecdotes and clarifications to help us both learn and grow.

I’d love to hear if anyone out there is doing anything similar, but I’m finding that having a morning Junto partner really helps me set specific intentions and goals for the day, and the accountability to each other creates a pretty rapid feedback loop for making adjustments on the fly and improving performance.

So fun!

In related news, starting in early January, I’ll be doing a twice a week Junto online with a small group, using Buzzumi or Google Hangouts. Once the format and flow feels good, I’ll be recording and posting a few sessions to show how we’re doing it, and may also create a version behind a paywall for those who would like to attend and participate in a live session via backchannel. (ability to watch us on video/audio, and participate/comment via text chat only.). The idea is to generally learn to communicate more effectively and compassionately, while engaged in continuous learning and culture building.

I’ll post more about that when we’re ready!

For more on Junto:

Ben Franklin’s Junto (wikipedia)

some early Junto concepts I wrote about last year:

Junto: Discussing Ideas Worth Spreading

Junto: overview of concept, philosophy and components

other resources for lifehacking:

The 100 Best Lifehacks of 2010

Stepcase Lifehack

lifehacker

The 99% by Behance


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Venessa MiemisVenessa Miemis is a Media Studies graduate student at the New School in NYC, exploring what happens at the intersection of technology, culture, and communication. Connect with her at www.emergentbydesign.com and on Twitter @venessamiemis.

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