Worst Things First!

July 30, 2007

Do you ever find yourself saving really important, but less than fun tasks for last? Before you answer that, let me just remind you of two things: Paying bills and submitting expense reports!

I especially struggle with submitting expense reports. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to get motivated to gather my receipts and submit them, but it is. The strange part about my reluctance is that it’s my own money we’re talking about here. I, like most folks, use my personal credit card when traveling for business. Then after the trip, I submit my expenses for reimbursement.

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When faced with less than fun tasks … don’t put them off for last. Recite the mantra, “Worst Things First!” and knock them out right away.

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The Insomniac’s Guide of Things To Do When Failing to Sleep

July 26, 2007

As one who has been plagued by trouble sleeping my whole life, I thought I’d post my thoughts on this article I read over at lifehack.org.

The only part I disagree with is the recommendation to think through the next days work if you can’t sleep. I find that limiting my thoughts to meaningless things is a better approach for me. If I think about work, I could think for hours on end.

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Instant Messenger … A Weapon of Mass Distraction!

July 25, 2007

If you had a coworker who constantly barged into your office, and started blabbering on and on every time you were right in the middle of something important … I’d tell you its time to give him or her the finger (see it’s ok to give people the finger at work).

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By neglecting to manage your status in your instant messaging application, you’re just begging to be interrupted.

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Productivity … A Laughing Matter??

July 24, 2007

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Here’s an interesting post I came across at lifehacker.com about a tool Jerry Seinfeld uses to stay motivated and track progress.

As a stand up comic, Jerry knows the importance of constantly creating new material. For him that means writing new material every day. To help motivate himself, and provide a quick visual report card on his progress, Jerry uses (or did use when he was touring regularly) a wall calendar. Basically, he gets a huge wall calendar that shows the entire year in one view. When he spends at least some part of the day writing, he draws and “X” on that day. His goal is to create a “chain” as long as possible by writing as many days as he can without a gap.

I think this is a great technique if you’re interested in quickly monitor your progress on activities you’ve identified as crucial to success.

Click here to read the entire post

The Devil’s in the Lack of Details

July 24, 2007

So I’ll confess, I’m very much a “big picture” kind of a guy, and can really loath work that requires too much attention to detailed. But that doesn’t really matter, because details do matter.

Don’t believe me? Then try phoning a friend, but only dial most of the numbers correctly and see if you get through.

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My problem isn’t that I don’t notice details. I do. I just find it hard to get excited about them.

So what are some coping strategies for those of us who are detailed challenged?

The best possible strategy is to partner up with some who loves detailed work. There really are people that couldn’t be happier dealing with all the little details. Thank God we’re not all the same!

If you don’t even notice details, it’s probably a good idea to create a check list to make sure you don’t miss anything (again, get a detail person to help you create the list). For example, if you’re in charge of planning an event, grab a pad and start brainstorming all the things that will need to happen. Pretend you’re a journalist that’s covering the event, and it’s your job to answer questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. See, that junior high school English class was good for something after all.

So even though for some of us detail work may not be our favorite part, that doesn’t matter. We have to remember - the real devil is in the lack of details.

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