Test drive Microsoft Office 2007

http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/testdrive.mspx?showIntro=n Just for my readers...a FREE test drive of the new Microsoft Office 2007!  This is BETA, but you are live in the applications.  Test the new versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, and many more! The tutorials provide lots of new ways to work in Office 2007.  You can explore the new versions of Office in this fully functional Test Drive environment.  Try this before downloading the new beta versions to your computer.  Most other support applications like ACT or Quickbooks aren't ready for 2007, and you don't want to hose your mission-critical business systems.  So try it---no risk---in your browser instead. … [Read more...]

The American Time Use Survey released 2005 data today

Great news!  The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2005 results were just announced today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  Check out the BLS website at http://www.bls.gov/tus/home.htm.  The public use data files and data dictionaries are also available for downloading from the same website. For those of you who are paying attention, I haven't posted in a while...thanks for your notes...yes, I've been on vacation!  But I've been doing a lot of reading, so watch for a slew of postings in the next few days.  … [Read more...]

Time Log Activity

If you ever come to the end of the work day, throw up your hands, and exclaim "What happened?!!" you might need to get a grip on your time.  But it's hard to make adjustments in your time management behaviors if you don't know where the time even went.  If your days go by in a blur, and you don't feel you've accomplished anything significant, you might want to track your time.  I've placed a time log template, instructions, and analysis directions on my site at https://theproductivitypro.com/FreeStuff/Time_Log.doc.  Perhaps with a little data, you can tweak your routines and see some improvement. … [Read more...]

Paper versus electronic time management systems

If you want to test out whether you are more of a "paper" person or an "electronic" person, I have a test at https://theproductivitypro.com/FreeStuff/TEST_paperORelectronic.xlt that will run a macro and give you a score and a recommendation. … [Read more...]

Productivity Boost Using Three Screens Per Worker

I'm mulling about my monitor.  I was reading an article at online.wsj.com/articles/talking_tech about a research study done by Microsoft's Center for Information Work, which looks at the way office workers use computers.  They found that with three monitors per worker, productivity jumped NINE PERCENT.  That's unreal.  Nine percent might not seem like a lot to you, but it's getting to the point where it's really hard to squeeze a few extra productivity points out of workers, so that's a very large amount.  When you look at the stock market trading floor, you see multiple monitors everywhere---that group has already realized it's required to see all that information. Perhaps I wouldn't have three monitors, but I'm seriously considering adding a second.  It … [Read more...]

The Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette

I just had a conversation with my assistant about this very issue today.  She only works part-time a few hours on Mon, Wed, Fri.  When she comes to work, she shares my office, which isn't the best arrangement, but I work from home.  My husband John has the second office, so, well, there you have it.  Like anyone, she gets personal phone calls at work on her cell phone.  I frankly don't really care when people call her.  She's very diligent and works hard, so it doesn't bother me that she answers her cell phone.  What *does* bother me is having her carry on her personal phone conversations a few feet away from me.  She's been working for me for a year and a half now, and I can't believe I haven't said anything so far, but today I had to speak up.  She talked with her lawn guy for five … [Read more...]

What are you tolerating today?

I just got fed up.  My Treo 600 wasn't connecting to my email server unless it had a really full battery charge.  Which wasn't a problem IF I remembered to plug it in every night.  Until a few days ago, when I forgot, and I was out and about on appointments and couldn't get my messages.  I'd been putting up with this for several weeks, because the battery is internal and can't easily be replaced.  So I just bought the new Treo 700p and am so jazzed!  I can watch tv, view Web sites easily, use my new bluetooth ear piece, and take really great pictures and videos.  Why didn't I do this sooner?  Then I started looking around and wondering what else I've been tolerating that's irritating or otherwise slowing me down.  My printer!  Ugh!  … [Read more...]

How to be productive on the 3rd of July

I was reading about a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. of 100 human resource executives, which found 56 percent said they would have normal office hours on Monday, citing the global nature of their businesses. Many people took the day off, turning it into a 4-day weekend.  Those that are left in the office wish they weren't.  So how to you get some last-minute pre-holiday productivity?  Roll in giant recycling and trash bins and stage a paper-tossing contest between departments.  Have employees clean out their filing cabinets, and whoever gets rid of the most paper in weight (adjusted to % based on the # of people in the department) gets a pizza party at lunch and leaves early.  Of course, buy everyone pizza and let everyone go early, but you'll at … [Read more...]

Television needs a time management lesson

People always tell me how lucky I am to have the opportunity to be on television.  "Wow, it must be nice to be such a celebrity!" they say.  Right.  So I'm supposed to appear on the CBS Early Show on June 26, live, to be interviewed about my newest book, Find More Time.  I give up a weekend day with my family and make the long trek from Denver to NYC on Sunday.  I arrive, fight NYC traffic for 90 minutes, check into my hotel, get something to eat alone (by the way, Sarabeth's Kitchen www.sarabeth.com has the best tomato soup I've ever had; their preserves are fabulous too), and sit down to think about the interview.  Phone rings.  It's the PR rep for my publisher.  "Your segment's been bumped," she says.  "Huh?" I … [Read more...]

Is Socializing a Waste of Time?

I read with a mixture of interest and amusement an article referencing a study done by OfficeTeam/ Robert Half International about whether socializing at work around the water cooler is a waste of time.  http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=2278 Predictably, workers said no.  Predictably, managers said yes.  The answer, of course, is YES...and NO.  This is a silly study.  As with any study, it's easy to skew the numbers.  The answers vary, depending upon the context in which it's discussed and your point of reference.  Certainly, socializing can be a waste of time.  Thirty minutes spent chatting about your aunt Sally's surgery could qualify as a non-value producing activity.  However, not all socializing is a waste of … [Read more...]