Category Archives: Outlook Training
Here is an excellent article by Daniel J Levitin explaining exactly why information and Email Overload is bad for the modern worker and why multi-tasking doesn’t work.
For information on our Priority Management Training courses to help keep InBox Empty see
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Increase your productivity and enhance your on-the-job performance with practical “Working Sm@rt” planning and organisation techniques.
Receive practical hands-on skills instruction to help your absorb proven techniques for a total time-management solution that integrates communications, tasks, activities and planning and also integrates unused functionality within MS Outlook to make your life easier.
We all complain about the never ending deluge of emails, but we all continue to live in the INBOX. In order for you to get back some control of your day and stop “Reacting” to every email that arrives in your inbox, you need to start using your calendar screen in your groupware system ( Outlook, Lotus Notes, Groupwise) as your default screen.
This screen allows you to see your time available, if set up correctly you can also see the tasks you planned to do and your capacity to deliver work or not.
Always start your system up in your calendar screen.
These may seem like very simple methods, but our clients are often surprised at just how effective this simple technique is in helping to cut out interruptions throughout the day. A solid and robust attitude to your inbox, if practiced diligently can help gain back control of your day.
For more information regarding Time Management Training courses , how to get back in control of your day and save over 1 hour per day, in Dublin and Ireland, or our internationally successful training programmes “Working Smart with Microsoft Outlook” , Working Smart with Lotus Notes , Working Smart with IPAD or Working Smart with Blackberry , contact us for further details and dated of the next course. These courses are specifically designed to help you get the most from your technology and have been refined and improved over the years through our own experience as well as feedback from the thousands of busy managers and executives who have attended our training throughout the world.
Call Priority Management Training Ireland on 00353 1 835 9946
With the proliferation of productivity software tools and apps available now, how do you know if you are actually being more productive or is it a case that you need productivity software training?
There has been an explosion in software and apps to help busy managers be more productive. With the increase in popularity of smart phones and other hand held devices we have 24 hour connectivity to emails as well as 24 hour access to these tools also.
However a recent article on the Wall Street Journal asked the question of many managers and coaches as to whether it is all helping.
In a detailed piece there were of course many examples of successes and many of failures, however the underlying message was this. Without first figuring out what your weaknesses are, where you routinely fall down you cannot actually go about solving the problem. Just introducing new gadgets and tools into your work schedule can actually have a negative effect rather than the positive time saving effect which is required.
The process of learning a new tool or method can also take a lot of time as well as introducing elements of frustration. Assuming that a new software tool or methodology will automatically safe time and encourage more efficiency is wrong. The new methods must be learned, adhered to and refined and improved upon so that poor habits are not resorted to and that the benefits are long lasting.
Getting support in first of all identifying your time management weaknesses greatly helps. Investing in a training resource and program greatly increases the likelihood of achieving success. Having a long term support system enhances the benefit in the longer term driving improvements now and long into the future.
Priority Management Ireland, provide a full range of productivity training on a range of software tools. Our proven methods are recognised internationally as being among the most effective in providing long term improvement.
Contact our team for more details on our Working Smart productivity improvement programs.
Tackling stress triggers
In last weeks post we began the discussion about coping with the persistent and subtle stressors which can be a major contributor to our overall stress levels and which effect our productivity and in some cases our underlying happiness. In this blog we look at methods for tackling stress triggers.
The exercise posed at the end of last weeks post was to identify the situations which cause each of us stress. An example of which could be some routine task to do with family life, which is impacting on your working day. Collecting children from school which requires you to leave early and has the knock on effect of reducing your work day is one. The irritating habit of a co-worker could be another.
Techniques for tackling stress triggers
Once the causes of stress have been identified look for ways and methods to resolve them. In the case of family commitments consider pooling resources and sharing the task with neighbours if possible. In the case of an annoying co-worker, perhaps bringing their behaviour to their attention will help resolve the problem. Often people don’t realise that their actions and habits can be irritating to others. If it is more serious or you don’t think that you can approach the person directly, consider speaking with your line manager or other person to get their perspective on the matter. The key thing is to take some action to resolve the matter.
Sharpen your time management skills
As well as dealing with specific stress triggers the Mayo Clinic report recommends sharpening time management skills as being of significant benefit to a large number of people. This should be done in association with alleviation of particular subtle and persistent stressors. Specifically they recommend three main activities proven to improve time management.
1. Set realistic goals
In addition to setting realistic expectations and deadlines, regular progress reviews should be make and goals adjusted accordingly.
2. Make a priority list
Prepare a daily list of tasks and rank them in order. Review them regularly throughout the day to insure that you are keeping to plan.
3. Protect your time.
Block out time where you are not interrupted, so as to get particular tasks done.
Over time the goal setting and priority time management will be come more automatic and routine and ultimately make you more effective. In our next blog we shall look at the additional recommendations that help you manage your work day more efficiently and with less stress.
Should you be feeling over stressed in work and think that a course in time management would help you, contact us for details of our next training session. Click here for more details of our time management training courses.
Workplace stress does not have to be all consuming
The workplace is a common source of stress, however we have the power to change this. Finding methods and strategies to deal with stress can have dramatic effects on both personal and professional life. An article published by the Mayo Clinic suggests methods to deal with workplace stress.
There are many influences on the way we respond to stress. The manner in which they manifest themselves and the effect they have on each of us are very different. Situations which you may find stressful may not have the same effect on your work colleagues and vice versa, you may not be fazed by stressors which others are particularly sensitive to. As they say, we are all individual.
When dealing with workplace stress it is important to begin by identifying the triggers. Take time to note and record the people, places and situations which cause you stress. It is important to have a brief description of each situation which includes who was involved, where you were, how did it make you feel and finally how did you react.
If you do this for a period of two or three weeks, you can then take stock of the situations and consider them in detail as well as aggregate.
Identifying workplace stress
Major incidents such as loosing a significant contract or particular problems with a project are just what happens in a working environment. These are the ‘normal’ stress triggers. We generally deal with these well as they can be easily identified. However it is the subtle and persistent stress triggers which are harder to both identify and resolve. Examples of these are communication issues with fellow staff or issues with your physical work space. It might be parking problems or distractions by colleagues.
It is these subtle and persistent stressors which can be a major contributor to overall stress levels. Whereas it is difficult to foresee every pothole along the road of a project, the subtle every day causes of workplace stress once identified can generally be dealt with.
In our next article we shall look at methods suggested by the Mayo Clinic staff to tackle subtle and persistent workplace stress.
Time Management pushed to the extreme.
So, you would think that training for an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) would be a full time profession, particularly if you were recognised as one of the world greats, having competed in every Ironman in the world. So what if you also had responsibility for running the worlds largest fuel tank manufacturer, SAG Mecasa? Luis Alvarez is a busy man. He recently shared his tips on Time Management with Kevin Mackinnon.
Time Management, Work, Sport and Lifestyle.
Alvarez, from Mexico, manages to include a highly strict training regime within a tightly organised working day. For example, rising at 4am, he ‘multi-tasks’ that is, responds to international emails whilst on his treadmill by means of hooking a computer to a large screen. As well as a strict time management regiem, he relies on great teams, both in work and in his sport. He states “I have to be grateful for a great assistant and great team in Mexico” adding “Nobody can be irreplaceable, not even the owner or the CEO”. He manages to fit in 13 Ironmans per year during his 30 days off all around the world, laughing when he recalls a trip to Australia for a weekend.
From the Triathlon point of view, as a member of the Timex Multisport Team he says that the experience has changed his life, keeping him motivated an constantly pushing him to never plateau. This has resulted in almost 100 Ironman finishes and a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Incredible to think that as an 11 year old, he started smoking and weighed over 200lbs, he was unable to walk 2km. He began to set goals. First to walk 5km, then 10Km. What were extreme goals then now pale into insignificance, but the lessons learnt and the methods devised have stayed with him and allowed him to achieve what most of us would call amazing.
A lot of lessons can be learned from this extremely successful sports and business person. Time Management, Team Building, Planning Efficiently are the obvious ones. To read the complete article, please visit the Ironman.com site by clicking this link.
For more information on Time Management Training Courses, Click Here
Is multitasking good from a time management point of view?
A de facto requirement of management today is the ability to multitask. However, is this a productive means of operating? A 2009 Stanford study revealed that the effects of chronic multitasking is highly detrimental to the ability to multitask and consequently had a negative effect on a persons effectiveness and overall time management.
The study involved 262 college students who were asked to perform experiments which required switching among tasks, filtering irrelevant information and using working memory. It was expected that those who were used to multitasking would outperform those new to the technique.
The results were astonishing. Not only were the confessed multitaskers worse a all the (3) experiments, particularly considering that only one of these experiments truly involved multitasking which gave strong indicators that frequent multitaskers actually use their brain less efficiently.
Detrimental to Time Management
In a 2010 French study, neuroscientists at Inserm showed that when more than one task is performed by an individual, that the tasks are split between the two halves of the brain, thus suggesting that the most number of tasks which should be performed at any one time is two.
A suggestion from the authors of the Stanford study is that multitasking be avoided and replaced with dedicated time slots for each task. Allocation of 20 minutes for example to complete a task before moving onto the next proves to be much more effective and productive.
The time allocation must also be appropriate to the task. Many studies have shown that for complex problem solving, there is an initial period of familiarisation with the many variables and their effects is required before quality solutions to those problems maybe developed. Interruptions, such as e-mail notifications or phone calls disrupt this focus and concentration resulting in a lack of focus and consequential poor performance in decision making.
Priority Management provide a range of time management training courses which address major as well as minor issues which are a major cause of both time loss and ineffectual operation.
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