Productivity

You absorb most material that crosses your desk with ease. But once in a while, a heavy assignment—reading a book, proofing a long report or being asked to give your input on a complicated competitive analysis—can throw you off. Stop procrastinating and cut through that daunting reading assignment with these tactics…
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Common sense tells us that a tidy workspace is a more efficient workspace, but even great organizations can forget to practice good housekeeping. Here’s a Japanese philosophy that can transform any office space into a more serene one.
Do you have a general reference guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, a grammar reference and a dictionary, but still not know what the preferred organizational usage or style is? We thought so. Your organization needs its own in-house style guide.
Someone always comes late. Someone goes off on a personal tangent. Someone adds her “two cents” and butts in no matter what. If the participants often derail your meetings, start each one by agreeing on the ground rules, advises Charlie Hawkins, author of First Aid for Meetings.
When you’re frustrated by micromanagement or other demands at work, step back and study what the other person truly needs from you. One day Lydia Abram had an “ah ha moment” that taught her how to satisfy a micromanaging colleague’s needs without slowing down her work flow:
Using the computer toolbar again and again to pull down the same functions is monotonous and stifles productivity. Ursula Faix, of Sarasota, Fla., offers her time-saving strategies of bypassing drop-down menus so “every command I need is one click away. For me, the most important time-saving technique in Microsoft Word and Excel is to customize the toolbars,” she says.
Clear the deck, scrub it down and start over? Remove everything and put back only what you need? In your dreams! If “cluttered desk,” “cluttered mind” is your motto and purging your work station of clutter is only a dream, approach it one problem at a time. Use these seven steps to “declutter”:
Question: What do Softsoap, Mr. Coffee and Showtime’s chicken rotisserie ovens all have in common?
The greatest mystery in many workplaces is what’s lurking in the company refrigerator. Go beyond scheduling regular "Use it or lose it" deadlines. Follow these tips:
Whether your office has sophisticated scheduling software, day planners for everyone or no formal calendar management at all, a few visual reminders can keep everyone running on time…