Efficiencymadesimple's Blog

Tips for working smarter to create more balance in our lives.

Uni-Tasking In A Multi-Tasking World November 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 11:06 am
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If you want to be sure to look busy at work, stick a cell phone in your ear while you type feverishly on your computer while giving directions to a co-worker. Hey – we all multi-task – right ?

Nope. Not those of us who want to get work done in an effective manner.

You see Tim Ferriss, Author of the Four Hour Work Week writes that being busy is another form of laziness. ( Re-read that sentence, it’s golden)

So next week how about going against the tide and uni-tasking ? I know, it sounds archaeic and we know you like moving through your day at the speed of lightning but here’s the kicker : multi-tasking is truly a misnomer.

The brain doesn’t get compute multi-tasking. It wants to email, text or talk. Not do them all at once. It likes to do one thing from A-Z , not a whole slew of random items from A –D and then having to remember where it left off and where it has to take that D in order to get it to G. Way too confusing. That’s what causes brain fog and other forms of forgetfulness and no doubt a whole host of toxicity in the body.

So do your self a favour, identify the key items to take care of ahead of time and attack them one by one. It’s uni-tasking in rapid succession. Your productivity will soar, your memory will return and your brain will humbly thank you, and that’s a good thing.


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Behind Closed Doors – Insightful post by PR Squared November 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 6:32 pm

Behind Closed Doors

PR-Squared – Social Media Marketing and Public Relations

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 08:59 AM PST

IStock_000000750894XSmallAs I was coming up in my career I was variously pegged with descriptions like “golden boy,” “up-and-comer,” etc. Sometimes these monikers were used derisively by peers or jealous executives.  I didn’t care much for the praise nor the snipes; I had set myself on a path and bulled forward; certainly I broke a few things along the way.

In other words, “I was young once, too.”

During that rung-climbing phase of my career, I recall seething at every closed door.  If an important meeting was being held, why wasn’t I a part of it?  Why wasn’t the Golden Boy’s opinion being sought?  (Any chance those graybeards who ran the joint were discussing me, and my career, behind that closed door?  If so, when was the next raise & promotion coming, dammit?)

Now that I’m invariably the guy on the other side of that closed door, I am going to reveal to all of today’s Young Guns what we are talking about.

Because you should know, Mr./Ms. Up-And-Comer, that you are right: we are talking about you.

When I meet with senior members of my team, we invariably talk about the talent.  Who are the rockstars?  How are they doing?  What does their path look like?  If they seem to have stalled, why did that happen and how can we re-ignite their growth?  Are they making enough money?  Are they due for a promotion?  What would they need to accomplish before we considered that next rung on the ladder?  Has that been communicated to them?

I am always vaguely disappointed when a team member asks for a raise or promotion.  It reflects a failing: either we have failed to adequately compensate that person, or we have failed to adequately communicate their career path and progress, or (and this happens, too) the employee has failed to consider their request in a broader context; they may have become too inwardly-focused and now place their needs above the agency or team’s situation.

That’s not to say that the system could ever be perfect.  Even our best intentions can be waylaid by events: the team leader might be too swamped to consider each employee’s career growth issues; the employee might find out that a peer at a competing agency makes more $$ and it gnaws away at them more than it should, etc.  We all must muddle through.

I am writing this post to assure all young comms pros, across all types of agencies and in-house gigs, that “The Management” is well aware of your contributions, your compensation, and your potential.  Good things come to those who do good.  So don’t worry so much about that closed door meeting.  Chances are, they are talking about you, wondering what they can do to make you feel valued, and how they can time it in such a way that those rewards makes sense, not only to you but to your peer group.

I wish someone had given me this advice when I was struggling to leap from Rung #1 to Rung #17 on that career ladder.  It would have saved me a fair bit of angst!  I could’ve walked past those closed doors and smiled.



Decide To Decide August 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 7:58 am

Deciding to Decide.

Should I get an early night or get work done ? Take a taxi or drive ? Meet clients and go out to eat or go  out for a drink ?

One thing is clear : decision making is not for the faint of heart.

Follow these tried and tested rules for streamlined decision making finesse :

• Making decisions can be grueling if you’re already having a rough day, there will be times when you will need to save your brain cells, postpone the decision making and simply decide not to decide. Get a good night’s sleep, recharge your batteries and attack those decisions the following day.
• There are certain decisions that you want to be meticulous over, such as choosing staff, company retreat locations and computer systems. Many other decisions can be ‘ pass-fail’ and don’t need much thought or research. Determine right away what level of time and energy is needed so you don’t over research each decision.
• Morning time is preferable for multi-layer decision making when your mind is clearer. Close your office door, turn off your phone, lay out the facts and decide.
• Trust that gut instinct, it’s there for a purpose.
• Outsource the decision altogether by asking some-one else how they navigated a scenario similar to yours.
• The more systems you have in place the less you’ll have to use the decision making part of your brain. So go ahead and plan your days, get your work clothes organized ahead of time and order the same coffee at Starbucks, the fewer decisions you need to make the better.

* Once you’ve made a decision don’t agonize over it. Let it go and the chances are you make the right choice, if you didn’t then learn a

That’s my decision and I’m standing by it 


Managing Those Interruptions June 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 2:34 pm
Texting on a keyboard phone
Image via Wikipedia
Scary statistic : It takes a full 11 minutes to get back to what you were focused on after answering a text or any other distraction.
Solution  : When you are focused on getting work done maximize your time by managing those interruptions. Silence your phone and turn off the internet windows that you don’t need. Set a timer and your concentration ans productivity will benefit tremendously.


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How To Really Get Ahead June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 11:21 pm
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Hipster PDA. Photo by John Arundel, September ...
Image via Wikipedia

Before leaving the office, identify what the key ‘to-do’s’ are for the next day. What makes the list ?

The items that would really make your next day productive if that was all you accomplished.

No more than 8 items.  Write them in your PDA or on an index card. It doesn’t have to be electronic to be effective. (If you finish all 8 you can get extra credit for any other key items you complete).

You’ve now just prioritized your priorities.
Block off a nugget of work time tomorrow.  Close your office door, have your calls put on hold and turn off your cell phone. No internet surfing or getting busy with other projects until they are checked off.
Don’t forget to cross off the tasks as they are completed. Seeing a crossed off item is a great visualization.

Your productivity will soar as you incorporate this simple yet so effective technique into your days.

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‘When To Do’ Is Just As Important As ‘What To Do’ May 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — efficiencymadesimple @ 5:40 pm

Nothing is more important to my success than controllling my schedule. I’m most creative from 5am to 9am. if I had a boss or co-workers, they would ruin my best hours one way or another” Scott Adams, Dilbert Creator
We weren’t born with an innate ability to work best between 9am – 5pm. The fast path to working smarter is to figure out when you work the best, and just as importantly – when we produce the worst quality work.

Truly the first step to an easier day is to not just figure out what to do, but when to do.