5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Company Retreat

iDoneThis company retreat

If you’ve ever had to suffer through trust fall exercises or offsites that try to make over ugly corporate morale in one go, you probably dismiss company retreats as a waste of time and money.

Yet the company retreat remains one concrete strategy that startups employ to fuel their success. When you work for a startup, where every day is basically a trust fall, a company retreat is not just a superficial motivational exercise in decreeing “let’s do better” but an opportunity to take a step back and realign, rethink, and break down how to do better.

In July, I Done This went on a week-long team trip to downtown Las Vegas to do just that. While we’d visited before to connect with Zappos and the Downtown Project, this year things are a bit different:  our CEO Walter lives in Vegas and we’re proud to be in the Vegas Tech Fund portfolio alongside exciting companies like Zirtual, LaunchBit, and Skillshare.

We had a fantastic time connecting with the Vegas startup and Downtown Project community, working out some of our own company kinks, and of course, having fun. We thought we’d share some tips on what made our all-hands trip effective to consider for your own company retreats, offsites, or meetups!

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Shut Up and Listen! The Best of the Internet

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Doggies at workHappy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week!  

3 Reasons to Shut up and Listen Well.

Self-control depletes itself and your motivation. How to refuel from within.

5 hard questions to ask yourself during a conflict.

Why your phone is snuffing your creativity (and is an endless supply of Cheetos).

The perks at Buffer? Daily improvement and free books.

Dundee’s Tip of the Week:  Hey IDT teams! Do you only want to see certain team members show up in your email digest? Log into I Done This, and under the calendar, click on “unfollow” or “follow” to choose whose dones you want to see in your digest.

Video: How to Stop Hitting That Snooze Button!

Here’s the science on why you should stop hitting that snooze button. Alarms and snooze buttons disrupt our sleep cycles, which include a natural ability to wake up. This causes less restful sleep and less energy to be your awesome self during the day.

Managing our energy levels and syncing with our natural rhythms are key to feeling great and doing your best. So try to get on a regular sleep schedule, and if you still need an alarm, set it for later, and go to sleep a little earlier!

Schedule Nothing: The Best of the Internet

Happy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week! 

We make a lot of mistakes at work. This is how you stop repeating them.

Schedule nothing.

Don’t confuse busyness with business.

Manage your energy instead of your time.

Don’t buy dissatisfaction created by someone else’s criteria.

imageDundee’s Tip of the Week:  Did you know you could use an Alfred app extension to record your dones? Now you can update dones throughout the day with this shortcut!


The Procrastination Workshop: The Best of the Internet

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Happy Friday! Catch up with the best of what we’ve shared on the interwebs this week!

Marc Andreessen’s surprising procrastination antidote to super-productive superpowers.

Don’t waste productivity superpower on getting just any old stuff done. Get the right stuff done …

By saying no to spending time thinking unhelpful thoughts …

And by taking time for yourself. Pick your battles and recharge your human batteries —

So that you can face the question with that strong heart of yours, of what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

And stay open to face fear, for “being vulnerable, especially in our work, is fucking terrifying” and that vulnerability is where empathy begins.

imageDundee’s Tip of the Week:  Display entries for multiple days at once by clicking and dragging over the days you want to show on your I Done This web calendar.  Your path o’ progress will show up on the right!


The Science of Productivity

Productivity is really about how you and your brain work. Gregory Ciotti‘s collaboration with ASAPScience yields a fascinating video on the science of productivity, giving a quick look at willpower, energy management, and effective work habits like documenting your progress.

Productively intrigued? Check out Greg’s full post, which positively bursts with more information and work strategies, and our post about understanding the science behind to-do lists.

How You Can Work Harder and Waste More Time

‘The longer you work, the less efficient you are,’ said Bob Kustka, the founder of Fusion Factor, a productivity and time-management consulting firm in Norwell, Mass. He says workers are like athletes in that they are most efficient in concentrated bursts…. Working energy, like physical energy, ‘is best used in spurts where we work hard on a few focused activities and then take a brief respite,’ he says. And those respites look an awful lot like wasting time.

Lisa Belkin explores how we are both working harder and wasting more time. Whether you consider it wasting time, or productive “jell time”, she concludes that it’s the end result that matters.

Find Meaning in your Work: The Best of the Internet

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Get ready for the week ahead by catching up with the best of the stuff we’ve shared this past week!

Gregory Ciotti’s fascinating guest post about the science behind energy management and how it improves your work!

How Wistia uses iDoneThis to get stuff done, the Wista way! Word.

How to deal with psychological fatigue and create more energy and positive momentum.

Finding meaning in your work isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Overcome the blech of unpleasant tasks by checking out these tips.

The Science Behind Why Better Energy Management is the Key to Peak Productivity


We live in a culture that seems obsessed with being productive.

While increasing our output and doing more with our time is certainly an admirable goal, according to Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything, that misguided approach is actually liable to hurt your productivity.

How so?

Without real restoration and rejuvenation throughout the day, people (knowingly) hold themselves back because they are worried about “pacing” their energy to make it through the day.

This is incredibly damaging to your potential, because it distributes your efforts at 25% across your whole work day instead of reaching 90% output at the moments that correspond with your body’s naturally productive rhythms of alertness. The result is that you aren’t able to do your best work and you aren’t getting the rest you need to rejuvenate yourself either.

I know I’ve fallen into the trap of conventional thinking that to be productive, I just need to work harder. I spend more and more hours at the desk, but when I look back, I’m not sure where the time went.

To Schwartz, not being able to push yourself to 90% output without worry is the biggest impediment holding you back from being truly productive and producing your best work. True productivity is determined by better energy management rather than simply cranking out more hours at your desk.

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