"The fear of the unknown can be powerful, but when you eventually do the thing you’ve been avoiding, it often ends up working out just fine. Or better yet, often something good happens from the unknown. You get a date, you get that time off, you don’t get that time off and realize it’s time to think about working somewhere else. Or, if you’re like my friend, you find that the most ominous looking of all the mail was actually your tax return – money back!"
The length of meeting should be determined by what needs to happen, not by how much time is available. Different people, different topics, and different decision making processes mean that each meeting is unique. Despite the differences, almost every meeting is scheduled in the same half-hour increments. When sending a meeting invite to your team, you’re stuck deciding between two imperfect options. Your mouse may hover on 30 minutes as you think “well, I guess we don’t need a decision until next week…”, then it scurries to 60 as you consider “…but Jason is traveling until Tuesday...”
Meetings shouldn’t be awful. It’s this stance that has led some organizations to throw off the shackles of ambiguous meetings, which tend to be short on details and long on time. In response, they’ve come together to implement a Meeting Attendees' Bill of Rights. And if those rights aren’t respected, they have the right to leave the meeting.
The words we use to express ourselves in the workplace dictate so much of what gets done and when it gets done. If you send a colleague a draft of a report you need back Wednesday by noon at the latest, you wouldn’t ask them to return it “sometime mid-week,” because if it arrives Thursday at 9:00 am, that’s too late. It’s about precision. But our vocabulary can get sloppy, and in today’s fast paced work world there are two words that are conflated constantly: urgent and important.
Have you ever been swamped with email? With the typical business user sending and receiving more than 120 emails per day an email is coming in or going out an average once every 12 minutes in a 24 hour day. It can be overwhelming, and with the number of emails being sent steadily rising, there’s no break. If most of your day consists of trying to keep your head above water with emails whenever you can — on the way into the office, waiting for coffee, on your phone as your Outlook is booting up — and you still feel behind, it may be time to declare email bankruptcy and wipe the slate clean.
We’ve all had them – workplace productivity crushes – those in your office who seem to effortlessly fly through their work like a 9-5 James Bond, appearing to get so much done with never a smudge on them. “How do they do it?,” you ask yourself as you find yourself clicking to the next slide of “13 cats that look like British Prime Ministers.” (“You’ll never believe number 9!”)
Glancing around your workplace, it’s easy to think that everyone is more productive than you. But are they? To figure that out, we need to first define what being productive means, and what exactly we’re producing.
Topics: Time Management
First impressions matter. It’s true whether you’re meeting the CEO for the first time or sending an email with a fresh idea to your project team. When you hit send on your email you want it to stand out for all the right reasons — a good idea, a well thought out plan, or a creative solution to a complex problem. To do that, you first need to make sure it doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons — because it’s confusing, untidy, or unclear. In this Teamwork Training post, I’ll take you through some basics of email etiquette and equip you with a few rules and tools so the message of your email is what people remember.
Topics: Time Management