Gamify Your Day By Taking Smart Breaks standard

Be Smart, Take Breaks The mind is not a marathon runner; it’s a sprinter. Decision fatigue sets in and performance suffers. Filling the mental energy tank back up is easy, just take a break. Think of it this way: The mind is a product of the brain. The brain is an organ. Organs need rest and nutrition to perform at peak levels. As obvious as this seems, we persist in believing that working longer and harder produces the best result. The reality is that success – of any kind – comes from working better and faster. The first step to better/faster is to keep the main engine functioning properly. Take regular breaks throughout the day. Even a short break of five minutes ...

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A Baker’s Dozen on Traveling Productively standard

Easy Ways to Make Business Travel Better Traveling for business is often a consequence of career success. Making the experience comfortable and productive can be challenging. Ten years of traveling has taught this road warrior a few tricks for achieving that result. Best Gear Here are some arrows for the business travel quiver. Duplicate Toiletries Kit. Investing and maintaining a travel-only toiletries kit ensures that everything needed is present. The investment is minimal and the return is high during the packing and the traveling stages. Noise Canceling Headphones. Jet roar leaves ears ringing and who knows the long term consequences. Get a set of noise canceling headphone or ear buds. Consider the Audio Technica QuietPoint. They’re super compact, 90% as ...

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Simple Stand-Up Desk Solution standard

Join the revolution – be healthier and more productive. My Personal Experience Everyone’s heard about stand-up desks. “Get Off Your Rear!” is the true believer’s battle cry. The pitch is that sitting all day is unhealthy and unproductive, so Stand Up. Much to my skeptical self’s surprise, I have joined their ranks. I purchased my first stand-up apparatus a year ago and haven’t looked back. To the contrary, I have pursued refinement of my standing workspace accoutrement with a vigor normally reserved for mobile technology! What’s the Difference? I have no explanation for why it’s so much better to stand than sit. My guess is that standing forces me to remain vigilant at a cellular level lest I fall down. ...

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Five Ways to Make Silence Work for You standard

The Silent Symphony The modern world is a symphony of noise. The squawks and pings of mobile devices are only the latest editions to the cacophony of rings, bells, announcements, conversations and other noise-producing machinations of daily professional life. Interestingly, getting things done – being productive – is largely a result of silence. In fact, the quieter we can make our internal and external worlds, the more productive we become.

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Mini-Monk Mode Sharpens Focus And Increases Productivity standard

Short Bursts of Quiet In his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” Greg McKeown refers to getting focused as being in the “Monk Mode.” The benefit to the Monk Mode is greater and higher quality work product. Given our time-starved world, it might be more effective to find Mini-Monk Modes throughout our day. Here are some ways to do that: Silent Times. Seek out short periods during the day—like 20 minutes—during which you grant yourself permission to work uninterrupted. This may be first thing in the morning or after the proverbial dust settles at the end of the day. The point is to actively determine when these periods occur. The act of choosing delivers great rewards; repeating that act ...

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Five Killer Note Taking Abbreviations standard

Action-Oriented Note Taking Taking notes is a good way to capture and digest the content of a meeting. It also increases focus on the subject matter at hand, as the notes preserve the salient points. Here is a list of abbreviations for use when taking notes to make them even more productive: A is an Action item. C is a Call that needs to be made. R is a Reference item for further use. F is a Follow-up that needs to occur. S is something that needs to be Scheduled. After the meeting, work through the notes to prioritize or delegate the associated action items.

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Get More Done Through Better Capture – Part 1 standard

More Technology but Less Productivity The irony of the modern world is that we have more tools and information at our disposal than ever before, but we’re getting less and less done. Sure, there’s a lot more activity, but it’s productivity that matters – advancing the cause, moving the ball down the proverbial field. There are many reasons for this and possibly as many suggestions for solving the problem. We’re going to focus on making one small slice of time – odd-lot time – more productive. Making Odd-Lot Time Productive Examples of odd-lot time include those minutes between when the meeting was scheduled to start and when it actually starts, the small (or large) slice of time commuting, and that ...

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The World in Five Sentences standard

You’ve no doubt hear of the six-word memoirs? If not, take a minute to check it out at Six-Word Memoirs. There are some amazing contributions. In a similar vein, Mike Davidson founded Five Sentence Email several years ago. The idea is simple: write shorter emails to reduce the increasing burden everyone is experiencing with email overload. Here are five reasons to consider adopting the five sentences approach: Takes less time to write. Takes less time to read. Results in clearer messages. Creates more time for doing the associated work. Lowers stress for all involved. See How Crafty You Are Writing cogent, concise emails is highly effective. Give it try the next time a message needs to be sent.

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Get More Done Through Better Communication – Part 1 standard

Buying a Car Sucks Buying a car ranks high on the list things we dislike doing. There are dozens of makes and models, option lists are daunting, and haggling with the dealership is a nightmare. In spite of this, we spend a tremendous amount of time and energy pursing the best decision about the choices before us. However, we spend very little time choosing what vehicle we’ll use to communicate. Today’s defacto vehicle is email, regardless of how effective it is. Consider the following alternatives the next time you need to communicate with someone:

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Making Email Better – Part 2 standard

You are the Cure for Email Overload Part 1 of Making Email Better observed that how we use email significantly contributes to its negative effects on our productivity and sense of satisfaction. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported on a UK study that found up to 80% of email traffic is a “waste!”   Better Mechanics and Better Messaging We established that focusing on Better Mechanics – use of the tool – and Better Messaging – the manner of communicating – makes email more effective and productive. We covered three best practices suggestions for each. You can review those here.

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