Lousy communications is one of the biggest challenges any team faces. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost files, even whole conversation threads, in email. And no one likes triaging an inbox, even with a good system. So what if we had a better solution?
Running on My Laptop
We do, thanks to a team of online video game developers.
After pulling the plug on an unsuccessful multiplayer game, the developers at Tiny Speck Inc.—now called Slack—turned their attention to fixing the communications problems that undermined their own efforts. And I’m glad they did.
It’s easy to confuse abundance with blessing, especially in our work life. But sometimes abundance is just another word for burden. And it’s crucial for our success and satisfaction that we learn to spot the difference.
More opportunities cross my desk every day than I can manage, and I bet it’s the same for you—even if you don’t always realize it.
We face a constant temptation in life to take on more than we can handle. We just don’t have the bandwidth. But it’s hard to let an opportunity go, isn’t it?
Recently, I recorded two podcasts on the subject of delegation. The first dealt with the principles of delegation (Episode 42). The second suggested how you might delegate even if you don’t have a staff (Episode 43).
The primary reason to delegate is that non-delegation doesn’t scale. It is not sustainable. This is why so many people feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out. But there is an even more important reason to delegate: To enable you to focus on what you do best in order to maximize your impact.
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Our society puts a high value on achievement but not much on rest. I hear people brag about how much they work and play but never how much they sleep—usually the opposite. But what if sleep could help you achieve more?
My team and I just finished launching the Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress, and I am fried. We were down late and up early, day after day. Late-night emergencies and early-morning crises were the norm.
Ever since I began blogging, productivity has been one of my most popular topics. But I’m convinced we’re not always productive for the right reasons. Maybe this is why many people are productive but miserable.
Over my career I’ve been entrusted with a lot of responsibility. At one time, I was responsible for the well-being of over six hundred employees and a company legacy two hundred years in the making.
Whenever I ask a friend how they are doing, they inevitably respond, “Busy. Crazy busy.” It seems like all of us have more to do that we can possibly get done.
One of the most helpful time management principles I’ve ever found is David Allen’s Two-Minute Rule. The basic concept is that you take immediate action on anything that can be done in two minutes or less. This is the key to becoming more productive.
For years, I have used templates to improve my productivity. I create a template for any task I find myself doing repeatedly. So instead of reinventing the wheel every time, I do it once, save it as a template, and then reuse it.
For example, before speaking engagements, I always have a conference call with the event sponsor. Initially, I found myself asking the same questions. Sometimes, I would forget to ask something important, so I decided to create a reusable template in Evernote. (You can see it here.)
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by email that you wanted to just delete your email account and start over? If so, you are not alone.
Last week, I tweeted a link to one of my most popular blog posts ever, “Yes, You Can Stay on Top of Email.” Almost immediately, I received two email messages.
I often refer to Evernote as my digital brain. It has replaced my physical filing cabinet, allowing me to go completely digital. It is where I store anything I need to reference later.
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Devonyu
But Evernote can quickly become unwieldy if you don’t have a system for using it. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it does have to be intentional. My own strategy has evolved over time.
I have been using Evernote since early 2008, when it was still in private beta. Since then, it has truly become my digital brain.
My Evernote Packing List
Evernote is one of those rare apps I can’t seem to outgrow. I am always finding new uses for it.
As a writer, I have tried just about every word processor ever invented. I started with WordStar, moved on to WordPerfect, then graduated to Microsoft Word. But when I started blogging, everything changed.
Screenshot of My Computer with This Post Displayed in MultiMarkdown Inside of Scrivener
I ultimately learned HTML, but it is certainly not the most natural way to write. I have used a number of “blog processors,” including BlogJet and then MarsEdit. But in the last few years, I have completely converted over to MultiMarkdown.