This One Weird Trick Will Make You Infinitely More Productive

Totally not sorry for the title. I’ve waited for ages to be able to write one of those.

As I’m writing this, it’s 5am on a Monday. I woke up a few minutes ago because I was too excited to sleep. What could possibly cause that to happen on a Monday? I get to go back to work today.

I just came off of a 10 day paid PAID vacation, completely off the grid, and I can’t remember a time in my working life when I’ve ever felt better.

In the middle of winter, I took my family to Florida, we wore shorts and t-shirts for my kids’ first visit to Disney World. We ate incredible food, rode a crapload of rides and got soaked in a serious rainstorm.

And the Internet didn’t burn down.

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Everybody talks about unplugging, and that’s important. But what’s perhaps more important is to first have a system in place that allows for it to happen. At FullContact we’re growing really fast and that means that we’re finding out where our knowledge issues lie. In almost every organization in which I’ve worked, the fact that only one person knows how to accomplish a certain task has prevented the rest of the team from being as effective as possible.

When I joined FullContact a few months ago, my counterpart Kipp and I quickly realized that we had a lot of this “campfire information” clogging the system. As it was then, neither of us could have gone on a vacation without hurting the other. But a few internal documents and wiki pages later, this is no longer a problem.

Look at your own company. Where are the campfires? Who is sitting on valuable pieces of information, and what would happen if they were suddenly unavailable? How quickly could you get an answer to the CEO if your sales manager or marketing director was unreachable? If it takes you longer than a single work day, you have a problem that you need to fix.

 
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97
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