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Do This to Boost Your Productivity


24 years ago few of us had cell phones and a daily deluge of digital distractions. Comparatively speaking we were unplugged. Ah…the simpler times. It was also 24 years ago that a young researcher at the University of Michigan published an academic paper entitled, The Time Famine


Leslie Perlow, now a Harvard Business School professor, was studying why so many professionals found themselves with too much to do and not enough time to do it. To reveal why so many were experiencing a time famine she meticulously studied a team of 17 engineers over a nine-month period who were developing a new printer. 


What she found was the engineers felt they didn’t have time to do their ‘real work’. Not surprising since they were being constantly interrupted by status reports, impromptu conversations, or addressing ‘urgent’ tasks. Perlow coined these distractions ‘time confetti’. 


Perlow tested a rather straightforward solution. A quiet protocol. She took the engineers and established a quiet time policy- no interruptions on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday before noon. The result was a measurable 65% increase in productivity. That’s a monumental boost in productivity by simply time-blocking parts of a day for deep uninterrupted thought work.


Here are three ways you can adopt this productivity booster.


1- Time block at least two or three days a week where you’ll have a ‘quiet protocol’ for two to three hours. During this time turn off your notifications, set your phone to silent, and turn your phone facedown. Close your email and leave it alone during this short 1-2 hour period.


2- Let others know you’ll be unavailable during your chosen time blocks. While not possible for all many of us have the flexibility to structure our work day and set expectations. 


3- Bunch your most difficult tasks for the morning. For most the beginning of the day is the most productive when our energy is peaking. 


Always feeling like you have more work than the day allows is a road to burnout. Instead, consider establishing your own ‘quiet protocol’ and blocking your calendar for tasks that require your undivided attention. Give it a few weeks and you’ll likely find you feel less stressed as you accomplish your tasks more efficiently. 



Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
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  1. Great Advice!

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