Save Time…Simplify Your Day

ignore-listenNot all tips may apply to you and no doubt you already employ ways to simplify your days, however, if you can pull out even one idea that eases your workday, enjoy!

1. Limit Meetings
Meetings can be essential, but they can also turn into time wasters if they go on too long or happen too frequently. Accept and schedule only important meetings.

2. Use Email Filters and Archives
Use email filters and archives so that you don’t spend hours looking for a particular message. Easy tools can keep your communications organized.

3. Hire a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant can help you with mundane daily tasks like email and bookkeeping.

4. Keep Projects in One Place
For both completed projects and those still in progress, have one folder or area where you know you can find them.

5. Avoid Travel Rush Hour
If you commute or have to travel for meetings, take traffic and construction into account. WAZE is an excellent GPS navigational tool and a quick app to download.

6. Have Virtual Meetings
Whenever possible opt out of on-site meetings and instead consider the use of programs like Skype or GoToMeeting.

7. Take and Organize Notes
Keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down notes and ideas or use an app like Evernote to store ideas, images and more so you don’t waste time trying to think of them later.

8. Take Advantage of Technology
There are many time saving and organizational apps and services available such as Dropbox, which lets you bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere. Experiment and find the ones that work for you.

9. Don’t Get Carried Away
Attempting to master and utilize too many productivity applications and services at once can be a time waster. Don’t use so many of them that you spend more time on them than you save.

10. Delegate
Ask your team to take on tasks that you don’t have time for or those with which you know they’d do a good job. Outsource and ask for support before you are overwhelmed.

©2017MWeisner

The Future of Work

binocularsRecently, as I was departing from a Caribbean airport, I noticed a bank of pay phones on a wall near the gate. It actually took a minute to register what was right in front of me and to marvel at the instrument I had in my purse that made those phones relatively obsolete. The idea of picking up a telephone in a public area and placing the receiver near my mouth was revolting, and yet, that’s exactly what we did. Who was sanitizing the handset? Who even thought about the need to do so?

And then I began to consider what the consequences are when technology replaces something like the public pay phone. While it didn’t happen overnight, someone installed and maintained them, collected the coins and serviced the units. They were manufactured somewhere and aside from the very identifiable red phone booths in London; it’s unlikely that the need for production will increase.

According to Brian Whetten, PhD, “Recent research shows that 65 percent of current preschool students will work in a type of job that doesn’t even exist yet. Every 2 days, we now create as much information as was generated from the dawn of mankind through 2003. For someone working on a science degree, more than half the information they learn in their first year will be out of date by the time they graduate.

It’s truly an exciting time and your perspective probably depends in large part on things we don’t even yet know. Driverless cars will change the world dramatically and how could that impact your future? Will it potentially make your job obsolete or can you pivot into something else seamlessly? How prepared are you to keep an eye out for what’s coming towards you beforehand and look for new opportunities?

If you don’t choose to dedicate a significant part of your time checking future trends and their impact, I suggest a Department of Labor resource. O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and more.

For each job, O*NET provides the following information:
• Personal requirements: the skills and knowledge required to perform the work
• Personal characteristics: the abilities, interests and values needed to perform the work
• Experience requirements: the training and level of licensing and experience needed for the work
• Job requirements: the work activities and context, including the physical, social, and organizational factors involved in the work
• Labor market: the occupational outlook and the pay scale for the work

Being ahead of the curve can prepare you for what can be a new and ideally, an exciting career.

©MWeisner2017

The STOP “To-Do” LIst

imagesCAUIW14SHow many lists are you actively working on today? Most of us have multiples from daily lists to long term/big-project versions. According to author, Barbara Alevras, our short term memory starts to empty out in 10-15 seconds, so unless it’s recorded somewhere, the thought is likely gone and may be replaced with generalized anxiety about missing something.

With various forms available to capture tasks, yours may be the old school, long hand version in addition to notes on your phone or the spread sheet you keep updating but not reducing. Some are handy and invaluable uses of technology to keep you on task, but the flip side is the constant reminder that you are NEVER getting it all done, merely making a dent in the onslaught of actions that realistically may or may not be important after all.

For clients who are feeling overwhelmed there are various strategies that may be useful.

• If your list is of the “forever” version, break it down into short and long term and limit the number to FIVE entries in each. This may be a challenge, but it does help to prioritize. Think of it as the single piece of luggage you are permitted to board with.

• If accomplishment is important to you, include even the most mundane activities under a broader header so that crossing off many tasks keeps your motivation high. For example, if GET HEALTHY is your long term goal, you might include, eating breakfast, shopping for groceries, gym time, etc. This can serve as a daily guide, and create new habits to support you.

• However, if you find yourself bogged down in busyness, eliminate this “expanded” list creation as it can be a slippery slope to a lot of action without moving forward. Test it out to see what works best for you.

• Reflect on your successes and SHRED your list at the end of the day…no carry-overs are permitted. Tomorrow is another day!

©MWeisner2015

Take the Stairs to Achieve Success

stairway to successIs it willpower or discipline, and does it really matter? How decisive am I on a daily basis only to have to modify my plan before I even get started? According to Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success, choosing to take the escalator over a flight of stairs is a deeper indicator of how you operate overall and may be quite telling. When you select the easier shortcut of stepping on those moving stairs, is it really about getting to another floor more quickly or is it a statement about how you function in other parts of your life? He calls this the “escalator mentality” and it may be emblematic of avoiding the more challenging effort of full engagement in a given activity.

Sometimes shortcuts are smart and sensible, but they can also be deceptive. When we get in the habit of automatically looking for the quicker solution, we may also be setting ourselves up for traps. It is particularly tempting to seek the easy way out when it comes to making difficult changes like reaching a goal weight or reducing debt. But these shortcuts can also take a toll on self-discipline and don’t always take you where you want to go.

Evaluate your decisions– is this taking you where you want to go?
• Be flexible- find success in making small changes first; bigger ones later
• Manage your time – when is the best time to focus on this activity?
• Prioritize and Succeed!

Keep in mind that we are not all Luddites, attached to doing things the long, hard way and not make use of the technology that is readily available. It makes sense to view each situation independently, with a heightened awareness that the easy/faster way may not always be the best way. However, after an exhausting day, that escalator may also be just what the doctor ordered!

©2013 Maureen Weisner