Microsoft Email: The Productivity Minute #12: Curing the “Reply to All” Sickness

Don't you hate it when someone sends an email to 15 people asking for input and someone hits "Reply to All" and creates a huge volley of 47 messages later?  AAAAAAH!  In this episode, Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), gives three better ways to handle email when you need to get ideas from a group of people.  (C) 2009 Laura Stack.  All rights reserved. http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

The Productivity Minute #4 by Laura Stack – Graciously Refusing Requests from Coworkers Part II

Laura continues her tactful advice on how to handle coworkers who drop in with requests that you must refuse---and how to say NO without actually saying the word. The Productivity Minute video podcast By Laura Stack, www.TheProductivityPro.com (C) 2009 Laura Stack. … [Read more...]

What’s a ROWE? Understanding the Results-Only Work Environment

Understanding the Results-Only Work Environment

The biggest workplace revolution since the cubicle might someday make those stuffy little offices obsolete. It’s a whole new way to look at work. Picture this…what if…work weren’t a place that you GO…but it was a thing that you DO. That’s the idea behind the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)—a concept originally conceived at Best Buy that has spread to organizations across many industries. It sounds so simple, but it can be a very tricky concept for some of us to wrap our heads around, especially for those that have been in a traditional workplace for a long time. Think about it. We talk about “burning the midnight oil.” We notice which cars are always in the parking lot at the end of the day. We listen to self-proclaimed go-getters brag about their 80-hour workweeks. But her … [Read more...]

Laura Stack’s Top Thirty Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments

Top Thirty Best Practices for Scheduling Your Day and Setting Appointments

1. Determine if you really need to meet in person. How many times have you attended a meeting and asked yourself, “Why am I here?” Hopefully, you’ve started protecting your time from every person who wants a piece of it. If my clients want to meet in person, I charge a consulting fee. For telephone calls, no charge. Ninety percent of the time, a conference call will suffice. Extra travel time and expenses are involved when meeting in person, so avoid it unless dialogue and brainstorming are required. 2. Have meeting requests and responses go to your delegate, not to you. Don’t wade through all the responses; that’s why you have an assistant (if you do). Under Tools, Options, Delegates, select “Send meeting requests and responses only to my delegates, not to me.” Brilliant. 3. Create a … [Read more...]

How Do You KNOW When You Are Being Productive?

How Do You KNOW When You Are Being Productive?

Well folks—here it is. I don’t know if you’ve been counting, but you are now reading the 100th issue of The Productivity Pro news"E"letter. How exciting! I spent some time going through the archives and simply could not believe how much time has passed since that first issue in 1999. I changed the name of my company, got married, and had two more children. But one thing that has not changed is my passion for personal productivity. It was then—and continues to be—my professional mission in life: to help people leave the office earlier, with less stress, and more to show for it. Anyway, it got me thinking…with all of the tips and tricks that we’ve discussed (including tons of great reader suggestions), we’ve all hopefully learned HOW to be more productive, personally and professionally— … [Read more...]

Get Ready for Tax Time…in October?

Get Ready for Tax Time…in October?

“What? Laura, you’ve got to be kidding! You want me to start thinking about tax time in October? Halloween hasn’t even passed yet.” That’s precisely the reason. Once my kids’ third favorite holiday is over at the end of this month, all minds will be focused on the holiday season. Thanksgiving will come and go, then the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza season will go by in a flash, and then it will be the New Year. Once again, you’ll be stressed out and scrambling trying to get everything pulled together. Why not start getting organized for tax time now, before the flurry of wrapping paper hits? By putting yourself in tax mode nice and early, you can DRAMATICALLY reduce the amount of stress in your life down the road. Imagine kicking back with your refund already in hand (yes, the early bird … [Read more...]