Ellen Faye | The Productive Leader Blog
Improving Leadership Effectiveness One Task at a Time
productivity, leadership, executive coaching, time management, strategic planning
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The Productive Leader Blog

not multi-tasking

not multi-tasking

A friend mentioned that her (big) company recently has added Instant Messaging to their IT system.  She says, “now, while I’m on the phone, or in a meeting, in addition to having to check emails, I have these IM’s popping up at me.”  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!!!!???!!!!

A study by Microsoft found that it takes an employee an average of 15 minutes to return their attention back to the previous task when distracted by email, instant message, etc.

I know, you think you are special and while you can accept that multi-tasking doesn’t work for everyone else, you can still manage it.  I suspect that you can’t.  [Also understand that there is a difference between multi-tasking and a white-noise activity.  Some people need to doodle, color, play solitaire, etc. to stay focused.]

Do you ever wonder how you can get more done?  Try these tips for a week – then assess:

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Memento? Probably not!

Memento? Probably not!

The definition of memento is “an object kept as a reminder or souvenir of a person or event.”

An important aspect of getting organized is streamlining your things – removing the things that don’t matter so you can focus on and enjoy the things that do matter. Time and time again I see clients put inanimate objects ahead of their own well-being, desiring to hold on to something, when in fact, it takes away from their quality of life.

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I’ve been proud of my ability to run a business for over 12 years without a Fax machine.  It always seemed like just one more extra thing to maintain.  Probably once or twice a year I’ve had to ask a friend or neighbor to fax something for me.  But most of the time I’ve been able to scan whatever I needed from my printer and email it. There have even been a couple times I’ve told people to snail-mail me things.

This changed about a year ago when I read about a fabulous app called Genius Scan, free for iPhone and 99¢ for the Android platform.  Imagine using the camera of your smart phone and within moments having a pdf for emailing.  It’s that simple.

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Ellen's Bookshelf

Ellen’s Bookshelf

In the Spring I helped a client organize her husband’s home office as a Father’s Day present.  We were given clear instructions to not touch anything “on the desk,” but everything else was fair game.  Her husband is a Neuroscience Professor at an area university.  Of course he had a large library of books. They were in absolutely no order at all.

I was curious how he could find anything.  Why is it that certain people’s brains need order and others don’t?  (more…)

What's on your list?

What’s on your list?

With the end of summer around the corner I’m sure there is an item or two left on your to-do list that you had expected to get done.  You’ve got one weekend left before Labor Day and that can have two good results:

  1. Choose to relax while you can and work on the project later.
  2. Choose to get the project done this weekend.

Seriously, the only bad result is if you waste your weekend telling yourself you’re going to get the project done, feel guilty, and don’t accomplish anything.  I know you can handle the relaxing on your own, but if you go with #2 here are some tips to help you get the project done!

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Digital Clutter

Digital Clutter

Yes – actually we now have names for people who keep too much electronic information.  But, there is good news!  Unlike physical clutter where our space fills up and overflows, our computers can handle massive amounts of data.  Bad news is, just like physical clutter, it can negatively affect our quality of life.  Is this you?

  • You’ve missed an important opportunity because the email invitation was hidden among hundreds of unimportant emails
  • You’ve spent hours looking for a document you know you had but couldn’t find
  • Your computer is mired in so much muck that it no longer is the wonderful resource it once was.

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