Category Archives: Time Management

Manage your email like a ninja – 8 effective email management tips

Gmail-Ninja

If you’re anything like me, you spend most of your working time processing an email. In fact, according to DeskTime.com, I spent over 50 hours just doing my email in April alone, and that is not including the time on my iPhone. That’s 4 times as much time as the second closest activity that month. Email epidemic is serious and it needs a cure.

Here’s some effective email management tips for Gmail users that will save you time so you can focus on higher priority tasks.

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How to Stay Productive and Focused During the Spring

The plant wall at the DeskTime office

The plant wall at the DeskTime office

The city breathes a sigh of relief as the snow pulls back, the sun shines longer, and layers of winter clothes begin to shed. That’s right, spring is back, the birds are singing, and people are just itching to get their share of vitamin D (that’s rays of sun, y’all!)

Though we love the spring, it doesn’t do much for office productivity. Because let’s face it, we want to be outdoors, enjoying the fresh, spring air.

Here are some tips to help you through those arduous days:

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How to Deal with an Overwhelming Workload

We’ve all been there – the feeling that you’re drowning under a pile of only growing work. As the feeling overwhelms you, you think, how on earth am I going to deal with this?

This is something I’ve been dealing with recently, and in stead of simply tossing up my hands and saying it’s impossible, I decided that I owe at least myself, if not my many bosses, to at least try to conquer the glorious mountain of work.

So it’s on. I decided that I would to EVERYTHING to the maximum, use every moment I had, stretch my attention to the max. I was going to have a week of ultra-productivity.

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Time Management is dead. Long live attention management.

Guest Blogger Graham Allcott, author of “How to be a Productivity Ninja”, discusses why attention, not time, is the key to ninja-level productivity.

 

Time management used to be so simple: spend the first hour of the day sorting out the post and incoming paperwork, then get on to the high priority tasks.  Spend the middle part of the day doing mid-level tasks and the end of the day wrapping up with the easier stuff.  There was no such thing as information overload, or at its’ worst it looked like six pieces of A4 paper in your pigeon hold.  Then we went digital, information became cheap and we got swamped: email, social media, the internet, software programmes, CRM systems, instant messenger, phone… 

Where time management success was judged by completion, modern-day productivity is as much about what you ignore as what you do.  It’s time to think like a ninja! 

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How to be more productive at the computer

One of the most telling sayings about your productivity is this one question: “Am I being productive, or am I just being busy?”

In this age of computers, social media, microblogging and short attention spans, it’s simple to wean away your day technically doing something (like stumbling upon or pinning), but not really achieving anything.

One suggestion, ask yourself this one question: What is the one thing I have to do today, to make sure that this day has been worth while?

When asking yourself this question, you identify the aspects of life that are important for you to achieve. When putting a focus on those, then your life gains more meaning, rather than widdling away your time on pinterest, planning the perfect wedding.

Track your time, to understand your daily computer using habits. Once you understand where your time is being drained, then you can cut it out of your habits. Here are some steps to eliminate wasted time at the computer;

1. Define a purpose for your computer time Set yourself a goal, for example, I will check email, I will complete this task, I will send a message to one friend. When setting purposes to your computer time, then you’re getting straight to it, and avoiding dilly dallying around other sites.

2. Schedule time for social media By doing this, you’re able to get your social media and facebook checking out of your system. When you learn to limit yourself to the specific timeframe that you’ve allotted to the specific task, then you’ll be free from the need to check what’s going on every ten minutes.

3. Limit email checking This is something that many of us are guilty of. Try to limit your email checking per day. Try three times – once in the morning, once at midday, and once in the evening. It will concentrate your time in these time slots, and will leave the rest of your day open to work on your other tasks.

Though this is all easier said than done, and won’t happen overnight, start with small steps and see your time multiply.