Work Harder by Taking Breaks
A foundational EOS® Tool is “Delegate to Elevate.” But what happens when you’re so lean that you don’t have anyone to delegate to? This situation came up in a quarterly session I was facilitating for a client. Their management team is extremely lean, with minimal resources to hire outside help. They could only delegate to…each other. So we examined ways they could be more productive with their own time. Enter Work Reps – A simple tool I’ve used successfully to be more productive, which provides even pacing and energy throughout the day.
Step 1: Prioritize your day. Tackle your top priorities first. Step 2: Use a timer to set up your Work Reps to the schedule below. You can also use Outlook to schedule breaks, though I find anticipating the bell keeps me focused because I know a break isn’t far off. Thanks, Pavlov. 50 minutes – work 10 minutes – break (bio break, more coffee) 50 minutes – work 10 minutes – break (stretch, hydrate) 50 minutes – work 45 minutes – break (early lunch, quick walk) Repeat* I typically start my work day at 7 a.m. and like the alignment to the top of the hour. Social scientists have determined that 52 minutes and 17 minutes are more optimaltime increments. The simplicity of the timing above allows me to get back on track at the top of every hour.
Hydrating, stretching and movement are crucial during the breaks. Get up from your desk – no checking social media or your phone. If you work in a business, consider trimming 10 minutes off of one-hour meetings, to allow for a change-up. This encourages more efficient meetings, and calling ELMO (Enough, Let's Move On) when meeting dialogue spirals into repetition. Like a muscle, your brain tires from repeated stress. Our effectiveness diminishes over time. Taking intentional and strategic breaks help pace your day so you can be more productive. Periodic movement is key to refocusing your brain's energy. If you’ve ever had a workout routine using machines, you know that reps are an easy way to build strength and stamina. Easy to see how it can apply to working more effectively. If you have no one to delegate to, use Work Reps to entrust yourself to deliver more effectively on all of your responsibilities. I hope this is a tool that helps you avoid that 4:30 p.m. thought – Where the heck did my day go?
Victoria Cabot is a Professional EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Implementer. EOS® offers great tools that help organizations gain traction on their vision. And run more effective meetings that don't require ELMOs. To learn more about EOS, as outlined in Gino Wickman's book, Traction, contact Victoria for a complementary 90-minute overview with you and your leadership team. *Ding* your timer went off - take a break.