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Productivity501



Pieces of the productivity puzzle.



Last Build Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2017 22:28:06 +0000

 



See Your Mail Before It Arrives

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 22:28:06 +0000

Some time ago, the New York Times had an article talking about how the United States Postal Service started scanning every piece of mail in response to the anthrax attacks back in 2001. This was part of a program called the Mail Isolation and Tracking system. That infrastructure can now be used by most people to get […]



Finishing vs. Starting

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 15:36:39 +0000

If you want to be productive, you must complete work. Almost everything we do has multiple stages to completion and in many situations, you don’t actually create value until you finish the last stage. Farmers can’t sell their grain until it is harvested. Automakers can’t sell a bunch of cars that have made it 90% […]



Best Bluetooth Headset I’ve Owned

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 15:12:36 +0000

I’ve tried a number of Bluetooth earpieces and headphones and finally found one that I’d buy again after using it for two years. The earpiece is the Plantronics Voyager Legend. One of the big things I was looking for in an ear piece was the ability to mute it from the device itself. If I’m on […]



What Is Your Current Work Zone?

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:45:09 +0000

If you are really focused on expanding your capabilities, your salary is probably a secondary motivation when it comes to employment. Your major motivation is going to be your learning and growth opportunities. The graph below shows how learning opportunities change over time. At the beginning of any job, you will have many opportunities to […]



Social Glass Ceilings

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 23:41:46 +0000

If you want to reach your full potential you must constantly evaluate yourself.  There are always obstacles.  Sometimes, it might be a lack of skill, so you go back to school.  At other times, it might be interpersonal skills that you need to develop.  However, one of the biggest hurdles is something that doesn’t get […]



How Much Time Do You Actually Have

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:58:03 +0000

Back in 2005 we wrote about the September/October 2005 issue of The Futurist where they examined Americans’ use of time. According to the article, the common perception that there just isn’t enough time isn’t supported by the stats from a national study using time-diaries.  Basically, the findings show that Americans average 35 hours per week of work […]



Red Butler Review

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:53:25 +0000

The last two years have been very busy and required a lot more travel than normal for me and my family. I’ll typically book my own travel and call American Express when I have something more complicated than I can just book online.  However American Express is a bit focused on their particular programs and partners. […]



Power of Expectations

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 15:52:27 +0000

If you are like me, you’ve probably heard enough about “positive thinking” that you tend to just ignore it.  Today I read an article in the New York Times that reminded me just how powerful our expectations are–both positive and negative. The article talks about what is called the “nocebo” effect. You are probably familiar […]



Top 5 Worst Productivity Ideas

Thu, 25 May 2017 16:50:10 +0000

Here are some of the top five traps I find people fall into when they try to increase their productivity. Most of them aren’t bad things in and of themselves.  However, if they become your focus, you can be sure you aren’t going to be getting the benefits you are striving for. Buy (yet more) […]



Five Productivity Tips

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:00:08 +0000

Here are five (slightly random) tips that I’ve found make me much more productive. Do you use any of these? Password Manager Tools like LastPass and 1Password are great ways to handle logging into the hundreds of websites we all deal with. Last time I checked, I have over 300 passwords I have to keep […]



Get More Done With Less Stuff

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:00:08 +0000

One of the biggest road blocks in the path to productivity is stuff. We surround ourselves with the things we own, but in many ways our stuff really owns us. We have to maintain our stuff, clean our stuff, sort our stuff, get a bigger house to hold our stuff and move our stuff to […]



Spend Less Time Deciding

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 16:00:20 +0000

One of the biggest ways people lose their productivity is in trying to decide what to do. This probably seems silly, but if you look at most planning techniques, they are mostly designed to reduce the amount of time you have to spend making a decision on what to do next. Why? Because that is […]



Productivity and Battery Life

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:00:04 +0000

I’ve recently made two changes that have made me surprisingly more productive. The first was switching from my 17-inch MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air. The second was switching to a newer Mifi device to get to the Internet over the cellular network. The commonality between these two changes is they both replaced devices with […]



Refining Your Online Presence

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:00:07 +0000

The results that show up when someone types your name into Google are becoming increasingly important for your career. It wasn’t that long ago that it was rare for a potential employer to search for the name of a candidate. Now it is becoming rare for them NOT to do some type of search. In […]



Lazy but Talented

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 16:00:30 +0000

While walking back to my hotel from a conference in St. Louis, I saw someone wearing a shirt that said “Lazy but Talented.” I think it was a Nike shirt. I’ve always been impressed with Nike’s advertising, but this slogan didn’t ring true. In the US, we seem to be overly obsessed with talent as […]