This succinct set of workday guidelines is a nice blueprint for getting productive on the important stuff and ruthless about cutting the crap. Written on a
unknown "major corp" whiteboard pictured here, they read:
QUALITY vs quantity, UX process.
Check email ONLY:
Send any time
Set email to check every 3 hours.
NO email on evenings.
NO email on weekends.
EMERGENCY? = Use phone.
FOCUS 1-3 Activities max/day
LOG 1-3 Succinct status bullets every day on team wiki
OUT by 5:30PM
These common productivity edicts are worth repeating; recently I advised Harvard Business readers to use a daily three-item task list myself. I've been practicing this technique every weekday without fail for the last six weeks, and it's served me well (though I've gotten cocky and the list has started inching up to five or six items). On top of sleeping, showering, eating, working out, commuting, cooking, and communicating, the reality is that three things DONE is a bigger set of accomplishments than it seems. As for the rest of these--well, I'm working on them. Hat tip to Caterina.