Increasing Productivity: If You Think It, Ink It!

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. -- John Steinbeck My father had a saying he used to repeat often. He always carried around one of those little Mead spiral notebooks, which he liked to call "his brain," and whenever an idea would strike him he'd write it down and say, "If you think it, ink it!" That used to just drive me crazy…but Dad was absolutely right. You can't depend on your meat brain to remember everything, especially when you're in the middle of another task. Nor is it a good idea to drop the task you're working on and go haring off after the new idea. Oh, you can do that, but if make a habit of it you'll never finish anything—and your productivity will be shot to heck. So when you have a random thought … [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 … [Read more...]

Time Management Video: Eliminate the Later Factor

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses how "I'll do that later" can affect your productivity. (c) 2010 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved … [Read more...]

Time Management: Video: What You Should Do First Thing in the Morning

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) Talks about finding the best use of your time in the morning. (c) 2010 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved … [Read more...]

Time Management: How to Say No Without Saying NO

HOW TO SAY NO WITHOUT SAYING NO: REFUSING REQUESTS WITH TACT AND GRACE 1. Try to negotiate. When someone asks us to do something, when do we assume they mean they need it? We assume they mean now. But that’s not always the case. Instead of doing a task immediately, try to negotiate. Can you extend the deadline a bit? Just ask, “Do you need that today? Or would Monday be okay?” You will often be pleasantly surprised. 2. Simplify. Can you reduce the scope of the task? Asking, “At what level of detail does this need to be done? Does it need to be to the second decimal place or can I just round a little bit?” Find out in advance. 3. Communicate. Simply be honest about what’s on your plate. Saying “Here’s a list of all the things I’m working on in priority order. Where would you say this … [Read more...]

Time Management: Getting People Out of Your Office Quickly

Getting People Out of Your Office Quickly 1. Always choose to visit a colleague, if given a choice. When scheduling a meeting, you’ll have to decide where to hold the conversation: your office or mine? During a face-to-face conversation, it’s always better to go to them. Why? You can leave! If someone’s in your office in your comfortable guest chair, “feet up,” so to speak, it’s much harder to get them out of your office than to walk yourself out of their office. 2. Be honest. If they say, “Got a minute?” and you don’t, you can say, “Actually, I have my back up against the wall right now on a deadline. If it’s okay with you, can I call you back at 3:00?” And actually let them see you type the appointment in your calendar. They walk out feeling like I have an appointment! It lets them … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: Prevent Crisis By Planning in Advance: Time Management

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses advanced planning. (C) 2010 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved … [Read more...]

An Automatic Time Tracker for Professionals

Looking for a better way to keep track of your time, log hours for various clients, or see where time is being wasted? You'll want to check out Chrometa's Automatic Time Tracker. Chrometa automatically records the time while you work — both on and off the PC. You'll discover previously undocumented billable time, save time on billing reconciliation, and improve personal productivity. Once your time is automatically captured, you can categorize your time quickly and easily by client or project. Use smart alerts to remind you to log time away from the PC such as meetings or phone calls. And easily export the data into Microsoft Excel. If you're serious about boosting your personal productivity, and getting paid for every second you work, Chrometa is THE ideal time management … [Read more...]

Workplace Productivity: Tips for Maximum Enjoyment as an Administrative Assistant

1. Don’t take personalities personally. I have heard many stories from admins whose boss was a grouchy type of person, who say to me, “Oh, he doesn’t like me. We just don’t get along.” When the boss gets a promotion she thought, “I’m going to be left behind.” He said, “Are you kidding? I can’t do anything without you.” Do not think that just because someone is in a bad mood that it reflects on you, or if someone has a crotchety personality that s/he doesn’t like you. Always be your capable, competent, positive self. 2. Change your focus. Focus on the 175 things that you did right today, not the one thing that you did wrong. So many people get upset when they make a little mistake. They made a typo in a letter or sent an email to the wrong person or copied someone they shouldn’t have. … [Read more...]

Local piggybacking training tours with Laura Stack coming to your area

If you or someone in your company or organization occasionally brings in outside speakers for training or meetings, please keep reading. As the economy turns around, we are finding training hasn't yet returned to 2006-2008 levels, budgets are still suppressed, and attendees can't get out of their offices for a full day of training. So after successful pilots in Sioux Falls, SD, and Tampa, FL, we think we've stumbled on a solution: we are playing MATCHMAKER. Rather than flying out to work with a single company, we will help you find someone in your area to split the costs. Here's how it will work. I will book a two-day tour in select cities based upon interest. We will use the same discounted in-state "piggybacking" rates we use for Colorado. Four companies will each get a half-day … [Read more...]