[Today's post comes from Nathan Paul of the eProductivity Team]

After learning David Allen's Getting Things Done  from Eric Mack for a year, I had a problem: on any given day, I had way more things marked as "due" than I could possibly get done. I dealt with it by taking all my incomplete items at the end of each day and changing the due date to the next day -- you can imagine how well that worked out.

To do list.png
...times 20, but better-defined

This continued until I realized something: I was putting due dates on a lot of things that weren't really due that day. This not only overloaded my to-do list, but gave me the extra mental stress of filtering my tasks, asking "Is this really due today?"

Here's how I solved this: by distinguishing between "due" and "like to do."

Continue Reading "GTD: How to prevent an overload of "due today"" »

The Workspace is a view that shows all of your IBM Notes apps and databases -- Mail, Notebook, Contacts, and much more -- like so:

Image:The most useful view in IBM Lotus Notes that you’re not using

I've been astonished to find that many Notes users don't have access to the Workspace by default. Most of my life life in Notes is lived out of this view, and I can't imagine working without it.

Continue Reading "The most useful view in IBM Lotus Notes that you're not using" »

I've coached a lot of Lotus Notes users, and hardly any of them even knew that Notes has bookmarks! Maybe because it's hidden under a really weird name, as you'll see below.

1. Turn on bookmarks


To do this, open the "View" menu and select "Dock the Open List." I know that doesn't make any sense, but I just deliver the mail.

Turn on IBM Lotus Notes Bookmarks

2. Create new bookmarks


In addition to the default bookmarks, you can create your own. To do that, just click the tab you want to bookmark, hold down the mouse button, and drag the tab onto the bookmarks bar:

Create IBM Lotus Notes Bookmarks

And there's your new bookmark!

Create new IBM Lotus Notes Bookmarks


3. Turn on large icons


Let's face it, we're not getting younger, so using larger bookmark icons can really help. Just right-click the bookmarks bar and select "Use Large Icons."

Bookmarks 3.jpg

'Til next time!

Eric

P.S. Want to discuss this, offer other great Lotus Notes tips, or ask for more? Connect with eProductivity on Facebook and Twitter!

Does it seem like there's a lot of activity in your office, but the important stuff doesn't get done? When your coworker is three weeks late giving you that report, do you wonder, "What have they been doing?"

This is a situation I've seen at many of the companies I've consulted for: a lot of stuff gets moved around, emailed, minuted, and checked off, but there's very little accomplished.

To understand this, let me tell you a story:

Pretend I'm a manager, and I walk into my office full of bright, eager employees and announce we're going to build a bridge. They all set off right away to put in 10-hour days with smiles on their faces, merrily getting ready to make the best bridge they can build.

Can you think of a more productive, ideal workplace? Everyone's happy and working hard.

There's just one problem: no one knows what kind of bridge we're building. One person's working on a little stone arch, and another's designing the next Golden Gate. We all have different ideas of how wide and long and high to make it, using what materials, and even whether to make an arch or suspension bridge or something else.

There's a crucial question that hasn't been answered: what are we trying to accomplish?

I've found that a lot of problems are solved by asking this simple question. Having a shared, clearly-defined idea of where to head (not to mention how to get there) prevents a lot of wasted time and effort, and also creates a shared sense of purpose and camaraderie.

This is for you personally as well. If you don't have a clear idea of what you're aiming for, you'll have a hard time trying to hit it.

So, do you and your team know what you're doing?


P.S. eProductivity was designed to nurture this kind of thinking. For example, when you create a new Project, eProductivity asks you, "What's the successful outcome? Describe as if already done; what would that look like?" This is meant to encourage you to think in terms of what will be true once you've done this thing. This approach helps keep you focused; plus, it automatically gets your brain thinking about how to achieve that outcome.

Multitasking NOP.jpg

Multitasking is not working smarter -- just the opposite, in fact.  This a quick, colorful infographic from Visual.ly and Fuze shows how multitasking actually slows you down and even decreases your IQ!

Click here to view.