Email OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

According to a report from Basex, the average "knowledge worker" — someone who is part of the growing information economy — loses 2.1 hours a day to interruptions. If those workers make an average of $21 an hour, that adds up to $588 billion a year — more than the gross domestic product of Argentina. See Then another article goes on to say, “Other companies, such as Ambient Devices, say keep it simple. You shouldn't have to open your e-mail whenever an icon pops up on your screen. A glance should tell if the new message is important to you, much the way you glance at a clock.” Actually, that’s a *really* bad idea.  Even glancing at an email starts … [Read more...]

My Favorite Way to Use Outlook Notes as Category Lists

I wanted to share my favorite Palm trick (I use MS Outlook and a Treo 700p).  I was frustrated by being in the grocery store and not having my list with me.  Then a friend would tell me her experience at a great restaurant, and darn if I couldn't remember the name when my husband asked where we should eat.  We'd be at the video store and couldn't remember the name of the funny DVD my dad suggested.  So, I created a Note in Outlook for each of these categories: 1.      Books to read 2.      Groceries to buy (even though “go to grocery store” may be a task, this list contains the individual items I need to remember to buy) 3.      Shopping to do (a list of things I need to remember to get when I’m … [Read more...]

Creating a productive environment

What do you surround yourself with to make you feel productive?  I have an "I love me" wall with degrees, certificates, awards, etc., to remind myself that I am living up to a lot of expectations.  I keep a wall calendar to remind me that my job is to keep it full with speaking engagements.  I have photos of my family, husband, and children, to remind me that a lot of people are depending upon me.  I keep my dog and cat running around in my office to remind me to play.  And my newest environmental addition...two Siamese fighting fish (a.k.a. betta fish) fancy filtration systems needed. Just watching them swim around on my desk relaxes me and knowing I get to feed them gives me another good reason to look forward to coming to work.  The glass … [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...]

National Leave the Office Earlier Day

Today is National Leave the Office Earlier Day!  To get you out on time today, some last-minute reminders: 1. When you leave tonight, make sure you've identified the top 2-3 things you absolutely must accomplish before you leave the office Friday.  Do those first! 2. Turn off your email alerts and only handle email 2-3 times tomorrow.  Go to Tools, Options, Preferences tab, Email options, advanced email options, and uncheck the four boxes under when new items arrive in my in-box. 3. Be disciplined about the length of your socializing.  Tell your colleagues about the day and that you are committed to only working 8 hours today instead of your usual 9-12. 4. Stay off non-work related Internet sites, just for the day.  You can do it!  The average worker spends 3.6 hours a week … [Read more...]

Procedure to install a newsreader and subscribe to a blog

I’ll share a simple procedure to install an RSS newsreader, so you can subscribe to blogs and news feeds and receive them direct to your desktop!  No more corporate firewalls to worry about!  No more newsletters going into your spam folder!  You receive exactly what you want to see.  This is the productivity wave of the future, so you may as well figure it out, and I’ll make it easy for you: 1.      Download the free Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1. 2.      Run a Windows Update  3.      Select Custom 4.      Select Optional Software updates 5.      Select the option to install .NET Framework 1.1 … [Read more...]