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Showing posts with the label productivity

Create Your Best Environment

Do you work best indoors or outdoors?

Many of us spend years (yikes, decades!) of our lives working in doors, in little boxes. It often cannot be avoided. I seldom could ever tell my boss that I was just going to work at the beach or out in the woods or up in the mountains. And yet, so much of my best thinking takes place in nature. If thinking is part of your job, how often do you get to think outside?

Even when we are inside, it we can create environments that help us achieve our goals by having the right tools nearby. You can also improve your own productivity by listening to the right music (you decide what the right music is.)

Create an environment conducive to achieving your goals.

-- doug smith

Video: Key Points in Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

As a bonus, I finally learned how to pronounce this author's name. As a practical use of 8 minutes this is hard to beat - a great video with fascinating visuals and an easy to understand summary of a book that's not an easy read.

I'm sharing it so of course I can remember to watch it again later. It's also time to read the book again.

Here's the video:

Four Important Factors:

FocusFreedomFeedbackFour % Challenge It's well worth checking out the other quality material available at The Productivity Game.

Video: How to create a culture of high productivity & low stress

From the Life Hack Bootcamp series featuring the cheerful and direct Demir & Carey comes this 13 minute video offering useful tips for creating teams that are productive and less stressed. You could call it Knowing When to Manage and When to Get Out of the Way. Good stuff!


Do you remember a time when it was hard to let go of something, long after you knew it was not you'd intended?

There have been times that I've thought too much about something, long after thinking about it could do any good. I'm getting better at recognizing those moments. It takes work. It takes recognition.

Process, decide, and let go.

Note to self: If you keep re-deciding you'll never get anywhere.

-- doug smith

Supervisor's Playbook: Track the Work

Tackle that feeling of overwhelm using a practice, simple tool.

Overloaded with tasks. Getting delegated to from multiple sources and you suspect someone may be overloading you.

Helps you prioritize based on who assigned the workAllows you to add and identify what you own because you assigned it (to yourself OR to others)How it works: Add a column for "Per" for the person who assigned you the task.
For example:

Priority Scale: A = Urgent, important, and due today B = Important but not urgent C = Not due soon, more tactical than strategic D = Delegate or delete these
Additional Uses: A way to show the people who assign you work how much they assign you and also what else you are working on.Makes you assign a realistic priority value instead of calling everything an A (urgent AND important.)When deployed among your team you can see if the distribution of work is optimal or needs adjusting.
-- doug smith

Four Powerful Words

Four words that cut thru tons of nonsense: it's up to you.

-- doug smith

Video: How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work

Entrepreneur Magazine frequently offers useful time management tips. Here are 10 that are helpful. Don't worry too much about the revolutionary declaration that most time management advice is useless -- that would make THIS advice useless, too. It's not. It all depends on how you apply it, particularly with the discipline that you apply it.

All time management tips depend on people DOING them with the discipline to say NO to distractions and low-payoff items. Focus first (and most) on the HIGH PAYOFF items and you are likely to be happy with the results.

Here are the tips for additional review and application:

Carry a schedule and track all of your activities, conversations, actions, and even thoughts  - for a week. Identify your productive vs. non-productive times.Assign time for your important activities. Put it in your schedule!Plan to spend at least 50% of your time in the activities and actions that produce most of your results.Schedule time for interruptions. You know the…

Video: 20 Quick Time Management Tips

High performance leaders must take care of their time. Here's a quick video with 20 quick time management tips.

(Unfortunately, the video has been removed from youtube. However, I did summarize the tips so I'll leave this post.)

Since the video does go quickly, here are the 20 tips:
Create a daily planPeg a time limit for each taskUse your calendarUse an organizerKnow your deadlineLearn to say "no"Target to be earlyTime box your activitiesHave a clock visibly placed before youSet reminders 15 minutes beforeFocusBlock out distractionsTrack your time spentDon't fuss about unimportant detailsPrioritizeDelegateBatch similar tasks togetherEliminate your time wastersCut off when you need toLeave bugger time in between Video Source:

Building Your Team: Happy and Productive

Which comes first, happy or productive?

Many people will say that happy comes first, and that happy team members are more productive. I don't dispute that because I've seen it happen. Some of the best team members I've ever worked with brought an inner joy to their work that became contagious. They were more productive, and soon other team members around them were also more productive.

I think that it is also true that productive team members are happier. It's possible to create more joy in the team when the people involved are highly trained, skillful, attentive, and focused on making customers delighted. The wonderful side effect to this great work is great joy.

High performance leaders do what they need to do to create this great joy. It comes from knowing your team members, from helping them when they need it, from making sure that they have the help and resources that they need, and most of all, from appreciating their results AND their efforts.

The best leaders …

Is Stress A Choice?

How big of a deal is stress in your life?

We all endure a certain amount of stress. Depending on what's going on in your work and in your life, you may be going thru more stress than you want. Not all stress is bad (setting an ambitious goal, for example, adds a kind of good stress) but too much stress can slow you down.

How much of your stress are you choosing? Certainly, not all of your stress, but could you admit that some of it is the result of you doing too much worrying, or waiting too long to work on that big goal, or taking what the boss said too personally, or procrastinating when you knew the deadline was going to be tough?

You know as well as anyone else the answer to what to do about the stress you cause yourself: let it go. Stop it. Relax, breathe, focus, and then get to work.

When we do that, when we control the stress that we can control, when we choose "no" to a piece of self-selected stress, it makes handling the tough unchosen stress much, much easier.

What We Forget to Delegate

What do you forget to delegate?

It's important. What we forget to delegate we get to keep doing, and to keep too busy to get everything done. If you feel frenzied, if you feel overwhelmed, it could be that you are missing opportunities to delegate.

Do you know what we don't even think about delegating and so we forget about it?  We forget to delegate the things that we enjoy the most.

We don't even consider sharing what we enjoy the most because, well, we enjoy it. We crave it. We hold onto it. But what comes so naturally to us that we don't even need to think about it could be a motivating learning opportunity for someone else on our team.

I can still remember when my boss at Aon started sharing his favorite tasks with me. They were so easy for him that he do them in his sleep. Since they were new to me I had to give it thought. In the process, I developed new skills and he freed up vast amounts of time to work on things more strategic.

Delegate tasks you enjoy and you…