Weekend is here - finally - time to get some work done! Sounds familiar? You are not alone. So I thought this a great moment to share with you my next rule for improving productivity (and, non, it is not drinking more espresso, this is Rule Zero!)
Rule 2: Block Process Small Items.
Every little item that takes you thirty seconds (email, anyone?) costs you actually more than 30 seconds but rather something around perhaps 5-10 minutes. Why? Switching cost! Getting back into the flow takes time and quality+productivity drop.
Here is the alternative. Treat these small but frequent (and frankly often not that important) items as to be ignored until a pre-scheduled time-window, in which you block process them at once. Do not look at them during other periods. Make sure the really important people in your life have your cell phone number such that they can call you in case of a true emergency.
Make sure you schedule your blocks of emails etc around the time you are the most creative and productive. For sure, do not start the day with a block of email processing. Here is how I suggest you deal with your inbox during one of these block processing sessions:
I hope this helps. Enjoy - hope your weekend brings more than just email block processing!