Displaying All Posts from February, 2010

Break Hacks

How long should you work before taking a break? The typical recommendations I see in the blogosphere are (a) every 50-60 minutes and (b) every 90 minutes. My advice: take breaks when you actually need them rather than taking them on schedule.

Be careful with advice given by writers. It may not be wrong, but it may very well be domain-specific. In other words, a clerk in a copy store can probably work two or three times as long as a writer without needing a break. A construction worker may only be able to optimally work half as long. Think about the nature of the work you do and learn to rightsize your breaks accordingly.

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Why Providing Value in Your Job is Important

One of the first things that they taught me at Blogging School was how to flog my blog erm, I mean, how to promote readership. There are many ways to get people to your site, but the not-so-secret way to get them to stay, and willingly come back, is to provide them value. There has to be a compelling reason for them to take time out of their incredibly busy day to spend five or ten minutes reading whatever you wrote.

Whether it’s a comedic post, tips on how-to be a better whatever, or a discussion about a mutual love of Pez dispensers, providing content that lets the reader justify why they bothered going to your site is critical.

So how does this apply in the office world? Well, if you’re part of the company blog, it should be directly applicable. If not, here are a few ways to start thinking about how you can provide value to those around you: Click Here to Read Article …

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Calendar or To Do List? Two Task Management Tools Compared

How do you plan and track your daily activities, with a calendar or a to do list? Some productivity gurus claim that putting everything on your calendar ensures that it never gets done, or that you’ll cross off what you don’t get done and just reschedule it for the next day — which defeats the purpose of scheduling. Other gurus claim that putting everything on a list, where items aren’t tied to a time and date, ensures that they never get done, since they lack specific queues to get started or deadlines to finish.

If the choice is mutually exclusive, I think they’re both wrong. Calendars and lists are related, but serve different purposes, not unlike clocks and timers. You can use a clock as a timer, but it’s not the best tool for the job.

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Getting Out of Your Rut: A Change of Scenery

Working in different places can prove to be quite beneficial. A change of scenery could be exactly what you need if you’re stuck in a creative rut or experiencing writers block – or just simply bored.

By changing your location, atmosphere, tools, and even clothing, you can change the way you work.

I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting with this, and find it to be quite effective. Here are some examples of some different work environments and the types of work you can achieve in each setting: Click Here to Read Article …

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Memo:Random #23

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What is a 21st Century Career?

In the very olden days, a career was a job you were born into. You became a farmer, a fisher, a blacksmith, or whatever your parents had been, and your children would be the same (unless they wandered off to war or to start a new religion). In the more recent olden days, a career was forty years working in the same factory from high school graduation to retirement. But what is a career today? No one expects to do what their parents do, and no one expects to hold down the same job for more than 5 years (unless you’re in the government!).

So what is a career today? And do you even want one? Click Here to Read Article …

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See More Green at Work to Grow Your Career

Of course you care for the environment. You want to preserve the air and water for future generations. And remember the polar bears. So what you do today to reduce your company’s environmental impact will help save the world.

Did you buy any of that? Maybe just a little. But it’s not enough to get you on board the green bandwagon. You’re looking for something a little more tangible and short term. You’re in luck. There is something in it for you and the polar bears.

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5 Steps to a Brilliant Presentation

In any occupation, chances are you have been approached by your boss, at one time or another, to give a presentation. I certainly understand that giving a presentation ranks right up there with having root canal surgery. But there are certainly ways to help alleviate the stress associated with this traumatic event. There are actionable steps that will help you get through your presentation successfully and remain gainfully employed.

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