The New Corner Office
by Laura Vanderkam
The New Corner Office” is a productivity and time-management book that aims to help people work more effectively and efficiently, whether they are in a traditional office environment or working remotely. Vanderkam draws on research, interviews with successful professionals, and her own experience as a writer and mother of four to offer practical tips and strategies for managing time, setting priorities, and staying focused on what matters most.
In “The New Corner Office” Vanderkam explains how she became interested in studying productivity and time management, and why she wrote this particular book. She also provides an overview of the book’s main themes and how it can help readers become more productive and efficient in their work lives.
“The key to working from home is designing a work life that fits the way you live, rather than the other way around.”
HERE ARE 3 BIG IDEAS FROM THE BOOK:
BIG IDEA 1: Plan Your Week Before it Starts
Planning ahead is a crucial element of being productive and effective in our work lives, and in “The New Corner Office,” Laura Vanderkam emphasizes the importance of planning your week before it starts. This allows you to be more intentional about how you spend your time and ensures that you’re making progress on your most important goals.
The first step in planning your week is to set goals and priorities. This might involve identifying your top three to five goals for the week, or breaking down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Vanderkam suggests using a tool like a weekly planner or digital calendar to map out your schedule, including both work-related tasks and personal activities like exercise or socializing.
Another key element of planning your week is to make sure you’re allocating time for self-care and leisure activities. This might include scheduling a yoga class or a coffee date with a friend, or simply blocking out time in your schedule for downtime and relaxation. Vanderkam emphasizes that taking care of yourself is essential for being productive and avoiding burnout, so it’s important to prioritize self-care in your weekly schedule.
Once you’ve set your goals and priorities for the week, it’s time to start filling in your schedule with specific tasks and appointments. Vanderkam suggests breaking tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks and assigning specific times to work on each one. This might involve setting aside a certain amount of time each day for email, or scheduling specific blocks of time for working on different projects.
One of the key benefits of planning your week ahead of time is that it helps you be more proactive and less reactive in your work. By setting clear goals and priorities, you’re better able to manage your time and avoid getting bogged down in low-priority tasks or distractions. This also allows you to be more flexible and adaptable as the week progresses, since you have a clear sense of what needs to be done and can adjust your schedule accordingly.
Planning your week before it starts is an essential element of being productive and effective in your work life. By setting clear goals and priorities, allocating time for self-care and leisure activities, and breaking tasks down into manageable chunks, you can make the most of your time and achieve your goals with less stress and more satisfaction.
BIG IDEA 2: Make the Most of Your Mornings
Vanderkam highlights the importance of maximizing the first few hours of your day to increase productivity and achieve your goals. This is the core idea behind the big idea of “Make the most of your mornings”. By starting your day with intention and purpose, you set the tone for the rest of the day, and set yourself up for success.
Vanderkam suggests starting your morning with a routine that energizes and focuses you for the day ahead. This routine could include exercise, meditation, or simply a few minutes of quiet reflection. By incorporating healthy habits into your morning routine, you’ll improve your mental and physical health and feel more alert and productive throughout the day.
Another important aspect of making the most of your mornings is to minimize distractions and interruptions. This means avoiding checking your phone or email first thing in the morning, as these can often derail your focus and set you off course. Instead, Vanderkam recommends starting your day with a few quiet, uninterrupted moments to set your intentions for the day.
In addition to self-care and focus, Vanderkam emphasizes the importance of using your morning time for high-value work. This might mean tackling a challenging project or working on a task that requires deep concentration and focus. By completing high-value work in the morning, you’ll set yourself up for a productive day, and avoid the stress and frustration that often comes with leaving important work until the last minute.
The author encourages readers to be intentional about how they use their mornings, and to think of this time as an opportunity to invest in their future. By starting your day with purpose and focus, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals and make progress on your long-term aspirations. This means thinking beyond just the tasks that need to be completed today, and instead considering how you can use your mornings to build a fulfilling and meaningful career and life.
“Make the most of your mornings” is a key concept in “The New Corner Office,” and involves starting your day with a routine that promotes self-care, focus, and high-value work. By minimizing distractions and investing in your future, you’ll be able to achieve your goals and build a more fulfilling and productive life.
BIG IDEA 3: Focus on High-Value Work
One of the most important takeaways from “The New Corner Office” is the idea of focusing on high-value work. This means identifying the tasks and projects that will have the greatest impact on your career or business, and prioritizing those above all else. By focusing on high-value work, you’ll be able to achieve your goals more efficiently, and make progress towards your long-term aspirations.
Vanderkam suggests that one of the keys to focusing on high-value work is to be deliberate and strategic in your approach. This might involve identifying your top three to five goals for the year, and breaking those down into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can work on each day or week. By aligning your daily tasks with your larger goals, you’ll be able to make progress on the things that matter most, and avoid getting bogged down in low-priority tasks or distractions.
Another important aspect of focusing on high-value work is to be disciplined and focused in your approach. This means avoiding multitasking, and instead giving your full attention to each task or project as you work on it. By minimizing distractions and interruptions, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively, and avoid the stress and frustration that often comes with trying to juggle too many things at once.
Vanderkam also emphasizes the importance of delegating or outsourcing low-value tasks whenever possible. This might mean hiring an assistant to handle administrative tasks, or automating routine processes so that you can focus on more important work. By freeing up your time and energy in this way, you’ll be able to devote more of your resources to high-value work, and achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently.
Vanderkam encourages readers to regularly evaluate their work and make adjustments as needed. This means reflecting on your progress towards your goals, and making changes to your approach or priorities as necessary. By staying focused on high-value work, and continually adapting your approach, you’ll be able to achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively, and build a more fulfilling and successful career or business.
“Focus on high-value work” is a key idea in “The New Corner Office,” and involves identifying the tasks and projects that will have the greatest impact on your career or business, and prioritizing those above all else. By being deliberate and strategic in your approach, minimizing distractions, delegating or outsourcing low-value tasks, and regularly evaluating and adapting your approach, you’ll be able to achieve your goals more efficiently and build a more successful and fulfilling career or business.
“What gets scheduled gets done. What gets scheduled first gets done first.”
In “The New Corner Office,” Laura Vanderkam provides readers with a wealth of practical advice and actionable strategies for increasing productivity, achieving goals, and building a successful and fulfilling career or business. By emphasizing the importance of intentional planning, maximizing mornings, and focusing on high-value work, Vanderkam offers a fresh perspective on how to succeed in today’s fast-paced work environment. With a focus on strategies that are both effective and sustainable, this book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their productivity and achieve their goals.
About the Author
Laura Vanderkam is a bestselling author, speaker, and time management expert. She is the author of several books, including “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think,” “Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done,” and “The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home.” Vanderkam’s work has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company, and she is a frequent guest on television and radio programs. With a focus on practical strategies for improving productivity and achieving work-life balance, Vanderkam’s work has helped countless individuals and organizations to be more successful and fulfilled.