Showing posts from November, 2016

Mindsets in the Workplace

The other day via one of my newsletter subscriptions, I came across this article (Carol Dweck on Creating a Growth Mindset in the Workplace) that surveys a book from 2007 - Mindest: The New Psychology of Success. I thought it had some really interesting points - to the point that I decided to jump in and order Mindset from Amazon (should be here in a few more days). The idea behind Mindset is that different mindsets impact not only how we do our jobs, but the mindsets of our employees can impact the ultimate success of an organization.

Productivity Killing Words

Today I came across an article (6 Phrases Secretly Sabotaging Your Team's Productivity) with a bit of an odd mix of information, but all of it was really good. Opening things,  Karla Cook covers some stats regarding productivity killers for workers. This is based on a study conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and their American Time Use Survey completed for 2015. One of the things that I liked about the information from this study is that it quantifies some truths that we all know.

Spreading the Load

Last week I shared an article about some potential problems that can crop up if collaboration efforts are not managed effectively. One of the issues that may surface is the stress and burnout for top performers when they are continually sought out by others in the organization. Likewise, as managers we likely have certain employees who are considered stars and it can be tempting to turn to them on a frequent basis to get the work done in an organization. However, it is important that we proactively manage the work that is being delegated so as to avoid overloading some employees and at the same time taking steps to help raise up lower performing employees. Although management may be as much art as it is science, we can still bring some structure to this delegation process as discussed in the article Make Sure Your Team's Workload Is Divided Fairly.
The article brings up several steps and actions that managers can take when delegating assignments and projects. The main thing is to…

The Perils of Collaboration

I was recently reading an article on collaboration (Collaborative Overload) and some of the problems that it can create for an organization. Wait, what? Collaboration is a problem? That may seem like an odd claim in this day and age when we seek ever increasing levels of collaboration and teamwork in our workforces. As the article points out though, there are potential problems out there if the effects of collaboration are not managed effectively.

The basic problem with collaboration that is identified by the authors is that demands for collaborative activities - like attending meetings - pulls people away from being able to work on the actual tasks that they have been hired to work on. This creates a cycle requiring them to do things like take work home, which in turn increases stress, which then leads to burnout and turnover.

Smart Is As Smart Does

Very likely you are familiar with the refrain from Forrest Gump who quotes one of his mother's favorite sayings, "stupid is as stupid does". A quick search on the Internet suggests the saying is rooted in an older proverb, "handsome is as handsome does". In both cases, the meaning is that one can assess qualities like "stupid" or "handsome" by a person's actions and not by anything one can see.

What? More productivity tips?

Time for more productivity tips! You know it is one of my favorite subjects and an area where I enjoy experimenting, so it should be no surprise that I came across an article (7 Steps To Getting Unstuck And Becoming More Productive) with some ideas to help improve your productivity. This is a list of seven suggestions from Michael Hyatt. I've tried a few of these and others I think I've incorporated or tried in some way or another if not as explicitly. In any case, I added a few of my own comments and thoughts.
To-Do lists. Well duh. Pick a method you like to use and start working it. I've been a big fan of GTD for years and although I'm currently not practicing it directly, most of GTD is still part of my workflow. I use a modified type of context (contexts is the part of GTD that I find most difficult in this day and age when everything seems interconnected vs when GTD was first developed) and still do things like practice the 2-minute rule. Of note from Hyatt's …

The Broccoli Habit

It has been a couple weeks now since I last posted thanks to a very busy schedule. During October I've been trying to step up my posts and shares, but I clearly have not quite ingrained the habit as deeply as I need to. Which brings us to this article on how to effectively implement new habits in your life. It is interesting to me that I am struggling just a tad with the regular posting habit even as I come up on the two year mark for my dieting and exercise habits.

One thing that I am currently testing with this post is a new IFFFT recipe to automate the post. In the past I would use Hootlet to share interesting pages to LinkedIn and then effectively create a cross post manually on my blog. That was mainly to keep the LinkedIn post a bit cleaner. However, that significantly slows things down (2 posts versus one post). Yesterday I attended an online project management webinar about some time management strategies and one of the questions to examine when developing a task list is …