Email and Productivity at Work

"I don't check my e-mail, it checks me to see if I'm still there." -- Ian Pattison, poll respondent, Canada "I never switch it off, and I also have a self-imposed policy of responding immediately if I'm sitting at my desk, however busy I am. " -- Wayne Andrews, poll respondent, United Arab Emirates "I like getting email. It is a diversion from a tough job or from a boring task. Stopping every now and then to answer email is like taking a break. If one appears to be a time waster, it gets postponed for later. " -- Lester Stephenson, poll respondent, USA As a productivity consultant, one of my chief concerns is what most of us mistakenly call "time management." Obviously, time comes in preset amounts for everyone and we use it up whether we like it or not, so we can't truly manage or … [Read more...]

Email Productivity

I'm curious to know how often you check your email each day. Please vote in my poll: Please comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts on the impact email has on your daily productivity. … [Read more...]

Organizational Skills: How to Process Email and Deal With Information Overload

        I was reading an article in Information Week appropriately titled, “Eaten by the Email Monster.” It links to several useful articles on how to handle information overload. I thought I’d add my thoughts on how to efficiently process email: the 6-D Information Management System™: 1. DISCARD = Delete it 2. DELEGATE = Forward it 3. DO = Reply immediately if it will take you three minutes or less 4. DATE = Needs work but not now. The key is to somehow get it out of your in-box. Pick one favorite method and try to be consistent, so you don’t confuse your brain about what you did with that email. Options: * Move to a process folder called “Action” or something similar. * … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: Email Tips

Clarity in workplace communication is highly important in any format, and these days, more and more business is conducted through email. Therefore, it's beneficial to learn how to maximize the content of your email messages, while minimizing the possibility of confusion. You should start with an informative, keyword-rich subject line that grabs the reader's attention. Don't leave the subject line blank, and don't be vague or non-specific; on the other hand, don't overuse exclamation points or capital letters. Either might lead an inattentive recipient to think your email is spam, resulting in it getting deleted—something that might range in consequence from minor to disastrous. If you're replying to an existing email, don't change the subject line unless you must. Otherwise, the recipient … [Read more...]

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...]

Productivity Minute Video: Take Back Your Time From Technology

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses the use of technology and how to keep it from controlling your time. (C) 2011 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: No Nosing In on Family Time

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses the importance of getting things done at work so your family time is not compromised. (C) 2011 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved … [Read more...]

Business Time Management For Sales People: Freeing Up Your Time to Sell

In sales, there will always be more things to do than time to do them. Working longer isn't going to save you. (I’d bet you’ve never gone to sleep at the end of a long day with everything on your to-do list completed.) To counter this never-ending battle, you’ll need to learn to be more efficient and get your work done in less time. Always keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you worked a 12-hour day if 10 of those hours didn’t involve tasks that translate into revenue. To free up more time for client acquisition (asking for referrals, calling prospects, networking, etc.), you must decrease time spent on administrivia and increase time spent on the selling function. If you can figure out how to be more productive during the day and achieve greater results in less time, you can leave … [Read more...]

Cleaning Out Your Life and Purging Things You Don’t Need

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." -- Hans Hoffman, American abstract painter "As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness." -- Henry David Thoreau "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." -- Confucius, ancient Chinese philosopher We've all heard the lifestyle guru's favorite mantra: "Simply, simply, simplify," after that paragon of simplicity himself, Thoreau. That's actually pretty good advice, and not just for your personal life. Simplifying has its place in the office as well; in fact, it may be more critical there than elsewhere, since it's another part of the grand mosaic that results in … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: Slipping the Electronic Leash

"We...can strategically train our attention. When it comes to email and the Internet, it's critical that we do so to give ourselves more time to think more reflectively, creatively, and deeply in an increasingly complex world." -- Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project "If left unchecked, 'info-mania' will damage a worker's performance by reducing their mental sharpness. This is a very real and widespread phenomenon." -- Glenn Wilson, British psychologist "When you log on, you feel like you're in touch with everything that's going on in the world. But what you really are is out of touch -- literally. There is no touching anymore." -- Judith Regan, Regan Books Would it surprise you to learn that paying too much attention to your email can lower your IQ by as much as 10 … [Read more...]