Welcome to 3 ideas for 2 minutes –

Productivity Top Tips that give you time.

With my finger on the pulse of what works for busy people, I do the searching so you don’t have to. Here are my favourite fortnightly finds.

Favourite Read

Busy Trap

Busy Trap

This article from The New York Times, The Busy Trap, is longer than I usually recommend but the content is so thought provoking I had to share. Busy is defined as the self imposed extras we feel we have to cram into our lives while idleness is said to be as...

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Google Rest Time

Google Rest Time

I enjoyed taking 5 minutes to consider this article on how Google employees cope with stress. As a busy bunch who, like many, can suffer the inability to switch off their 'internal operating system,' the threat of burn out is high. The main point to take away is the...

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Time wasted at meetings

Time wasted at meetings

A story in Business Insider UK this week claims that most office workers in the UK get distracted during meetings and even work on other things or fall asleep. This blatant waste of time is costly - to the tune of £29 billion each year according to one report. Laptops...

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Value of Apps

Value of Apps

Does having productivity apps make you more productive? Only if you use them. In this article, Suzanne Zuppello encourages more awareness when it comes to choosing efficiency tech. She says only choose solutions that fix pain points and aren't a distraction. She...

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Iphone with intention

Iphone with intention

Digital distractions are detrimental to focused work. In this blog post, Josh Spector explains how he moved from mindlessly checking his phone to using it with intention. Not as drastic as a digital detox, more like a different relationship with tech. To help him be...

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Disease to please

Disease to please

If you have the disease to please you'll love this post about how to say NO without feeling guilty. It contains 6 expert-backed secrets. I think tip 3 - have a policyvcould be worth trying as well as tip 5 - deferring for the sake of others. Hopefully you won't have...

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Inbox to PO Box

Inbox to PO Box

Could you be an email miser? It's time savvy to check email only at specific points in the day.Cal Newport, famous for his ruthless ability to get things done, has been observing a more radical decline in email checking. Could the Inbox soon be more like a PO box? See...

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Time as a bank balance

Time as a bank balance

This recent blog by Jon Westenberg suggests that our bodies, time and minds have a bank balance. Everything we choose to do with our time is a transaction - what are we trading off against? Jon is passionate about this subject so if you're not Donald Trump and don't...

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Strengths

Strengths

Do you do what you do best every day? This blog by performance coach Stacy Thomson highlights the value of recognising what comes naturally and using that as the set point from which to grow and develop. Turns out feeling energised helps to get more done with less...

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Grown Ups need a bedtime

Grown Ups need a bedtime

The emphasis on the value of sleep has been dominating the media of late. This article in The Times and other sources caught my eye - Why grown ups need a proper bedtime. It appears that consistency in when we go to bed and get up is what's most important. An average...

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Favourite Tool

Trello

Trello

The brain is for creating ideas, not storing them, Trello does that. One of my favourite info-capture apps, it provides a place to collect ideas, photos, weblinks and more in one place. What's more, 'boards' (as they are called) can be shared with others who can add...

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Boomerang

Boomerang

Ever waste time chasing email responses? This email plug in Boomerang app could really help. My favourite feature is the reminder it gives when someone you've emailed hasn't replied. Other options include schedule send and smart calendar assistant for scheduling...

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LoMo meetings

LoMo meetings

A tool to make meetings more productive - LoMo. Short for low-tech moments, LoMo is a set of techniques to encourage self-organising, self-responsibility, speed, clarity and powerful decisions in meetings. I loved the concept so I got trained on the method.

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Receipt Bank

Receipt Bank

There is one must-have app that saves me a lot of pain every day - Receipt Bank. Collecting, storing and documenting expense receipts is time consuming and boring. This app takes the tedium away. Take a photo of the receipt and it interprets the amount and invoice...

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Sleep in 10-3-2-1

Sleep in 10-3-2-1

We know rest is critical for productivity. Yet the discipline to switch off can be difficult. The 10-3-2-1 system is a helpful reminder to set up for slumber success. In the hours before bed it recommends:  10 hours - last caffeine intake 3 hours - finish eating  2...

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Mind Map

Mind Map

Tony Buzan famously invented the Mind Map - the most powerful 'thinking tool' of our time. Let's stretch that concept and embrace it as a productivity tool by using it to visually capture to-dos. Visuals engage the brain better than a list which helps with memory and...

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Two minute rule

Two minute rule

One of my favourite parts of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology is his two-minute rule. Put simply - if a task takes less than two minutes, do it now. If not, schedule to do it later. Time is saved prioritising and scheduling - or stacking and tracking as...

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Strengths profiles

Strengths profiles

Can you list your top 7 strengths? Try your top 3? Would it be easier if I asked "what are you good at, comes naturally to you and energises you?"Knowing the answer to these questions is vital if you want to do what you do best every day and get more done at work. A...

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Toggl

Toggl

Time is the commodity we most want to control yet often find ourselves asking - where did it go? how much time did I really spend on that task? Enter Toggl a simple time tracking app. It allows you track time from a browser, computer or a smartphone. The main premise...

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Feedly

Feedly

Whatever your pet subject, there are countless valuable articles and blogs lurking on the web waiting to be explored. Instead of spending time searching for these gems in lots of different places I go Feedly where the latest on all my favourite topics is collated in...

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Favourite Experiment

Cancel-elation

Cancel-elation

To help minimise the self-imposed busyness that Tim Kreider talks about in the Favourite Read, I'm using the concept of Cancel-elation. The basic idea is if I would be elated if an calendar entry was cancelled, then why accept it in the first place? Try it and watch...

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Eisenhower Matrix

Eisenhower Matrix

Heard of the Eisenhower Matrix? A quick way to assess tasks as urgent, important or both. With lots of competing priorities this method really helps me to know how best to spend my time. To stop overwhelm I spend most time in the Quality quadrant on tasks that...

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Personal Kanban

Personal Kanban

To manage to-dos I've been experimenting with a Personal Kanban system. Kanban is a manufacturing term meaning not having too much on an assembly line at any one time. Apply that to an assembly line of chores and notice the clarity. Everything remains in view across 3...

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Pomodoro

Pomodoro

I've featured the Pomodoro technique before (short bursts of uninterrupted focus). I'm highlighting it again as it was my saviour this past fortnight when I had lots to do and limited time. My best time for focus work is mornings. I knew I had to capitalise on the...

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Planning Fallacy

Planning Fallacy

Ever considered the Planning Fallacy? Being more optimistic than realistic about what we can get done. I've been using this to be more realistic about the big things I'll get done in a day. Whatever my wish list, I half it. Setting a smaller target and actually...

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Ignore mail on holiday

Ignore mail on holiday

Statistics show that more than 50% of us work while on holiday. With the help of technology the office is only ever a swipe away. I've just returned from a two-week break where I deliberately tried to stay disconnected. I allowed myself a scan of the inbox from time...

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Last minute, false deadline

Last minute, false deadline

Despite all I know about personal productivity, I can be a last minute merchant sometimes. There's a buzz about cramming everything into a short period but it can be exhausting too. To get me out of this habit I experimented with setting a false deadline a week in...

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Playing to strengths

Playing to strengths

In the spirit of playing to my strengths I too want to be clear on how to use what comes naturally in my day to day work. I realised recently that creating order is at the core of everything I do. I may not be voluntarily organising supermarket shelves (as I did as a...

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