Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Top 100 List of Productivity and Life Hack Blogs

March 25, 2008

I think the following list of top internet resources might be somewhere that I should be aspiring to appear with this blog.

In any case, it’s a good list made up of the absolute best thinking to be found anywhere on the planet.

The Top 100 Productivity and Life Hack blogs:

Outlook and other Tools

March 24, 2008

tools.jpgI’m not a big fan of lots of tips and fancy tools for professionals that don’t use the fundamentals, but sometimes they can be a lot of fun to play around with!

So, I present this interesting list of tools with a caveat – employ them in your habits cautiously, with an understanding of how they impact the fundamentals.

Having said that, have fun!

Here is the link –

Open Door Policy?

March 18, 2008

door-bartels-designer-sliding-door.jpgThe idea of an open door policy has become something like a religious belief. It has gone from a good suggestion to a badge of honor, and is now an established management dogma.

The fact is that the most productive managers DO NOT have an open door policy, and this with good reason. When taken to its extreme, managers think that they should be available to interruptions as long as there is no-one in their office. The impact of this unconscious decision is that a manager never creates a space in which they can be deeply productive, unless they come in early, stay late or come in on weekends.

I say to managers that they need to schedule their times to have an Open Door, and allow themselves to be interrupted only when there are emergencies. This takes careful scheduling, plus an effort to notify others about the exact nature of this “modified” open door policy.

The result, however, is more quality time for both the employee and the manager. The manager is able to give 100% of his attention to the times when he has to do uninterrupted deep thinking, and the times when he has the employee in front of him in need of his attention, without his mind straying to other activities. The employee gains by being able to gain the full attention of the manager.

A modified open door policy is a win-win for everyone.

The Four Hour Work Week: Forget About Time Management

January 9, 2008

4-hour-work_week.jpgI have just finished listening to the audio book “The 4-Hour Work Week” which I enjoyed immensely, even as I disagreed with some of the points made by the author, Time Ferriss.

One chapter is entitled “The End of Time Management”.

He argues that one should forget all about time management!

Of course, this is more of a fancy title for a chapter than anything else, as he is mostly focused on doing the right things, rather than merely trying to maximize output or efficiency. He pooh-poohs the idea of trying to be more efficient, and looks back at his days when he was focused on working harder and harder, on God-knows-what.

But the truth is, he must have the same problem that the rest of us have, in the 11 fundamental elements. Even though he may only work 4 hours per week, he must still Capture, Empty, Schedule, Toss, etc. because he is subject to the same physical rules that we are, and has the same memory constraints that we do (or soon will, given a few more years of age). (more…)

Blogs on Productivity

November 9, 2007

The following blogs on productivity are pretty useful to know:

Personal Productivity Required Reading List: 100 Kick-butt Lifehacking Blogs

Lifehacking is all about finding ways to streamline and improve your life. These bloggers can help you do just that, offering clever tricks and tips for making your everyday life more effective. Check them out for some of the best ingenuity the Internet has to offer. (more…)

A Simple Technique to Overcome Procrastination

November 1, 2007

From JimGibbon:

One Simple Technique to Help You Overcome Procrastination and Start Writing Now

August 5th, 2006 | Productivity

For the last three weeks I’ve been using something called “contingency management” to write more, and more consistently, than at any point in my entire life. I now write an average of three pages a day (typed, double-spaced) during one 30-minute session. I’ve also used this technique to jump start two projects that were stalled for months.

Only a small fraction of my writing would be publishable, but I now have over 60 pages of new ideas, hunches, questions, and possible solutions that simply didn’t exist a month ago. On top of everything, I no longer cringe when I think about writing and my self-confidence has skyrocketed.

Contingency management has been around for years, but I just learned about it in a great book by Robert Boice called Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing. This is required reading for writers in all fields who want to overcome the inertia of writer’s block and procrastination. (more…)

Tips for the Kitchen

October 31, 2007

I know that I play the same tune over and over – “Forget about the tips, focus on the fundamentals” and that I think most of us are making a mistake by focusing on tips when we look to improve our productivity. Here is an example of what I mean when I think about focusing on the wrong things.

This comes from a newsletter I subscribe to that sends out a series on improving one’s productivity.

Time Saving Tips For Your Kitchen from PlanYourTimeNow.comAre you spending too much time in your kitchen? Would you like to have a lot more time to spend on your children, or simply to pamper yourself, chill out or relax? Well, if you follow some of these time saving kitchen tips, you will find yourself with some extra time that you can use for any purpose that you want.

Let’s look at some of these time saving tips: (more…)

The Rudeness of Being Late

October 12, 2007

The following article on being late appeared a few months ago in the Jamaica Gleaner:

The rudeness of being late
published: Thursday | June 21, 2007

Ian McDonald

A few experiences lately, of public figures who should know better arriving late on occasions when they have agreed to assist in the proceedings, prompts me to repeat a column I wrote a while back. Why will such personages not learn that being late, sometimes very late, is a waste of people’s time and upsettingly rude to keep others waiting? (more…)

In Response to a Book of 100 Tips

October 8, 2007

warninglabel.gifI was kind of interested in the following post by Ben Yoskovitz, in which he asked for tips from over 100 people on “The Secret to Being Productive”.

He got over 100 responses, all of them quite interesting, but it struck me that a book of 100 tips might require a warning label….

Ben, I have a contrary view… and a reason why the book should be carefully considered before it is written. I think productivity tips are similar to pieces of bright coloured candy. They taste nice, but they aren’t a good substitute for meat and potatoes (or, here in Jamaica, for jerk chicken and hard-do bread!).They are hardly the building blocks that one needs for a healthy lifestyle, and too much of a focus on them is, well, unhealthy.

Not to pour too much cold water on the idea… I WILL read it once it’s completed, but you may do well to have a “Warning” sign at the beginning saying that someone should not expect to implement these 100+ tips and, by itself, become more productive.

So I submitted my own tip (long after the closing date) that essentially said: “Big Tip: Throw Away the Tips“. I don’t think it’s going to make it into the book… 😉

Some Great Tips

April 27, 2007

The thing about productivity tips is that many of them are interesting, but they don’t have the basic importance of the 11 Components. The Components are recognized in the 2Time Management system as “inescapable” realities of managing time demands in a busy world.

Having said that, tips are interesting insights that work for some people, but not others. There are several sites that describe some incredibly insightful tips, and these particular tips from the zenhabits author are good enough for me to want to try it. (more…)