Make the Most of a Virtual Assistant

More and more busy people are using virtual assistants — freelance administrative workers who do their jobs remotely — to lighten their workloads. Hiring a VA, though, isn’t an instant fix for your productivity. So how do you make the most of a virtual assistant? Reader Dave Williams of True Simple recently contacted me with […]

6 Tips for Productive Business Travel

If you have frequent business travel, you know that being away from your home base can do a number on your productivity and your stress levels. But you can make the most of your time on the road while you ensure things are running smoothly back at the office. It just takes smart planning and delegating. […]

Should You Schedule Tasks on Your Calendar?

Some productivity experts recommend that you schedule tasks you want to accomplish on your calendar each day. I don’t, and I wanted to tell you a little more about why I think this practice won’t help your productivity. This topic is on my mind because of a recent Fast Company article called “8 Productivity Habits […]

Not As Productive As You Could Be? Here’s the Secret

If you’ve been trying increase your productivity (your ability to achieve your significant results) but you can’t seem to make progress, the secret weapon you’re missing might be a personal workflow management system. This kind of system is at the heart of what I teach and write about, because I know it gets results. Here’s a […]

Is Your System Missing Any of These 5 Productivity Tools?

In order to be productive, you need the right components. And there are more high-tech tools than ever before. Choosing among them can be dizzying, but there are really only a few things you need to remember. Productivity Tools One, your productivity tools have to be ones you will actually use. You have to know […]

How to be More Productive by Lunchtime: 15 Tips

What did you really accomplish last week? If you can’t remember doing anything that matters amid all the email and other busywork, it’s time to power up your productivity habits. Here’s list of 15 tips from my Empowered Productivity System to help you learn how to be more productive. Fight email overload Stop the onslaught. […]

Are You Wasting Time On This Task?

Time management is an outdated concept, and many of the traditional “tips” aren’t relevant for the 21st century. One typical piece of “time management” advice that is contrary to effective task management is to try to estimate on your to-do list how long each task will take. If you are using a logical and useful […]

Outlook Tips 2: Create a Task or Calendar Item from Email

In Empowered Productivity Training, you learn the best way to keep your inbox at zero — it is possible —  is to create calendar items and tasks from your emails. But often you need to transfer the information from the email into another format. Let’s say someone sends you an email with the details of […]

Tips for Effective Use of Your Calendar

Below are a couple of ideas for making more effective use of your calendar.  I prefer electronic calendar tools, because they offer reminders, but these ideas work for paper calendars as well. Color-Coding If you are already overwhelmed and unorganized, why would color coding your calendar and the effort it takes, be worth it? One […]

Productivity Follows Process

Several months ago I wrote an article about productivity and time management tools (also called PIMs for “personal information managers”), and I ended that by writing, “the process is the missing piece to using any tool successfully.” The most important element of using productivity tools successfully is the “how,” or the productivity process. In my […]