Create Meta Decisions to Help Boost Productivity
Written by Lisa Montanaro | July 16, 2021

A meta decision is a global rule or policy that you create to help you be more productive. Here are 5 examples that have worked well for me and that I often pass onto clients who adopt them for themselves.

  1. One page of emails in inbox at a time (if you have to scroll to see emails, it’s time for an email processing session!).
  2. Don’t check email first thing in the morning. It makes you reactive. If you have to for the sake of your job, then do what I call a “First Pass,” which is a timed email session of 15 minutes to see if there are any fires to put out. Then focus on your highest priority task first before diving into email.
  3. Honor appointments with yourself (the same way you honor appointments with others).
  4. Schedule in a weekly productivity maintenance session to go through your email and hard copy inbox, project and task management system. I use “File Friday” as my theme. But it doesn’t have to be on a Friday. You can use Motivation Monday, Tweak it Tuesday, Work It Wednesday or Tame It Thursday.
  5. Use the “One In Out Rule” for digital and physical items. Every time you add something to your calendar, task list, email folders, hard copy folders, bookshelf, clothes closet, etc., pull something else out to purge, donate or repurpose.

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.