Convocation: Co-op student explores productivity

Bachelor of commerce graduate Chris Bailey is spending one year learning how to be more productive to help others do the same. (Chris Roussakis Photo)

After graduating with a bachelor of commerce degree, Chris Bailey has decided to put his career on hold to pursue a unique project – exploring what it means to be productive.

The 23-year-old Sprott School of Business graduate has launched “A Year of Productivity” to learn everything he can about improving productivity and then put it to the test by living out all the tips, tricks and theories for one year.

“No matter how productive you are, you can always be a bit more productive, and that’s one of the things I found really fascinating,” Bailey says.

Since starting the project on May 1, Bailey has been sharing what he’s learned through his website of the same name. The site also has a donations page where people can contribute as much as they want if they like what they see.

Bailey says the goal of the project isn’t to make money but to help people improve their productivity. “If there’s a time in my life where I should start something of my own and try to make it into something big that people can benefit from, it’s now,” Bailey says.

Some of the experiments he’s writing about include waking up at 5:30 a.m. every morning, meditating for one hour each day, and writing 150,000 words by the end of the project.

Born in Red Deer, Alta., Bailey grew up in Belleville, Ont., before moving to Ottawa to study at Carleton. The marketing and management major was named the 2011 CU Co-op Student of the Year while working as the student programs co-ordinator for the high-tech firm Alcatel-Lucent.

Bailey says one of the things he’s learned through co-op is that there is always room to improve productivity and meetings are one example. “When you gather a bunch of people for a meeting, you’re not just spending your own time. If there are 10 people, you’re spending 10 man hours for a one-hour meeting,” says Bailey.

Bailey says his time in co-op has helped him gain an incredible network of working people who are living productively.

“In any work environment … there’s always going to be people who aren’t performing as well as they can, and that’s what I hope to help people out with through this project.”

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