New grad Chris Bailey (BCom/13) received two great job offers in his field before graduation and he turned them both down. Instead, the Management and Marketing major chose to dedicate a year to learning all he can about productivity.
“I wanted to start a project of my own, something that I can create,” said Bailey. “At the end of the year, I want to make as many people as productive as possible.”
The project kicked off on May 1. His goal is to provide practical and tactical tips to make his and others’ lives more productive. Bailey is writing every day about what he has learned and posts his findings to the project’s website (ayearofproductivity.com). You can also follow the project on Twitter (@AYOProductivity)
The website features articles Bailey has written about a range of productivity topics that he has divided into categories that include Time Hacks, Energy Hacks, Focus, Technology and Be More Awesome. It also features reviews of books related to productivity and interviews with corporate executives and other people leading productive lives.
“I’m only 23,” adds Bailey. “People who have been working 20 to 30 years know a lot more than I do.”
He’s tapping into the network that he built through his co-op experiences for inspiration and ideas for articles. Bailey was named the 2011 Carleton Co-op Student of Year for his work at Alcatel-Lucent, where he coordinated student recruitment across the country and hired close to 200 students for the global technology firm.
In addition to writing, he is also conducting a number of productivity experiments that explore social and technology influences on productivity, such as limiting smartphone use to an hour a day for three months, waking up at 5:30 a.m. every day and meditating for an hour a day.
Bailey’s current experiment has him living in reclusion for 10 days, during which time he must remain in one room and refrain from communicating with others as a test of how social interactions impact productivity.
For anyone thinking that Bailey is slacking off for a year, he isn’t. Bailey commits full-time hours to the project and charts his hours spent, words written, pages read and daily work logs on his website. To date, he’s invested over 300 hours, written nearly 34,000 words and read over 800 pages.
Supporters of the project can contribute financially to help offset costs of the project through the website.