Posted by Brian McCullough
You gotta figure the good people at Lifehacker have seen about every trick in the book. They just celebrated their 3 year anniversary, and over that time they’ve published hacks for everything from being more productive to making a DYI energy-free refrigerator.
I guess they’re starting a top 10s series, and today they have a list called the Top 10 Smart and Lazy Ways to Save Your Workday. Given the fact that they’re the productivity and GTD experts, it’s worth your time perusing their “best of” tips collection.
My fave is the first one. Trust me, I’ve used this one myself:
10. Make a lunch or dinner date (to create a deadline).
Ever wonder why your co-workers who are parents get out of the door on time every day like clockwork? It’s because they’ve got to pick up the kids at daycare by a certain time. If you feel like you’ve got all day to get things done, you’re more likely to get sucked into stuff that’s not that important. But a deadline will light a fire under your butt and keep your eye on the clock. If you know you’ve got a spouse at home expecting to see you by 6:30, or a buddy waiting for you at the gym, you’re more likely to stay focused, get your stuff done, and get out of your chair on time.
If you can take lunch on your own schedule, this same strategy works midday, too: make a date with your co-worker or friend to have lunch at a set time, and use it as a deadline for getting your morning tasks done.
Of course, the way I use this tip is not quite so “boy scout.” No one can force you to stay for a little extra overtime if you have to pick your kids up from daycare at 5:15. You can use this hack to protect yourself from getting roped into extra time in the office… whether it’s true or not, no one can argue with you.