Author Archives: Julia Gifford

About Julia Gifford

Julia writes about productivity, business, marketing and ecommerce.

find your flow

How to find your state of flow and be more productive

There are days when I spend hours writing one paragraph of a blog post, and days when I write the whole thing in half an hour.

I never knew what that was – the moment when time gets lost and everything is just flowing effortlessly out of you. Until I found a video by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a former psychologist at the University of Chicago, who calls this state of mind ”flow”.

Read more 6 min

how to make open plan office productive

How to make an open-plan office more productive

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who like open-plan offices, and those who hate them.

Open-plan offices have been around since 1906 when architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Larkin Administration Building in New York. Besides other innovations like air conditioning and built-in desk furniture, this workspace was also open-plan, with few walls.

Today, almost 75% of all offices in the USA are designed with an open-desk plan. From small startups to large corporations and governmental institutions, offices without walls seem to be everywhere.

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The secret of the 10% most productive people? Breaking!

Here at DeskTime, we did a study of the most productive employees to understand their habits and learn from them. Originally published on Daily Muse, the article took off and was republished by Mashable, Business Insider, Inc.com, and Lifehacker. Here’s the original and complete text of the study with even more useful tips to increase your productivity.

Read more 5 min

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5 ways to hack your attention span to get things done

If you’ve been following the DeskTime blog, you know that attention is like a muscle – it can only be strained for a certain amount of time before it needs rest. Though this is undeniably true, and supported by multiple studies, sometimes we just need that extra boost to get sh*t done.

Now how do you hack your attention span, which is subject to biological law? Here are X tips to get you started, hack that attention span, and push the envelope to get things done.

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8 steps to create a productive office culture

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need to think about how to get your employees to work more?Wouldn’t it be great, if it just happened all by itself?

That automatic habit of doing isn’t simply coincidence, and neither is it luck.

It’s a carefully crafted office culture of productivity.

Though it may come more naturally to some than it does to others, it’s possible to create a positive office culture that oozes productivity in any business.

Read more 8 min

The most productive and unproductive countries of the world in 2017

DeskTime surveys every minute of over 250,000 employees in 105 countries around the world. As a result, we have a significant amount of productivity-related data that we can use the compare the de facto productivity of people around the world.

We’ve collected and compared data that shows us the most productive and unproductive countries in the world, based on their DeskTime productivity metrics. That is – the amount of time spent at work and the ratio of productive vs. unproductive apps they use.

We considered countries that had 100 DeskTime users or more, to achieve statistical significance. Of the 105 countries using DeskTime, 67 qualified under this criteria, making a total of 768 companies participating in this roundup.

So what are the most productive countries in the world, and which programs do they use?

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10 of the scariest things a boss can say that are guaranteed to leave you shaking

Jack-o-lanterns, cotton cobwebs strewn across desks, office dress-up parties, punch with fake eyeballs floating in it, these are all staples of the typical Halloween office vibe. But none of these supposedly “scary” elements even compare to the terror that can be instilled by a boss, often with just a few words.

Here are some of the most terrifying things a boss can say, that are actually going to leave you fearful for your existence. The good news is, you don’t have to be helpless. Use this guide to prepare yourself for the worst, while making yourself a more valuable employee. 

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Motivating your employees – what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it

Employee motivation at the workplace seems to be a problem nowadays.

A study on employee engagement has found that 70% of employees are disengaged at work. For a manager whose success depends on the productivity of their employees, these statistics don’t exactly inspire confidence.

The chances are that your employees are counting down the minutes until they can shut down their computers and call it a day. That’s quite the opposite of the vision you have for dedicated, passionate employees who will stop at no ends to guarantee the success of your company.

Look:

Research from the University of California found that demotivated employees are 31% less productive, are 3x less creative and 87% more likely to quit than motivated employees.

And it gets worse:

It was calculated that every unmotivated employee costs the business an estimated $2246 a year. Now, imagine your company employs over hundred people, out of which 70% dislike their job… That’s a LOT of money they’re losing.

The question is: if 70% of all employees say they are disengaged and unmotivated at work, then what the heck are managers doing that terribly wrong?

Read more 7 min

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working overtime

Should I stay or should I go? – Tips on working overtime

It’s no great secret that the job market is more competitive now than it ever has been before.

Not only are there fewer jobs to go around, but there are more skilled workers with degrees, ambition, and experience waiting in the wings to take those jobs.

Many employees have started upping their game for promotional opportunities. Moreover, there is a need now to secure their current jobs in the face of budget cuts, and younger, more qualified competition. One method being employed is to put in extra hours at work.

Read more 5 min

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6 problematic employee situations and easy solutions [infographic]

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

The most important tasks for a company owner or manager are to make sure that work is getting done, and everyone is moving in the same direction.

Each employee is like a cog in a complex machinery, and everyone has to be doing their job to reach the common goal.

However, all too often, managers and owners alike run into the challenge of dealing with unmotivated employees not doing their jobs. That can range from not coming to work, taking leisurely lunch breaks, not clocking in or out, and ultimately, cheating the system.

Read more 8 min