What Does Office Clutter Cost You?

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, clutter could be costing you quite a bit! More than a quarter of employers said they are less likely to promote someone who has a messy work space. A large percentage of employers also feel that having paper piles on desks gives them a more negative impression of those workers. Surpisingly, a third of workers admit to having hoarding tendencies with 13% saying they have files which are more than five years old. If you're facing challenges with office clutter, we've got help for you! Spend an hour with me on my pre-recorded webinar "Organize Your Office and Your Life: Survive Information Overload and Clear the Clutter." You'll learn expert tips on keeping the clutter at bay so that you have more time to tackle that to-do list! … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: How to Turn an Unproductive Day Around

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." -- Ovid, Roman poet "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers, American humorist. "Oh that it were my chief delight/To do the things that I ought!/Then let me try with all my might/To mind what I am taught." Jane Taylor, English poet Inevitably, you'll experience days when time just seems to run away from you, or you hit an invisible wall and can't get past it, or accomplishing anything is like pulling teeth: laborious, slow, and painful. Maybe you're distracted, or you feel a bit under the weather, or you're just mad at the world. Whatever the cause, it adds up to "one of those days" when nothing of value gets done. You don't have to accept that. Here are a few things … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: How to Handle a Micromanager

"Micromanagement is a personality aberration of insecure individuals." -- Susan K. O'Brien, organizational specialist "One micromanager can do more damage to an organization than termites in the foundation of a house." -- Eric Boehme, IT professional "Micromanagement doesn't just suck the life out of the workers, it sucks the life out of the manager, too." -- Wally Bock, leadership expert In recent months, I've received a flurry of responses to my articles about the evils of micromanaging. This doesn't surprise me: according to the latest statistics, a whopping 75-80% of American workers have suffered under micromanagers at some point. One- third of us have changed jobs because of them. My previous work on the subject has focused on the negative aspects of micromanaging, and why you, … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: Can Ambient Sound Make You More Productive?

“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” -- Henry Beston, writer and naturalist "Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting." Brian Eno, musician "You are one-third as productive in open-plan offices as in quiet rooms. If you have to work in space like that, carry headphones with you with a soothing ambient sound like birdsong, put them on, and your productivity goes back up to triple what it would be." -- Julian Treasure, Chair of The Sound Agency We all know how difficult it can be to concentrate when it's noisy. But that begs a question: what exactly qualifies as n … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: Making No Mean No

Learn to say 'no' to the good so you can say 'yes' to the best. -- John C. Maxwell (author, speaker, and pastor). In Oklahoma!, the befuddled Ado Annie Carnes sings, I'm just a girl who cain't say no, I'm in a terrible fix I always say "come on, let's go!" Jist when I orta say nix... Ever find yourself in Annie's situation? Are you a people pleaser? Do you have trouble turning down new tasks, even when you're drowning in work? Does everyone turn to helpful ol' you when they need something done? Is your schedule packed until the turn of the century? Sounds like you need to learn to say no graciously—and make it stick. Many of us have been conditioned by society to say "yes" to any reasonable request. It's as if the word "no" is a four-letter word, even when you've got all you can h … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: Go Over and Above What’s Expected: Become and Indispensible Assistant

GO OVER AND ABOVE WHAT’S EXPECTED: BECOME AN INDISPENSIBLE ASSISTANT 1. Identify tasks you are capable of taking over. Provide a list of tasks to your manager that you believe you are capable of doing. Start with the decisions your manager makes most frequently and repetitively. If she doesn’t like creating PowerPoint presentations or answering her email, maybe that’s something you can pick up for her. Anything she particularly dislikes is a great candidate for you. Doing her expense reports at the end of each trip might be a great way to help out. Take a look at recurring matters that she handles over and over again. Maybe she is a writer and constantly has to post articles to different blogs. You could learn how to do it and take over any time-consuming details. For example, when I cr … [Read more...]

SUPERCOMPETENT KEY #2: AVAILABILITY

Availability is driven by Activity. Just as setting valid priorities and goals is important, so is accepting your responsibility in carrying them out. You have to structure your schedule very carefully to ensure that things get done—because if you don't, other people will be perfectly happy to structure your schedule for you. Think about it: how many times have you attended a meeting and asked yourself, "Why am I here?" Often, it's because someone decided you should be—without bothering to consider if that was best for you and your productivity goals. You have to be willing to protect your time from everyone who wants a piece of it. Among other things, you must learn to say no when appropriate, to delegate, to cancel unnecessary meetings, to let some tasks go, and to eliminate bot … [Read more...]

Audio Podcast: Greensizing for Productivity

We all want to do our part to help the environment. But if you can give the Earth a break and increase your productivity at the same time, that’s a real no-brainer! Luckily, a lot of the things you can do to help sustain the planet can help sustain your productivity as well. (C) Copyright 2009 Laura Stack. All rights reserved. Powered by Podbean.com … [Read more...]

Office Productivity: Stop the Meeting Madness

Stop the Meeting Madness

Meetings can absolutely eat up your day if you let them. Ever seen the Dilbert cartoon about preliminary pre-meeting meetings? Does it feel like you're stuck in that Dilbert cartoon and can't get anything effective done? Well, you don't have to take it anymore! Keep these things in mind when dealing with time-stealing meetings. Refuse Face-to-Face Meetings When Unnecessary 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, by now 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 … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: The Productivity Minute Video #22 If you don’t have something to say, say nothing

Sometimes the most productive thing to do is nothing. If you don't have anything new to add to the conversation, whether it be on email or in a meeting, don't say anything at all. (C) 2009 Laura Stack. All rights reserved. http://www.theproductivitypro.com … [Read more...]