Skip to content

Archive for July, 2012


Say No Without Turning Off People

“No” is a simple word, but it may be harder to say than any other word in your vocabulary. For many people, it is more important to be agreeable than to do what they really want. If you say “yes” and you really want to say “no,” you often end up resenting the situation and the person because your own high priorities are shunted aside for theirs. This can cost you productivity, and more importantly, friendships and business associations.

  • When someone makes a request, ask for time to think about it, so you understand what is being asked of you.
  • Ask questions to make sure you understand the scope of what is being asked.
  • Decide what is best the action to take and take it.

An assertive “no” statement is simple and direct. If you feel an explanation is appropriate, it, too, should be simple and direct. No, I won’t be able to attend that meeting. I already have a commitment I can’t change. Use a firm voice and look at the person when you decline. You may want to shake your head slightly to emphasize what you are saying. Show empathy for the person. I know it can be difficult to find a replacement at such short notice, but I’m not available this afternoon.

Be honest, upfront and stay true to your priorities!  Sometimes, you just have to say “No”.


Productivity on the Road

Productivity on the Road

While virtual meetings have made inroads on business travel, sometimes you just have to leave the office and hit the road. Here are some tips for staying productive:

  • Create a must-have list of documents you need on the go and check it before you head out.
  • Save documents to a shared drive, cloud drive or flash drive to avoid having to carry hard copies with you or in case you lose or damage hard copies.
  • Stay connected. Let people in the office know you will be gone and leave information about how to best contact you.
  • Change out-of-office messages to let people know when you will be returning to the office.
  • Check deadlines and deliverables that are due when you will be away. Take whatever action is necessary to meet obligations ahead of your travel time and delegate assignments as necessary.

Stay positively productive even when you are away from the office so when you return, you don’t feel further behind!


Take Initiative at Work

Many managers like employees who are proactive–who identify what needs to be done and address issues before they become problems. There are many advantages of taking initiative. You can:

  • Gain new skills and sharpen existing ones by stretching and growing in new areas.
  • Energize your day by working on interesting challenges.
  • Increase your self-confidence and sense of achievement.

Is there something in your area of responsibility where you could take initiative? Can you streamline a process or remove an obstacle to productivity? Look for ways to do things faster, easier, more efficiently and take initiative to improve. Make a plan and approach your manager or supervisor with your ideas.


Three Quick Tips for Improving Productivity Now!

1.  Focus on one activity at a time.

Multi-tasking is a myth. The brain can concentrate on only one activity at a time. When you multi-task, your brain is actually switching between the tasks—too fast for you to even realize it is happening. Because this switching diminishes your focus, it actually takes longer to perform each task than if you did them individually and focused on each until it was completed. The next time you find yourself multi-tasking, stop, focus on one activity only until it is finished and then move on to the next task.

2.  Get out of your own way!

We get in our own way when we do tasks better suited to other people. Learn to delegate activities that don’t require your expertise. Identify at least one task you can delegate and take steps to hand it off. Mastering the skill of delegation will do more for your productivity than just about any other skill.

3.  Keep your energy high.

Being productive is not just managing time and activities. You need to be well rested. Experts recommend:

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night.

Eating a healthy breakfast that includes a lean protein and complex carbohydrate.

Taking deep breaths to oxygenate your body and brain and wake up

Try just one of these tips and become positively productive!