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Productivity Through Workplace Popcorn

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Here at AccelaWork we are obsessed with finding new ways to increase productivity. Today is no different and thanks to Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ, we’re spreading the word to our readers about workplace popcorn.

When it comes to creating our own productive workflow, it’s easy to go straight to what we know. Yet, there are days where these strategies simply don’t work. Begrudgingly, we find ourselves coming to the end of a hard working day feeling unaccomplished and behind. So how can we increase our focus, become more productive and accomplish more in less time? To Joel Runyon, the answer is simple: “workplace popcorn.” So, what exactly does that phrase mean?

popcorn

© Flickr user Maura Teague

According to Runyon, workplace popcorn is a four step process that has you popping from place to place completing work projects as you go. It’s workflow that is fast-paced, defined, goal-oriented and scenic to boot. It certainly keeps you focused and most importantly, creates an avenue for achieving multiple levels of productivity in a single day. Needless to say, it aims to leave you feeling not only accomplished at the end of the workday, but fully prepared moving forward. So how does it work?

Step 1: Create a specific to do list for the day.
The key word is specific. Runyon reminds his readers that defining work tasks properly can be the difference between achieving success in your productive workflow or failing miserably at it:

If you’re not quite sure if you’d be able to say yes or no at the end of the day, I’ll save you some time: you’re not being specific enough.

Runyon provides both good and bad definitions of workday goals:

Bad

  • Get some stuff done.
  • Make some progress on Impossible Fitness
  • Get started on blog posts.

Good

  • Write a post of at least 800 words about my new productivity technique, and send it to Joanna.
  • Write a complete guide to creating your Impossible List (at least 2,000 words), and send it to Joanna for editing.
  • Write a mini guide on the FPC Protocol (upcoming).

Step 2: Break list out into three equal sections.
Estimate the amount of hours and/or minutes it will take you to complete each task on your list. Once this is determined, separate them out equally. Below is a quick example:

Group #1

  • Task 1 (1 hour)
  • Task 2 (45 minutes)
  • Task 3 (45 minutes)
  • Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Group #2

  • Task 1 (1 hour)
  • Task 2 (30 minutes)
  • Task 3 (1 hour)
  • Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Group #3

  • Task 1 (30 minutes)
  • Task 2 (45 minutes)
  • Task 3 (45 minutes)
  • Total time: 2 hours


Step 3: Find three locations to work from.

Whether you’re partial to coffee shops, libraries, cafes, etc., all you’ll need are conducive locations that provide WiFi and outlets. Why mix up your location? To keep the creative juices flowing. This ensures physical activity is part of your daily pattern. Plus, as Runyon says: you “explore more places.”

Step 4: Take action.
This is the easy part so to speak. After all, now that you’ve created your list, defined your goals, estimated completion times and discovered prime workspace, it’s simply time to get down to it. So, go to the first location armed with section #1 of your goals and begin working. Focus only on the goals set aside for this time and this location. As hard as it is to resist, do not stray from the tasks at hand. Once these are complete, get up and leave your current location. Simply go to the next location with the next set of tasks and complete as you did in the first location. Move forward in this manner until all your goals are complete.

Reminder: Once you’re done for the day, you are done. Close your computer, turn off your phone, stop checking email. Do everything you can to relax. You deserve it!

Here at AccelaWork we are always thinking about achieving productive, meaningful work that stretches across multiple projects. Reach out to us if you are in need of some new ideas in your office.

Thanks to Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ for permission to share this idea. Read his full post on on Workstation Popcorn at his website.

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Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Ashley has been working with the AccelaWork team since 2008. She is a communications expert with a background in corporate work, and a graduate of the University of Dayton with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the greater Indianapolis area with her husband and four children. Ashley enjoys jewelry, fashion, and coffee.
Ashley Lee

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