“Ding!” The notification on my phone appears reminding me of an imminent meeting… another one – slim or fruitless looking agenda with no clear objective and… I digress. Setting good meeting agendas is a whole other story. Dismissing the notification I grab my iPad, notebook, and my trusty pen (which is starting to die on me – I know, the irony of it all – put them in my bag and go.
Today I quit email at work. No longer will I be concerned with managing a torrent of emails every day. No more. I was inspired to tackle this challenge after seeing Asana’s blog post “30 Days Without Email“. Being a heavy user of Asana I figured this approach makes perfect sense so why not give it a go. It’s going to take a lot of dedication and I’m sure a few eyebrows will be raised from colleagues, but it’s time to stop “doing email” and start being productive. So how can I work without email and why would I want to? Let’s find out.
It happens to just about all of us. We enable the “out of office” notification on our email client, pack our bags and head off on a well-deserved vacation. Only we never really leave the office. There’s still the barrage of emails and phone calls that come through and our phone is relentlessly buzzing and beeping, holding us back from enjoying our vacation.
As you prepare for your next vacation have hope! Follow these simple rules to ensure a happy holiday and a productive return to work.
Recently, with the help of my fellow partners, I launched a brand new business to the Australian market. This business has been twelve months in the making and I can guarantee that it would have taken a lot longer if it wasn’t for some crucial productivity tools and practices we used. The business is called The Shop Stop. It’s a virtual shopping mall where you are paid to shop!
I am a big Wunderkit fan and user, so it is with a great deal of pain that I write this post. 6Wunderkinder, the people behind Wunderlist and Wunderkit have announced that they have halted development of Wunderkit to be able to focus exclusively on Wunderlist. This news comes eight months after the launch of Wunderkit Beta and when looking back at what’s happened during that time, it really is no surprise. 6Wunderkinder share their usage numbers citing that even though there are over 400,000 Wunderkit users, there are over 3,000,000 Wunderlist users and that number is vastly more significant.
While Wunderkit was being developed, Wunderlist, a very simple, powerful and beautiful task management tool, became stagnant – no significant enhancements were being made. 6Wunderkinder mention that of the 400,000 registered Wunderkit accounts, many of them were never used, leaving only a very small number of active Wunderkit users.
Do you ever get the feeling there are just too many places to look and listen to get all the information you need, and that’s expected of you? How are we suppose to deal with all these channels of communication and still be productive? It’s definitely a challenge. In a vain attempt to get something done, you end up shutting down your email, closing your web browser, setting your chat client(s) to “Do Not Disturb” and put your phone on silent and in your drawer. Does it work?
At work we depend on communication channels to keep abreast of changes in the workplace, client requests, the competition and everything else. So when email is so prevalent, why do we need to even think about using chat, or forums, or secret departmental mini-apps?
How many meetings do you have in a week, or even in a day? If you’re like most people, you are probably involved in two or three meetings per day. Each one taking around one to two hours of your time. How much time in each of these meetings do you think is spent on the details, on what the meeting was called for in the first place? Not much, maybe twenty to thirty minutes! So what happens to the rest of the time? Firstly, a meeting rarely starts on time, so there’s about 10 minutes lost. There’s the introductions and laid back chit-chat at the beginning that might last for 10 to 15 minutes. Sidetracks and tangents happen about 5 or 6 times per meeting and can last a few minutes each (or take over the meeting if you’re not careful). Banter and jokes to make sure people are still paying attention takes up more time. And finally, there’s the thank-you’s and good bye’s at the end that might take another 5 to 10 minutes. In the time that’s left, you have to power through as much content and questions as you had originally planned for the full time the meeting was scheduled for. Oh, and let’s not forget how long your travel time to and from the meeting takes. That’s a huge consideration. If you have to go out for a meeting that’s scheduled for say two hours, you should probably block out at least four hours in your calendar right away – your travel time will be about an hour either side to be safe! It all seems like so much wasted time! Here are seven tips to help you cut your meeting times in half and be more productive!
There are thousands of articles out there on the internet that tell you that if you want to be more productive in your workplace you should stop drinking coffee and drink more water. I’m here to tell you that is wrong. Incorrect. Rubbish.
Coffee, whether you like it or not, keeps economies, businesses and individuals going. It is the fuel for our minds, our creativity and ingenuity. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. It helps you get more done, in less time. Fact.
6Wunderkinder is the software development company behind the incredibly popular Wunderlist. 6Wunderkinder started to make themselves known at the end of 2010 by launching Wunderlist.
Wunderlist is a task management application that works on almost every device! There’s a web version, iPad/iPhone and Mac version, Android version, Windows version and even a linux version. There are two devices that are missing from this list – Blackberry and Windows Phone. Wunderlist was initially released on Windows, Mac and iPhone and it’s popularity grew phenomenally quickly. This was largely because:
- It’s free
- It looks amazing
- It keeps things simple
It also helped that no matter what device you were using, your tasks were always in sync. Wunderlist sync’s tasks up to the cloud and then keeps your other devices up to date seamlessly.
Recently, a group of my colleagues was given the task of compiling a document. The problem was that there was only ten hours to do it in.
The document was an RFP so there were a number of questions that needed responses. Normally, for this task to get done, the team would need to first assess which questions each person would answer. Then, each would head off on their own and try their best to complete each of them. Later, one lucky person would have the added task of copying and pasting all the responses into a single master document, ensuring that each answer wasn’t replicated somewhere else in a slightly different way.
That just wasn’t going to cut it. There are far too many problem with this traditional approach. Not only is there too much time and energy spent assessing and dividing the questions at the beginning, but the logistics of it meant that it really wouldn’t take long at all for the documents to become out of sync – especially if one person sent through a couple of revisions for a question. It also means that the response are less of a collaboration, instead being a set of distinct blocks of text that don’t have any flow.