Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Productivity - Open your mail over the trash

Don't allow paper to sit around in piles in your kitchen, on your counter top or in your car. If you have a post office box, open your mail beside the trash bin so that you only take home items you will action.

When you collect your mail from your letter box or mail box, spend a few minutes opening every envelope, recycle paper where you can, shred documents with your personal information on them (I keep a shredder by my office desk), cut out coupons you will use and make a pile of actionable items. Only keep papers you will need or action.

Allocate 10 minutes every day to action your mail/post, don't allow it to sit around your home reminding you of things to 'do'. Spending a few designated minutes every day will help you feel more productive.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Productivity - Get Ready First

Ever left it to the last minute to get ready for an appointment and the phone won't stop ringing, the doorbell keeps announcing deliveries and you discover your suit isn't pressed or your pantihose have a hole in them?

Avoid the unproductive stress that is created by leaving it to the last minute to get ready for an appointment, get ready first. Decide to get ready first. Get showered, dressed and your breifcase packed and keys handy... before you decide to take on any more tasks or activities. I always try and look up the directions or general area of where I am travelling to and also note if there is parking available too. Packing your breifcase with presentations, products, notes and other chores for the day helps you to know you are totally organised.

Note: for a great breifcase option check out - I love these bags and they have so many compartments for the savvy traveller.

Once you are dressed you are able to clear your email, return your phone calls, write a breif article (update your blog) or even enjoy a coffee. But always remember... to be more productive you want to be ready first!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Productivity - Create a Reading Folder or Pile

We all recieve journals, newspapers, emails, magazines, newsletters, letters from loved ones (well maybe people don't write so much anymore) but all of those documents we want to read can cause us to feel pressure... self inflicted pressure.

To be more productive with your reading matter create a reading file. Take this file with you when you are on appointments, keep it in your car so you can catch up on some reading while you wait. Place magazines or newsletters in places around your home where you might have a few minutes to read them i.e I like to read mine on my walking machine when I am warming up and you would be amazed how quickly your time on the walking machine can fly by when you are captivated by a story, idea .. or the latest shoe collection for the season!

Don't let your reading create pressure, keep a file or folder or even a pile with you so you can be more productive in those waiting times.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Productivity - Colour Code

Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a paperless office, a time when everyone would enjoy only electronic payment, communications... but then we awoke from this fantasy!

It seems we still need to keep records, files and recieve mail that is paper. How can you possibly become more productive when everything around you is white!

While with one of my clients today we looked at her desk and all we could see was piles of paper (there is nothing wrong with piles... )but some of the papers related to quotes she had conducted for clients and wanted to follow up. As she is such a visual person we thought one way to help her distinguish the difference of all the 'white paper' on her desk was to start printing the customer quotes on lavender paper. This simple solution will quickly help her see the priority paper on her desk... the paper that helps her make money.

Colour coding your email, customer files, printed documents and more will help you become more productive as you can quickly identify what is important.

Addtional tip: Be consistent with your colours and create files ie. clients might be green, personal files might be pink, business development opportunities might be blue, projects might be purple... you get the idea.

Try colour coding your office environment and watch your productivity increase!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Productivity: Leave a Detailed Message

In our current ‘phone tag’ environment, it is more productive to leave a message to include your name, company, contact number (please speak slowly when providing your number and repeat it twice) and also advise the time to call back, why you called, and what you need.

Productivity tips are provided by Neen James, international productivity expert, speaker, author and corporate trainer.

See this tip published in -

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Productivity - Following Up After Events


After attending 7 events this week for work and networking I have ended the week with many business cards and much desire to follow up with the amazing people I met. I find the best way to do that is to have a simple system - here are some ideas you may like to try:
1. Gather all the business cards you have collected at the event.
2. Write hand written thank you notes to those you wanted to reconnect with more personally.
3. Send email notes to those you connected with and offer them a sample of your ezine.
4. Add their details to your contact mangement system (a quick productivity tip is to use a business card scanner - they save you so much time!)
5. Add a note in your task list to follow up with the connections and include their name, company and contact information.
6. File the business card

This simple process helps me stay on top of my follow up and my filing.

If you want to be more productive in your follow up, implement a system you can use for every time you collect a business card.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Productivity - How to Handle Your Email

I beleive email was originally designed to help us increase our productivity but in talking with all my clients... it seems it now takes up so much of our time, attention and energy each day that it is causes us to become very 'unproductive'. So what can you do about it?

Here are a few tips you can implement instantly to boost your productivity on email:

I believe that email was originally designed to help us become more productive, but in talking to my clients it seems to now take up so much time, attention and energy that we are ‘unproductive’ with our email systems.

Here are a few quick tips to help you use email in a more productive way:

Use “Out of Office” facility – if you are unable to respond to emails or you will be out of your office for a long period of time, leave an “out of office” auto responder on your email system. This helps you manage other’s expectations and gives you more time to respond to people.

Don’t copy everyone on your email
– only send the email to the relevant people who will action it. If you have multiple people on an email distribution, list their name within the text of the email and what is required of them and by when. People will appreciate your direct approach and this will clearly communicate why you sent the email to them.

Get off electronic lists – if you are subscribing to ezines you never read or on lists you don’t want to be on, unsubscribe and get off the lists so you can eliminate some of the messages in your inbox that you won’t read.

Think and write in bullet points – keep sentences short and to the point. Don’t use email to create long paragraphs or criticise people’s performance. Ask others who communicate with you to keep their emails short also.

Learn the functionality of email – spend time finding out what facilities are available within your system to maximise your use of email.

Colour code your emails – use the functionality of colour coding incoming emails so at a glace you can see who in your inbox is important and who you need to respond to first.

Only check your email 2-3 times per day – so much time is wasted responding to emails throughout the day, focus your energy on checking and responding only 3 times a day, once when you start your day, after lunch then one hour before you leave your office. This will ensure you can handle important communication in a timely manner.

Delete once actioned – don’t let emails stay in your inbox, this is not your task list. Once actioned, delete them. If you need to take action from the email, book time to complete the task and then delete it.

Use your email more effectively and you will find you can get more done and be more productive every day!