GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

Earlier this year I had the great honor of completing Jocelyn K. Glei’s RESET Course, a four-week course that teaches productivity habits, creativity methods and helps identify areas in our daily lives that need a hard reboot.

The concept of time was a large portion of the course. From understanding the best time to complete certain tasks to helping me prioritize how to spend my time. Here are my top three time-related course insights. 

The Difference Between Being Productive and Being Busy

In our culture, the concept of “busy” is celebrated and encouraged. But being “busy” and being productive are two very different things. Productive work is the meaningful work — the things that make the biggest impact. Usually, they’re also the things that require deeper attention and focus to complete. For me, they’re the things I love to do in my job, like creating ad strategies for a client or writing eye-catching ad copy. Busy work is on the opposite end of the meaningful spectrum. It’s what most of us spend our time doing — responding to emails, running from meeting-to-meeting, etc.

Key Practice: Would you rather spend your day in an inbox or completing your most meaningful work? Close your inbox and carve out time in your day to complete the meaningful work.


The Price of Switching Costs

Have you ever been working deeply on a project, been interrupted and then struggled to get back “into the zone?” You’re not alone, these are known as “switching costs” and according to Jocelyn’s research, on average it takes 15-minutes to focus again once you’ve been drawn out of a deep attention task. If you’re experiencing this constantly during your day, you could be tallying up hours’ worth of “switching costs.”

Key Practice: To decrease your daily amount of “switching costs,” close your inbox, and hide your phone while working on your most meaningful work. Your projects will thank you for the dedicated time and energy.

Everything Takes Time

Even if it’s easy. Even if it will truly only take five minutes. Everything takes time and each day only holds 24 hours. That’s why it’s so important to respect your time (as well as other’s!) because everything adds up. Over the four weeks, as I focused on areas of my life where the time I spent wasn’t adding up to meaningful work/progress, I paused and re-evaluated how I could change my daily habits to make the most of my time.

Key Practice: Be honest with yourself, your to-do list and others. How much time do you actually have to dedicate to <fill-in-the-blank project>? Are you investing your time or spending your time?

A healthy work-life blend isn’t magically going to happen. You have to be intentional about your to-do list and how you spend your time. It may feel like work to find that balance, but I believe that it makes a meaningful work day.

If you’re interested in learning more about RESET, I highly recommend completing the four-week course. It not only changed my work day but also changed the expectations I have for myself. I’m so grateful to have taken this journey with GroundFloor Media’s Amy Moynihan and for a company that encourages and celebrates continued learning and curiosity.

Olivia Ward is a director of digital strategy at CenterTable, where she creates digital marketing strategies that make client dreams come true. She has more than 10 years of experience helping brands find and target their audience IRL and digitally.

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