Displaying All Posts tagged with Disruptions

How to be Productive and Still Get 8 Hours Sleep

Stay Productive, Sleep Well

Yes, you read that right. Productive people sleep eight hours a day. They also watch tv, go to wine tastings and perform sun salutations in the morning.

Productive people don’t have more hours in the day. Nor do they live perfect lives. What they do well is use their time effectively.

Here’s what I learned from years of going to graduate school while holding a full time job as a journalist and still having a life: Click Here to Read Article …

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5 Productivity Tools for the Busy Freelancer

5 Productivity Tools for the Busy Freelancer

Do you struggle for productivity? I, for one, find it hard to stay focused and productive all the time. It is often easy to lose focus with a ton of buzzing social networks all around us. But the good news is there are tricks and tools to overcome distractions and constantly stay on track of productivity.

Here are 5 great apps I am using every day to efficiently manage my time online. They all help me to get tasks done faster than before. What’s more, their interface and design is super slick so finding your way around these tools shouldn’t take long. Click Here to Read Article …

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Do You Have an Intern from Hell?

Ah, summertime in the northern hemisphere!

If your company takes on interns this is the time of year where you’ve got your share of college kids walking around the office in their only pair of crumpled slacks and inappropriate shoes.

By the average office standards, my “intern shoes” weren’t exactly inappropriate. But by the standards of my employer, a Madison Avenue boutique public relations firm, my shoes and the rest of my wardrobe were offensively unfashionable. But this was the least of their worries. I officially became the intern from hell on the day I unintentionally mixed up the press clippings from 2 brands that had very similar names – let’s call them Soda and Soda A. There were hundreds of clippings! I realized this soon after I ended my contract (as opposed to my contract being ended for me);it must have taken my supervisors quite a while to sort out everything.

How about you, have you been an intern from hell or have you had one in your office? Click Here to Read Article …

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Where Do You Work Best?

Some people need absolute, morgue-like silence to get real work done. Others are content to type away amidst chaos like chattering coworkers or screaming kids. As a work-at-home freelancer, I love being able to vary my work environment. It was tough when I had roommates who watched TV in my “office” (also a corner of the living room), but I managed to bang out dozens of articles, blog posts, and copywriting assignments.

Now I alternate between rocking out to show tunes in my home office (blissfully devoid of coworkers or kids) or heading to the library or a coffee shop to change things up and be among other people. I’ve even been known to type on the subway with my netbook, but that’s far from ideal for me.

What about you? What’s your ideal work environment? Does silence make you nervous? Do you need a little background noise? Or do you prefer peace and quiet? Click Here to Read Article …

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World Cup Productivity Watch

Except in the United States (for the most part), the World Cup is a huge deal.  My brother, for example, works for an American multinational in Brazil and the company had to bring in TV sets for workers to watch games lest half the office be out sick on game days.  It’s just the way it is there – we love football – and foreigners doing business with Brazil just need to adjust.  But if you’re the person trying to get some information from my brother while he and his co-workers are watching a game, you might get frustrated.  Who cares if they’ll make up for the work later, you need the numbers now!

So, is the World Cup affecting your work?  If so, how are you dealing with it? Click Here to Read Article …

Multitasking: Friend or Foe?

Recently, Harvard Business Review blogger David Silverman wrote a piece in defense of multitasking. Studies have shown that constant computer use, jumping back and forth between email and news sites and Facebook can lower our attention spans, decrease our productivity, and stress us out. But Silverman argues that multitasking is inevitable – as important as air.

What do you think?

I’m guilty of multitasking, but I’ll usually take the task into account. When I’m sorting through paperwork or cleaning out my email box, then I’ll often listen to a podcast or have a movie on in the background to lighten the mood. But when I’m working on something to send to a client, I know it needs my full attention (but I’ll keep my email open in case I get an update that’s relevant to that project).

Do you focus on seeing one task through to completion or do you jump around? Do you batch process? Do you juggle multiple spreadsheets, Word docs, and browser windows or try to keep your monitor as simple and streamlined as possible?

Any opinions for or against multitasking? Click Here to Read Article …

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iPhone 4 Adds New Features – and New Distractions

Editor’s Note:  Peter North, one of WorkAwesome’s newest contributors, is at Apple’s WWDC all week.  He’ll provide little snippets for our readers to digest over the course of the week – to pass on what Apple and its developer community has to offer in terms of making all of us more productive.

Apple recently revealed some remarkable new features on the new iPhone 4. Some of the most noteworthy features include sharper images, faster processing, longer battery life and video conferencing. It could clearly be a an asset for increased productivity…or a debilitating source of endless distraction.

Its new innovations are as concerning as they are impressive. Video calls sound like a great tool, but are you ready for impromptu face-to-face conferences with your boss? Having a phone with a longer battery life, a sharper screen and more computing power sounds great, but is having a “pocket office” a gift of a curse?

A phone with a 40-hour battery life, an HD video camera and a screen with over a half million pixels is practically like having super powers in your pocket. But, as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility.” It could help you be more productive than you’ve ever been, but couldn’t it also turn you into a stressed, snarling super villain? Click Here to Read Article …

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How Do You Handle Distractions?

Some people use headphones or a closed door to tell office mates when they’d rather not be disturbed. Some resort to web plugins to block certain websites that are just too good to resist (I’m looking at you, Facebook and ApartmentTherapy!). Others could work just fine with the TV blaring, phone ringing, and small children screaming incoherently.

How do you deal with distractions?

Do you put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign? Lock yourself in a secluded room without TV or phone service? Or are you one of those lucky few who don’t get fazed by noise or other disruptions?

As a work-at-home freelance writer without kids or pets, I don’t have many of the same distractions that office workers or even work-at-home parents have. Still, there are plenty of cyber-distractions threatening to hijack my productivity. I give myself a few minutes of Facebook and Twitter time each day (after all, social media is like my virtual water cooler and without it out I might go stir crazy all day by myself). Then it’s “back to work, missy.” Occasionally, when deadlines loom and household chores beckon, I might escape to the library or coffee shop.

What about you?  While there are some suggestions here, we want to hear from our WorkAwesome readership…let us know in the comments. Click Here to Read Article …

Are Smartphones a Productivity Tool?

When I bought a BlackBerry Pearl two years ago, it was almost revelatory.

“You mean I can check my email or catch up on RSS feeds while waiting at the bus station or standing in line at the grocery store?! Yes, please!”

I quickly discovered that with a BlackBerry, it’s faster to axe a bunch of unimportant emails at once than it is to open them individually, so that reduced my daily email time. The ability to look up an address or live tweet from a conference or wherever is nice, too.

Smartphones are touted as a productivity tool, but are they really? All that 24/7 accessibility has its downsides, too. First, there’s the threat of burnout (you can’t be very productive if your brain is fried) and the constant distractions. All those apps, the endless email checking, and texting can keep you from real work, not to mention that they can keep you from staying in the moment and enjoying time-off.

Do you think smartphones help or hinder productivity? For those of you who own a smartphone, which one do you use? Are you an iPhone fanatic, an Android addict, or a CrackBerry connoisseur?  Let us know in the comments. Click Here to Read Article …

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Breaking Bad Habits

Habits aren’t always bad, but the word just seems to conjure up thoughts of things that aren’t particularly good for us.  There are “challenges” all over the web that try to help you break these habits but there are also those that try to instill good ones.  These challenges can come with weekly or monthly timelines (such as 30 Days of Creativity or the Jerry Seinfeld-inspired Don’t Break The Chain), and even make you accountable to not just yourself but others as well (The Power of Less Challenge would be an example of this).

What bad habit would you like to break?  What good habit would you like to begin?  Let us know in the comments. Click Here to Read Article …

Are You Quitting Facebook?

Facebook has its benefits.  It creates a connection of sorts, reconnects old friends and is an excellent social media tool.   But it is also a productivity killer when overused.  Between email, Twitter and Facebook you can seem to be doing a lot without really doing anything at all.

May 31st was designated as the day that everyone who was going to quit Facebook would band together do so.  Ideally, this would drive a point home that solidarity can make a huge impact (and some would say to get Facebook to think twice about privacy issues) on how the site goes forward.  Then again, it might just be that not many people know about the significance of the day at all…

So, have you quit Facebook?  Will you?  Are you going to be part of the crowd that does it en masse?  Tell us in the comments. Click Here to Read Article …

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Find Your Inner Zen at Work

You may have tasted Nirvana at last night’s yoga class, but by 9 A.M. the next day you’re as tense as ever. If only there was a way to experience that kind of renewal and relaxation throughout the work day.

The good news is that you can. Try these yoga-inspired strategies to help transform your work day into a more positive experience. Click Here to Read Article …

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