The Productivity Balancing Act

by Jamie Judy | Mar 22, 2024 | Consulting, Leadership, Productivity

Do you find yourself with multiple responsibilities to juggle? It is a reality for most these days. From your email inbox, a full schedule of meetings, an evolving to-do list, to complex projects and creative challenges, we often find ourselves wearing many hats throughout the workday. And some hats we wear better than others.

Chore List.

The “chore list” hat encompasses those routine, daily tasks that keep the engine of our work running smoothly. We respond to emails, attend meetings, generate reports, and complete various administrative tasks. These duties are necessary for day-to-day operation. The chore list is essential to keep the business moving forward.

It is easy to get caught here. These tasks are often urgent and demand immediate attention, which creates a sense of constant busyness. However, potential opportunities are lost when you do not carve out time for deeper, focused work.

Deep Work.

The “deep work” hat looks very different. It is time in your day focused on innovation and invention. It is where you delve into complex issues that could hinder progress or growth and develop innovative solutions that improve efficiency or streamline processes. This hat is time to focus on how to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate industry trends, and how you make a significant impact on your work and organization. It is where you learn, grow, and push boundaries.

So, how do you wear both hats? How do you strike a balance between the demands of the chore list and the need of deep work? How do you carve out space amidst the chaos for innovation and invention?

Be Intentional.

One strategy is to schedule dedicated “deep work” sessions. Set aside specific blocks of time in your calendar—free from distractions—to focus solely on tackling your complex challenges. Treat these sessions with the same level of importance as any other meeting and commit to them wholeheartedly. Silence your email notifications, put away your phone, and create an environment free from outside distractions. (Imagine that!) Let your colleagues know that you will be unavailable during these times, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the task at hand.

To find the right balance is not just about setting aside time for deep work—it’s about being intentional in how you allocate your time. Whether it is a time slot every week for a few hours that is dedicated to deep work, or perhaps just 90 minutes each morning. Find a rhythm that works for you, then make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.

When you strike this balance between the chore list and deep, focused work, you can achieve both efficiency and innovation. You can become not just an efficient task completer, but also a proactive problem solver capable of driving meaningful change within your organization. So, as you navigate the many tasks that populate your workday, remember to plan time to wear your different hats. Do not neglect your essential chore list but be intentional and make room for innovation and invention to flourish.

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Jamie Judy

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