Sunday, 17 January 2010

Achieving James Bond Productivity

Yesterday was Saturday. I don't normally do work at home but next week I have some work that I need to get done, so I this weekend I had to do some work at home. Working at home is not ideal but the reality is that you are paid for the work you do, not the number of hours you are in the office.

Being a procrastinator, yesterday I didn't do any work at all. I was watching the James Bond film Quantum of Solace on my computer. While watching, I was surprised at how productive James Bond the character was compared to me. He had extremely difficult tasks to complete and every fifteen minutes a pack of bad guys come and try to kill him but using his fighting skills he manages to handle everything that gets in the way of him achieving his goals.

Even though most people's work is not as exciting as James Bond's work, there certainly are parallels. Most people are given projects by their managers and in order to achieve these projects there are obstacles and distractions. The worker needs to overcome these obstacles, ignore the distractions, and move forward bit-by-bit till the objectives are fulfilled.

Usually at work I am distracted by all sorts of things like non-work email. If I can simply try to be like Bond and destroy any obstacles or distractions in the same way the secret agents does it, I could be as productive as he is. For example, if I receive a non-work email I can simply opt to read it after I finish my work as oppose to halting my work to read the email. Whenever I am distracted while in work mode, I plan to simply freeze and think carefully about whether the distraction is urgent or work related. If it is neither urgent nor work related, I should push it aside and do it later or never do it at all.

I also notice while watching Quantum of Solace that Bond usually goes around and does little bits of work at a time. He collects small clues here and there, slowly revealing the big picture of the task he needs to fulfill. This is similar to many of the big projects that people receive. The project is so large that they don't really know where to start and don't know what to do. I find that simply just jumping in and doing something is better than doing nothing, even if what you are doing is small.

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