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Productivity Tips

Avoid wasting time by trying out these simple tips:

1. Last Pass. If you have never heard of it, you are in for a treat. Last Pass has saved me hours of trying to remember passwords and having to go through the whole process of resetting a password because I've tried all my normal ones and nothing is working. Last Pass is a secure password saving app that connects to your Chrome. Notice I said secure - meaning more secure than the notes section on your phone or a post-it note under your keyboard. Anytime you go to a website (online banking, vendor accounts, cloud-based accounting software, email, heck - even online shopping), Last Pass fills in your username and password saving you time and major headaches. You can also download the app to your phone! Their tagline is "Last Pass remembers all of your passwords, so you don't have to" and that right there is the biggest sigh of relief.

2. Update your software and apps. I know how annoying it is when that pop up says "you need to update your computer" and you click later until it forces you to do the update, which always comes at the worst moment and you have zero time for a 45 minute update. It's also annoying when your software is running suuuuuper slow and we know it's because it needs to be updated but there is no time! Well... there is never going to be a good time to do it. So stay a bit later, get in early, do it during your lunch break - but get it done sooner than later. It will save you time in the long run.

3. Time-filler Tasks. You know that time during the day when you are waiting on a meeting to start? Or you are on hold with the service department? Have a time filling task each day that you can do during this time like unsubscribing to junk mail, cleaning your desk or filing paperwork. These are tasks that need to get done at some point, it may as well be when you have nothing else to do but wait.

4. Better manage your email. Get to a zero inbox by using the 4 D's of productivity - Do it, Delete it, Delegate it or Delay it. If it will take you less than 5 minutes to answer, do it now. If it's a spam email, delete it now. If it's something that needs to be sent to someone else, delegate it now. If the email is a project that will take you longer than 5 minutes, add it to a task list or set a time on your calendar that you will get it done and move the email out of your inbox (delay it). If you're like me, then you think of your inbox like a to-do list. I used to think this was helpful, but realized that it gave me a procrastination feeling. By moving all the emails out of your inbox and doing something with them you have a sense of accomplishment. Just like making your bed in the morning gives you a small sense of pride, cleaning out your inbox will clear your brain of fog and allow space to focus on what's important.

--> This also applies to thoughts that come to your mind, or projects that end up on your desk. If you leave a meeting or get off a call or wake up in the middle of the night and think "okay - I need to remember to do A, B and C - ask siri to send you an email reminding you to do that task. The quicker you can get something out of your brain and onto a task list, the less stressed you will be about that task.

5. "I'll call you @...". Always offer to initiate a phone meeting by calling the other party. This means you have control of your schedule and when the meeting starts. No time waiting for the other person to call you.

You can't manage time. You can manage tasks. We all have an endless amount of tasks that need to get done throughout the day - work, family, household chores, errands, etc. Planning and clarity of everything on your to-do list will alleviate task related stress.


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