8 steps to a more productive meeting

January 12, 2011 Categorized in: MeetingsOrganizing

Between vague agendas and never-ending PowerPoints, meetings have become a waste of time for many. Here’s how some “experts” structure their huddles to make them productive and run smoothly:
Pay attention to first impressions—the ones you’re making on others … Steel your resolve by clenching a muscle … Increase productivity by keeping one to-do list … Optimists find jobs more easily than their peers and are more likely to be promoted …
A reader writes: “We have tasks assigned to us via e-mail, the phone, in-person, in passing, etc. I carry my notebook and keep it on my desk to jot down assignments and then transfer some tasks to Outlook, but I’m wondering if there is a better, more efficient way to keep track of everything. What are your secrets to staying organized and on top of all your assignments?”
If an underlying tension exists between you and a co-worker, now’s the time to address it. While it may be easier to ignore it, such tensions can mushroom. Use these techniques to reverse the momentum of mounting conflict:
Next time you feel overwhelmed and frozen, tighten your focus on a few, easy things. Knock out easy tasks for 15 minutes. Then turn your attention to one of the hardest tasks on your plate, and work uninterrupted on that task for 35 minutes. Take a 10-minute break, then start the cycle again.

Putting web pieces together

November 24, 2010 Categorized in: InternetOrganizing

Store scattered pieces of information in one place with these online tools: 1. Strategically store web content with Springpad. 2. Organize a batch of business cards. ScanBizCards, WorldCard Mobile or CamCard keep business cards from disappearing in a messy drawer.
When resolving to reach a goal, it might help to commit to a hard deadline, and then tell colleagues, friends or a spouse about it. A public commitment might strengthen your resolve.

Organizing a $408,000,000,000 CEO

November 18, 2010 Categorized in: Managing the BossOrganizing

Imagine the task of helping the CEO of a $408 billion business stay organized. Walmart CEO Mike Duke relies on his assistant, Paula, to help him track a business that spans 8,500-plus stores and employs 2.1 million people. What organizing principles keep the office humming?

Who has those private offices?

November 15, 2010 Categorized in: Organizing

Just 32% of employees have private offices, down from 36% in 1997, according to the 2010 survey of 414 office-space managers by the International Facil­­ity Management Asso­­ci­­a­­tion.

Transform the office kitchen

November 8, 2010 Categorized in: OrganizingPurchasing

Four easy spruce-ups for the office kitchen: 1. No room for coffee cups? Maximize a small space with storage helpers such as wire stacking shelves. 2. Invest in a trash can that does double duty. 3. Replace plastic foam cups. 4. Add a splash of color and more purified air with potted plants or flowers.

Admins lead way in community fundraising

October 27, 2010 Categorized in: Organizing

“Corporate social responsibility” has become a popular concept and buzzword, driving many companies to reach out to the communities that surround them. Admins often lead those efforts. Example: At Imperial Sugar Company’s sugar refinery, admin Charmaine Ordeneaux recently co-chaired a fundraising effort for the American Cancer Society.

Feng shui your way to productivity

October 26, 2010 Categorized in: Organizing

Here are five feng shui tips for a harmonious and productive office: 1. Position your desk so that you’re facing the entrance of your office or cubicle. 2. Move your desk to the right or left of the door … 3. Make sure you have proper lighting. 4. Increase the air quality in your workspace by adding plants. 5. Choose office colors to reflect the kind of energy you desire.

Web-based productivity tools

October 18, 2010 Categorized in: InternetOrganizingTime Management

Everyone has a preferred method of organizing to-dos and notes. Your computer monitor may be littered with Post-its, or you may use your e-mail software to track action items. Increasingly, though, people are turning to web-based tools. The benefit? To access these “cloud-based” tools, you don’t need to be on a particular computer, network or browser. A few suggestions: