By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA
I’m curious: How do you judge a “productive” day as such? Is it defined by the number of e-mails you sent and received? Perhaps how many meetings you attended? It could even be how “early” you arrived home for dinner with your family.
Before you leave work, for just the next five work days, stop and handwrite on a 3×5 notecard basic things about the day, such as:
- Who you met with
- What you completed
- Where you went
- What you learned
- How you solved a problem
At the end of the week, use this “inventory of engagement” to identify what you want/need to do more (or less!) of.
Until you know what you do, you don’t know what you do. Of course, reading that, it seems obvious, but it’s good to remember. It is essential that you be conscious of the quantity of work you have taken on and what you engage in each day. When you see how much you are doing—or how little of the right things you are doing—you will be motivated to “get better.” This activity is a great way to hold yourself accountable and make sure you’re really doing the things that help you make the most of your time.