Best of Nate’s Productivity Tips

January 5, 2008


Happy New Year! As we launch into 2009, I think a recap of the best articles here at Nate’s Productivity Tips is in order. Here you go!: Read more

The 7 Bad E-Mail Habits that Make People Want to Kill You

November 7, 2007


For many of us email is quickly becoming a non-communication tool. That’s because so many of us have developed bad habits around the use of email. Although email is always an easy and convenient choice for reaching out, it’s not always the best medium for communication.

Check out this article to see if you’re guilty of any of these 7 bad email habits. I particularly like number 3.

“3) Wrong Medium

E-mail works best for direct and non-time sensitive information. Conversations, discussions and anything that requires a heavy amount of back-and-forth should be done on the phone or in person. Trying to use e-mail to have these conversations can be slow, time-consuming and painful.

The solution is to bridge the e-mail gap when you recognize you’re wasting time with it. Ask the person if you can discuss the issues in person or on the phone at a specific time and date.”

Read the rest the article here.

How to Talk Back to Your Boss

October 21, 2007


Sharing your true thoughts and opinions with the “higher ups” can be a little frightening, and could even jeopardized your career if done incorrectly. When approaching management your best bet is to make sure you do it with a positive attitude.

You don’t have to like what’s going on, but a bitchfest is rarely your best option. Instead, always come at a problem with the goal of solving it. Anybody can spot when things are going badly, but only leaders do something about it.

This interesting article lists 5 things to consider when approaching management. I particularly like number 2:

2. Be solution-oriented.

When speaking up to your boss, resist pointing out problems until you’ve thought through a possible solution. “We tell our junior staff not to come forward with a problem unless they also bring ideas on how to solve it,” she says.

You don’t have to have all the answers. But offering a few possible solutions is a great way to remind everybody that you’re all on the same team.

1) Shut Up! 2) Communicate.

October 16, 2007

shutupandcommunicate10.png“Hey Bill!”

- What?”

“Are you almost done with the Cooper file?”

- “I’m on the phone”

“I said, are you almost done with the COOPER FILE?!”


Welcome to interruptionville. Interruptionville is how I affectionately refer to an office that recently hired me to help them become more productive. The above conversation is a typical exchange in that office.

The group has worked together for quite some time, and over the years they’ve developed some very unproductive habits. For instance, whenever one of them has a question for another teammate, they immediately pick up the phone to buzz them - or worse - just scream their request down the hall!

On one occasion I even witnessed a team member get interrupted in the middle of interrupting somebody else. It actually was quite comical from my point of view, but it had to stop.

Just because you’re ready to say something doesn’t mean others are ready to listen.

Read more

The Wrong Way to Leave a Message

October 3, 2007

icon for podpress  How to Leave a Voice Message: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

There’s this guy I know … let’s call, “Gabby Abby.” He probably won’t appreciate that name, but oh well.

Anyways, Gabby Abby has a tendency of leaving these really long, sing-songy voice mail messages where he repeats the main point like 3 or 4 times, mumbles, and then awkwardly ends the message (or sometimes the machine cuts him off just like Mikey in the clip below). You might have a friend or colleague like that, or maybe you’re a “Gabby Abby” when leaving messages. Well, you don’t have to be.

In this clip form the movie Swingers, Mikey painfully illustrates how NOT to leave a message!

Read more

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