Give me a Break!

The question of how is often overlooked in favor of what.  Many of us think that what we do at work might be more important than how we do what we do at work.  Being trained in behavioral interviewing early in my recruiting career, I learned to ask open-ended questions (questions that begin with the word how).  Asking ourselves and others how we do what we do is valuable in our professional and personal lives. Think about how you (and most of us) work.  We put in long hours and often we don’t take breaks.

Here are some suggestions for a new performance of how we work:

Schedule breaks into your daily calendar. Ideally every 52 minutes.
Set a timer to remind you when to take your break and when to return to work.
Make realistic to-do lists. “We often bog down our to-do lists and make them not feasible for us to accomplish [plus] we underestimate how long it’s going to take us to do something,” says Sexton.
Prioritize tasks. Choose three major tasks to focus on for the day and add other tasks as they pop up throughout the day to a separate list, readjusting your priorities throughout the day if required. It’s a lot easier to look at a list of three tasks than 30. Once you knock off the first three items, choose your next three priorities from your lengthier list.