12 August 2008

What is GTD?

GTD (Getting Things Done) is an almost ultra simple system for improving your productivity. It has gained huge popularity in recent years, although its basis lies back in the late 1960s early 1970s. David Allen, who structured the system into something usable as GTD has written a very useful short definition on his site, which you might find useful.

Find out about GTD.

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18 June 2008

Tools & Gadgets (Use Wisely...)

Earlier today I came across Emily Chang's eHub, a great collection of browser plug-ins and add-ons that can help you work faster and smarter (if used judiciously). There are loads of very interesting small apps, but remember that too much of a good thing can be... well, too much!

If you would like to see if there are any gadgets that can supercharge your browser and online work, head on over to eHub.

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10 June 2008

Will New Apple iPhone Increase Productivity?

OK, so it's exciting as it's a new product from Apple, but is the new iPhone really going to increase your productivity just because it promises faster web browsing? Answers on a postcard after July 11th when it is released in the US.

Head on over to the Apple iPhone micro site to see the swanky new phone, the Steve Jobs show announcement and the new ad.

The greatest news about it seems to be that the prices have been slashed with the cheapest starting at $199 and that the phone now has in-built GPS capabilities in addition to the 3G, which will allow significantly faster web browsing. Which makes me think... how often do you REALLY browse the web through your mobile devices?

Even though Apple are taking aim at RIM's Blackberry, the financial markets were underwhelmed with Apple shares dropping 4%.

For once users in the UK won't be waiting for eons to get their hands on the phone as it will hit our shores at the same time as our cousins across the pond get it.

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08 June 2008

The Problem With Blackberries (And Other PDAs/Phones)

I read an excellent post written last Summer over on Cube Rules about so called productivity tools - that don't necessarily raise productivity, but just allow us to be "connected" 24/7. As you know, I'm not a great fan of Blackberries not used well and the idea of dropping everything in your hands in order to check and respond to yet another email that is neither important nor urgent.

Scot has some very good points about what the problems are and how we need to start using productive thinking, rather than just productivity tools.

Head on over to Cube Rules for the full skinny.

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02 May 2008

Do not spend too much time on a task!

Last week, I was having a discussion with some people at a conference about the relationship between productivity and quality. It dawned on me that not everybody had come to the realisation that you can too much time on getting something done well and this is something valuable to both individuals and organisations as it impacts both the enjoyment of our work and the bottom-line of our companies.

The big issue is that most people are, at heart, perfectionists. They want to make sure that everything is JUST RIGHT. Unfortunately, the economics of it do not make sense. Some years ago I realised that in advertising, clients will usually be happy with something that is perhaps 70% good and, because they don't know any better, this is exactly what the agencies deliver. Developing and executing an idea at 70% is, generally, quite easy and not necessarily that time consuming. Getting it from 70% to 100% will take ages and will add very little value to either the client or the agency's bottom-line. Personally, I've learnt to set my levels at about 85% (still a bit more of a perfectionist ;-)), but the last 15% would make no sense as I've come to realise that I'm the only one who would appreciate the extra effort.

Therefore, I was quite pleased to see that I was not the only one thinking about this and over at Lifehack.org there is an article about how to avoid overspending time on a task. If you've ever fallen into this particular productivity trap, I recommend you read the article as it could lead to a more productive and happier life - as well as increase the financial results.

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Get the most from Excel 2007

I have just realised that I haven't written a single post on how to get more from any of the Office applications that we all end up spending an inordinate amount of our time working in. I thought now might be a good time to make up for that oversight and bring you some wisdom and knowledge about how to increase your productivity when using Excel. If you've found similar great walk-throughs of Word 2007 and Outlook 2007, please let me know.

Over at Techmender, I came across this great walk-through of Excel 2007, its main features and you can quickly see how to get the most from it.

If you would like to read this great set of tips about Excel 2007, go to Techmender and read the full article.

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5 Quick Tips for Email Productivity

I just came across this old post at 43 Folders, where Merlin Mann has some great trips for email productivity.

The tips are as follows:

  • Don't use auto-check
  • Pick off easy ones
  • Write less
  • Cheat
  • Be honest
They all make a lot of sense - particularly the first one, if you've read my previous posts about ensuring that you are focused and only checking emails at certain times so as not to get distracted by trivial and unimportant issues.

If you would like to find out more about these five tips, head on over to 43 Folders.

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10 April 2008

Productivity guru launches personal blog

Claus Møller, the Dane who invented the Time Manager® results tool and is well-known for his productivity enhancing seminars and corporate turn-arounds for the likes of British Airways, SAS and other global service organisations has recently started his own blog.

It should be mentioned that Claus is actually my father so as to counter any responses about similarity of names etc.

On the blog he will post articles and thoughts about not only productivity, but also the other cornerstones of his management philosophies: relations, quality and leadership.

It is going to be interesting to see the content that will be developed on this site. So far there is a link to a short article on Bnet about how leaders could and should learn how to manage.

I'm sure that all of you productivity fans out there will welcome one of the true productivity gurus into our blogosphere and help him through engaging debate about how individuals, teams and organisations can improve their productivity.

Visit Claus Møller's blog here.

If you would like to find out more about Claus Møller's books and seminars, you can visit Claus Møller Consulting.

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09 April 2008

Transparency and openness in the workplace create a better environment for productivity

A new survey by Deloitte shows that transparency and openness by the leadership of a company help foster a more engaging and productive workplace. Furthermore, the "Deloitte 2008 Ethics & Workplace" survey also shows that these traits lead to a more ethical workplace.

The background for the survey is that we live in a world where flexibility in terms of career paths and how we choose to spend our time are the most important factors for many employees and managers. Organisations must be creative when it comes to allowing individuals the flexibility in terms of working habits and being able to "customise" their career paths. The survey also showed that one of the key factors in creating an engaging and productive workplace was for the employees to be able to better balance work schedules and personal priorities.

The main findings of the survey can be summarised as follows:

  • 72% of respondents agreed that openness by leadership about why they need to take time off will lead to a more engaging and productive workplace
  • 84% said that openness by leadership would lead to a more ethical organisation, and 68% said it would lead to a more values-based organisation
  • 81% take advantage of customised work arrangements, whereas 74% agreed that they would be more productive and engaged at work if they were able to better balance their work schedules and personal priorities.

Perhaps the most worrying thing is that although 75% of respondents feel that overall most employees are treated equally when it comes to being able to set flexible work options, 50% still feel that the leadership set different standards for themselves.

For the summary of the survey, please go to the press release from Deloitte at the Sun Herald.

Do you agree with these findings? Are there other things in the behaviour of leadership that would have a greater impact on your personal productivity and work engagement? Please feel free to comment.

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Book of Tricks

Gina Trapani, of Lifehacker.com fame, has published the long-awaited second edition of her book full of tips on how to increase your productivity through software. Like the first edition, it is well-written, concise and has some great productivity tips for computer users at all skill levels. I highly recommend getting this book. Remember that if you only find one tip worthwhile, but it can save you 10 minutes a day - you'll get almost an extra hour's work done every single week.

Read more about Gina Trapani: Upgrade Your Lifehere and purchase it for the special low price of just £7.99 - 50% off at Amazon.co.uk.

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