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How to generate the ‘Big Mo’

Boost productivity by charging ahead

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

When you’ve got momentum, you can get more work done in less time—and feel exhilarated. Here’s how to gather a head full of steam:

Prune your pending file. Devote Monday morning to completing a few long-delayed projects. The lift you get from crossing off pending tasks will carry you into the rest of your day and week with a clean slate.

Postpone downtime. Stop taking breaks between assignments. If you like to decompress by checking personal e-mail or calling a friend, reserve time for that after you’ve addressed an ambitious string of to-do items. Discipline yourself to tackle one more task before you indulge in downtime.

Anticipate interruptions. Nothing kills momentum like having to drop what you’re doing and respond to incoming calls. Before plunging into your daily agenda, identify steps you can take now to minimize the need for others to call you later.

Example: Leave early-morning voice mail or send e-mail to update colleagues on a key development so that they don’t have to ask. Tell them when you’ll next check in.

Cluster jobs. Compartmentalize your work so that you focus on sets of related tasks. That’s better than hopping in and out of highly creative, solitary work to confront management problems that require personal communication.

Example: Schedule several “people events”—such as interviews, staff meetings and brainstorming sessions—in a row. Then devote a few hours to analyzing reports and writing memos.

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