Productivity Expert Allyson Lewis on time management

Productivity Expert Allyson Lewis

Productivity Expert Allyson Lewis

Allyson, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, could you let us know what projects you are involved in?

I am the founder of The 7 Minute Life. You can improve your time management in 7 Minutes.

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine?

We have a virtual team of seven associates. I have turned over the project management to my project manager. I hate administration and details. Now, my only job is to think, write, think some more, speak, think some more, and shoot video. Every person on our team has “narrowed” their roles. Narrow responsibilities are much more productive and meaningful.

Do you follow specific time management techniques to organize your day?

There are 24 hours in a day, 1440 minutes, if you take 1% of your day – that is 14 minutes. The 7 Minute Life is built on the foundation of taking 7 Minutes in the evening to answer one powerful question, “What is my goal for tomorrow?” Literally set the timer on your smartphone for 7 Minutes in the evening and clarify exactly what you want to achieve by the end of your workday. After you understand your goal – then, you need to create your “5 before 11” list. This list contains 5 tiny “micro-actions” that you commit to accomplishing before 11 o’clock the next morning.

How do you cope with time constraints? Which ones do you really dislike?

Not sure what you mean by time constraints. Time is time. The 24 hours in a day are the boundaries that can’t be changed. I don’t really dislike the problem of having a 24 hour day. The key for me is to choose to plan how much of my time I will sleep, exercise, pray, and read.

In what ways has your perception of time changed as you’ve grown older?

I have plenty of time for my purpose in life. I have had to shed away the activities that are not in alignment with my purpose.

So what are the secrets about time management from your experience?

Time management is not about the “When.” Behaviours to improve your time management skills include:

■ Know what you need to do

■ Know the specific projects that need to be accomplished

■ Break down each project into high value activities

■ Break down your high value activities into “microactions” – a micro-action is a task that can be completed between 2 minutes and 20 minutes (due to attentional bandwidth), can be accomplished by you, can be started and COMPLETELY finished.

■ Then, and only then can you decide the “When” you will complete each micro-action by placing a task on your calendar.

Allyson, thank you very much for your time to answer these Doodle questions and we wish you all the best for your time management tool ‘The 7 Minute Life‘.

Allyson_Lewis Skydiving

Allyson_Lewis Skydiving

Doodle launches new calendar integrations for Outlook.com and Office 365

Today is a great day for our Doodle users because they’re now able to integrate their Doodle events into Outlook.com and Office 365 calendars. Also, all of our calendar integrations (including the existing ones like Google Calendar, iCloud, and ICS) are now available in our free Doodle version.

This means that all of our users are able to create and participate in meeting polls directly from their Doodle calendar view without needing to switch back and forth between their calendars. Now that’s what we call productivity!

You can visit the following page to learn more about Doodle Calendar Connect.

Calendar integration by Doodle - easy scheduling

Calendar integration by Doodle – easy scheduling

Your Doodle Team

Doodle gets you ready for the Rugby World Cup in England

Rugby fan? Amateur player? Here’s some tips to make sure you’re on form for the upcoming World Cup.

On 18th September England will host the eighth ever Rugby World Cup. Over the tournament, 48 games of rugby will be played across 13 different venues in 11 host cities. 20 participating teams will sell out 2.3 million seats and draw in nearly half a million international visitors.

This is a hugely exciting time for all rugby enthusiasts, but how can you make the most of this special occasion.

Never miss a match …

With nearly fifty matches to watch, a game or two could easily slip past you. This handy app lets you select your team and then automatically imports all the fixtures into your calendar. Never miss a match again!

England gets ready for the RWC2015

England gets ready for the RWC2015

Watching the matches with your mates

It’s probably safe to say that you’ll be rounding up your mates, work colleagues and team mates to watch your side’s matches. But what about the other teams you’re hoping to watch such as the almighty All Blacks or the brave Wallabies from Down Under.

Find out if your mates, colleagues or team mates are free to watch even more matches by sending a quick and easy Doodle poll. You simply set up an event online, add all the dates and times of the matches and then send the invitation link to your rugby pals. All they then have to do is select the times they’re available and the matches they want to see and the clever tool works out the best time for everyone and notifies you.

Where to watch …

With England’s games being played on a Saturday night, you may want to avoid any TV clashes with the likes of Strictly and X-Factor by checking out where you can watch the game locally. You can use The Pub Finder to find those local gems.

This year, all the games are being shown on ITV, so chances are any pub worth its salt will be showing the games. Time Out have a great list of the best London pubs to watch rugby so make sure you get a group together and try them out … maybe all of them. If you really want to get into the spirit, then visit one of the 14 Fanzones where you can watch all the action.

How to stay in the know …

With so many games going on and so many players to get to grips with, you’re probably going to need a little help keeping your rugby facts on point. Download ITV’s Rugby World Cup app to find out all the vital stats and impress your mates. You can even turn on alerts from the BBC Sport app, so you’ll be the first in the office to find out the latest news.

Make the most of RWC 2015

Get inspired from the fantastic rugby games you’ll be watching! Maybe you could see if your friends, family or colleagues fancy setting up an amateur team. Depending on the skill levels you could start out with a friendly game of touch rugby. Keep practices and match times organised using Doodle to see when works best for everyone. Make sure to factor in the important post-practice/match pub session into any event.

Your Doodle Team

Doodle photo contest in Brazil

This is a day to say thank you to all our Doodle users, doodling with the world’s favourite scheduling service all around the globe. When Doodle started in Switzerland a few years back, it was quite normal, that the German version of our product initially gained most users.

Today we count approx. 25m users per month using the tool in all 20 languages available in most countries of the world. From Australia to Korea, from India to Poland, from England to the US: Doodle is used for private and business scheduling and we love this growth!

Our latest inroads happened in several South American countries, where our users in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina use the Spanish and our many Brazilian users work with the Brazilian version. You helped us grow in each country by more than 100% over the last 6 months, simply awesome.

Let us add to this the news from Brazil, where we organized a great competition: a Doodle photo contest! Hundreds of mainly new users in Brazil participated. We received incredible pictures from real life Doodles that were initiated and we are really happy that Doodle was responsible for the organization of so many meetings.

We would have liked to choose various photos as a winner, but unfortunately we had to restrict ourselves to just one. The winner of the contest who received an iPhone 6 is Aline R. from Espírito Santo with this picture:

Congratulation to these winners in the Doodle photo competition

Congratulation to these winners in the Doodle photo competition

The image was chosen by our jury as it displays the fun Doodle can bring: gathering with friends during holidays in a beautiful and sunny place. We really like the vibrant colours that show a lot of happiness. Congratulations, Aline! And well done all!

Your Awesome Doodle Team

THE PINOCCHIO NATION – 81% OF BRITS TELL PORKIES TO BAIL ON MATES

At Doodle, we wanted to find out if Brits ever cancelled on their mates after making plans and if so, what do they say to their mates to let them down. Are they always honest?

The results showed that a staggering 81% of Brits admit to telling ‘porkies’ to get out of pre-arranged plans.

With almost half (48%) admitting to cancelling on friends at least once a month, the research also revealed the top excuses Brits use to save face when ducking out of plans.

63% use the classic sickness bug to get out of social plans, over a fifth (23%) blame family birthdays and get-togethers, and 15% put it down to forgetfulness. Shockingly, even a death in the family isn’t off limits, with 5% using this distasteful excuse to back out of pre-arranged plans.

In reality, the reasons Brits are bailing are far more lame.

Tiredness tops the list of blowing off plans (41%) followed by ‘could no longer be bothered’ (33%), a lack of money (29%) and for almost 1 in 10 (8%), a night in binging on Netflix is more appealing than a date with their mates.

Poor planning also emerged as a big issue with 18% admitting to double booking themselves, and having to cancel plans as a result. They could easily avoid this issue by being better organised and using a tool like Doodle to make sure al friends are on the same page.

To help you spot if a friend is bailing on you in future here are the top five excuses we found Brits using:

1. I’m too ill
2. It’s my nan’s birthday – I can’t get out of it
3. I have to look after a sick family member
4. I completely forgot!
5. I was so tired I just fell asleep

And here are the top five reasons they are actually dropping out:

1. I was too knackered
2. I couldn’t be bothered
3. Completely broke
4. I had double booked myself
5. I wanted to see my boyfriend/girlfriend

The research also revealed that women are more likely to fabricate an excuse when cancelling, with 83% admitting to stretching the truth. And, a jaw dropping 91% of people 25-34 years regularly tell porkies to avoid a meet-up with a mate.

It appears that Brits would rather tell a few elaborate porkies than confess their lame excuses for bailing on their so-called mates. Perhaps with better planning and a little more honesty, we’re more likely to keep our friendships and our conscience intact.

Doodle launches new Android App

Today is a big day for Doodle. We’re excited to announce the release of our completely redesigned and rebuilt Doodle App for Android, which is now much more powerful and easier to use. The new Doodle App has everything that people liked about the old version, but it also includes some great new features.

Stay connected with powerful notification options

Need to clarify something? The built-in chat feature enables you to instantly chat with all of the participants. Push notifications will keep you informed about everything that’s going on.

Keep your contacts and participants visible

Contact integration helps you to quickly invite all of the people that are important to you, and with the matrix view you can quickly review all participations.

We are listening

In addition to the new Android App we are also releasing an update for our iPhone App that brings you the matrix view as well as the possibility to create Text Polls. Stay tuned, we have an exciting mobile roadmap planned for you.

But for now, visit the Play Store and download our new Android App for free!

Your Doodle Team

New feature: Multi-day events

The process of picking times on individual days is something that our users are very familiar with when scheduling an event with Doodle, but what about scheduling events that span multiple days, such as a vacation with friends or a conference? Our users have frequently requested a multi-day feature, and we’re happy to say that multi-day event polls are now supported internationally on the Desktop Web version of Doodle!

This free new feature has already been available in the United States and Canada, and users in those locations have tested multi-day events and provided their feedback. During this testing period, around 65,000 multi-day event polls were created, and more than 250,000 people participated in those events. Based on the success of those polls, the time has come to roll this feature out to all of our users.

Scheduling a multi-day event is simple. Just click on a date, grab the green arrow, and select the number of days that you need. Enjoy!

Multi-day events