How to be a Productivity Cowboy

27/6/2016 |

I live in Calgary, where for 10 days a year, business suits are traded in for wranglers, Arnold Churgins for cowboy boots, and careful coifs for big hats. Business meetings are conducted at rodeo infields, chuck-wagon races and pancake breakfasts, not in boardrooms and or at fancy lunches. Coffee is swapped for Budweiser, and until the wee hours of the morning, entire offices are found two stepping and line dancing. To the untrained eye this might seem like the ultimate breakdown in productivity, a shameful waste of resources, and blasphemy to the rules of economics! However, to the skillful eye of Productivity Ninja, I see only the brilliance of my favorite Productivity Ninja characteristic– Unorthodoxy.Calgary Stampede, Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America

Sure, there is some over-consumption, epidemic levels of sleep deprivation and largely ignored inboxes but there are also many unorthodox practices that can in fact accelerate business. For example, one of my favorite productivity tips is to hold standing meetings. During the Calgary Stampede people are almost always standing, and while there may be a cold beer or mini-donuts in hand, it’s all the more reason to get to the purpose of a meeting more quickly – no one likes a cold corn-dog. At Think Productive we also love to suggest you infuse some movement into your day because it refreshes and re-energizes your mind.

19254835410_d5aea9326d_oCalgarians are constantly on the move for the 10 days of Stampede, be it a brisk walk from one musical venue to another or to the next barn dance. I’m not implying that there is NO office time put in during the Stampede, but there is certainly much less and so people really embrace the idea of a daily office Power Hour. And there is nothing like the pressure of another pancake breakfast to eat a few frogs (not literally, of course) in those brief moments when you are in the office. Of course after it’s all said and done and people return to their regular schedule I have no doubt there are a few office guilt hours and other creative ways to get the end result in a little less time than usual. It’s also in the post-Stampede fog when people wish they had a more efficient inbox system and a few new time management strategies. Luckily this Calgary Ninja is quick to adapt and can easily swap out the Stetson for her black belt and get people back on track…and better prepared for next year 🙂


By Jill Mallett

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