I wanted to take a post and thank the people who have taken the time to comment here over the past week or so. I've really appreciated all the feedback we've been getting and I've learned a lot from the many insightful comments. Below is a list of blogs from people who comment here. I actually made the list several days ago, so I apologize if you are a recent commenter and your blog is missing. Thanks again to everyone who participates here. … [Read more...] about Productivity501 Community
Archives for April 2007
My talk to the high school students went very well. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions. I worked a lot of your comments into my talk. Talking to a high school seniors made me remember my first year as a freshman working on my bachelors degree. When I went to college, the internet was just becoming something you could get access to outside of the academic world. Netscape was the hub for finding anything else on the web and the only way to check your email in your dorm was to signup with AOL or a local BBS system. Out of a campus of 5000 students in 1995, I was the only student with a cellphone (I did a lot of work for a health care system and they needed to be able to get a … [Read more...] about Thanks for Your Help & Thoughts on Technology at College
I am giving a talk to a bunch of high school seniors about personal productivity and life skills as they prepare to enter college next semester. I wanted to ask for some help. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself a few months before high school graduation? Specifically I'm looking for productivity advice related to college and entering the work force. Here are a few things I wish I had known: Don't expect other people to keep records for you. Keep copies of your transcripts, employment agreements, paycheck stubs, homework grades, etc. It doesn't matter if other people are supposed to keep those records or not, take responsibility for your own paper … [Read more...] about What Would You Tell Yourself in High School
Narek posted the following comment that made me realize that the focus of this blog might encourage people to shift the work life balance to the extreme side of work: It's sad that you consider everything in life must be done productively. "Wasting Time in the Car -- Subscribe to podcasts and get a connector for your MP3 player in your car. Spend your time learning instead of just sitting there driving." That's what pushed me over the [edge].. dude you just got to relax, just because something you are doing isn't making your life more productive doesn't mean it's a waste of time. Sometimes it is nice to just drive around to get out of the house or relieve stress. Listening to music … [Read more...] about Get a life, buddy.–Is it crazy to spend your drive listening to Podcasts.
It is easy to get so involved in our activities and tasks, that we stop taking time to just sit and think. Taking the time to think and plan for the future is rarely urgent, so it often gets bumped by all the little emergencies of daily life. But taking the time to think is vitally important for your productivity. Thinking can lead to more efficiency. Thinking can lead to new ideas. Thinking can help make sure you are focused on the things that are really important to you. If you aren't taking the time to sit and think, I can guarantee that you are not reaching your full potential. Your ability to improve is going to be tied to your ability to be creative and creativity … [Read more...] about Time to Think
In the US, April 15th is tax day. Hopefully you have your return filed already and everything is taken care of. I'd like to make a quick suggestion: Take some time today to prepare for tax season next year. There really isn't any better time because right now you probably know exactly what would have made your life easier for tax season had you done it 1 year ago. So at a very minimum, get some folders out and label them with whatever groupings you wished you had of had this year. If you have a place to put the information ahead of time, the chances of it ending up in the right place is much higher. … [Read more...] about Prepare Ahead for Tax Season
Berkeley has an interesting study from 2003 that looks at how much information is being produced in the world. The results are pretty amazing. Here are some of the highlights: … [Read more...] about How Much Information Is There?
Happy April Fools Day. Here is a tip for playing an April Fools joke on a coworker, spouse or friend. Make a screen shot of their desktop. (On windows, this is done by pushing "print screen" and then pasting the clipboard into Paint and saving the image. On a Mac this is done by hitting Apple+Shift+4 and then selecting from corner to corner.) Set the screen shot as the computer's wall paper. You will have two icons for each desktop icon. The real one on top and the fake one underneath. Move all the real icons to the other side of the screen, but leave the trash can in the original location. When they see the duplicate icons, they will most likely move them to … [Read more...] about April Fools Day
Most office supply stores sell high-lighters. The idea is pretty good. You high-light important text in yellow or pink to make it easy to find again. So if you are reading a book or report, you simply high-light the important parts of the text. Obviously this can help you find information more quickly in the future, but it isn't really the most productive method. Instead of using a high-lighter use a black magic marker and simply cover up all the text that isn't important. That way it won't be around to distract you when you come back looking for the important stuff. This is particularly helpful if you are working with legal contracts. … [Read more...] about Blacklighter
I'm right handed, but I feel for people who are left handed and living in a world where so many common items are designed for "North paws". Sometimes there isn't much you can do about it, but when it comes to the standard wooden pencil, left handed writers no longer need to suffer. Here are the steps to convert a normal right handed pencil into one designed for left handers. Start with an unsharpened number 2 standard lead pencil. Wiggle the metal that holds the eraser until it comes off in your hand. Push the metal over the opposite end. (The end the right handers usually sharpen.) If necessary, use a pair of pliers to help crimp the metal back to the pencil. Sharpen the end … [Read more...] about Left Handed Pencil
We've previously mentioned the benefits of working from home, but this won't work for everyone. An alternative is to only work one 40 hour shift each week. So if you come in to work Monday at 7am and work until 11pm Tuesday night you will have worked just as much as your co-workers who come in for 8 hours 5 days a week.. The benefits are huge. Just think, you could drive to work just one day per week. If your boss seem reluctant to let you do this, just point out the benefits of being able to really focus in for a whole 40 hours instead of interrupting things every 8 hours to go home and come back. … [Read more...] about 40 Hour Work Day