Interview with Peggy Duncan

PEpeggyduncanWhat projects are you involved in?

I’m traveling internationally speaking at business conferences on improving productivity with technology. One of my new projects is a 5-part series of 15/30-minute Webinars on managing time and email using Microsoft Outlook. I’m partnering with different organizations that will offer the series as a member benefit, a way to build their email lists, and as a fundraiser.

How did you get interested in productivity?

I spent my corporate career at IBM, a very process-oriented company. They had a suggestion program that paid you cash dollars if you developed methods or products to save them time or money. I constantly looked for ways to get paid. For me personally, I realized early on in my career that being organized and paying attention to, and improving, how I worked helped me spend less time working but get more done. When I realized a lot of people didn’t work like I do, I started consulting, coaching, and training.

How many meetings do you normally have each week? 

I work solo so I don’t have to attend meetings in the traditional sense. I travel a lot and am always juggling my schedule. It can get tricky so I check and triple check all the details.

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps? 

Alarms! I want to have my mind clear for thinking, not for remembering. I use various external cues to help me remember everything, including Outlook reminders, a talking
alarm clock, and an iPhone app.

On my computer, I set calendar and task reminders in Outlook. For critical items, I also add the reminder to my Talking Alarm Clock, a free download. It pops up standalone on my computer and repeats whatever I typed as the alarm. If I’d look foolish if I forgot something, such as the start of a Webinar, it goes to this clock. On my phone, I use the app, Alarmed. The developer thought this app through with time management as a guide.

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

I used to not answer my phone before 11:00AM. Now it’s 1:00PM. That’s given me more time to get the main things done for that day.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric? 

I measure my productivity based on how I feel. As long as I’m basically stress-free, I know I’m good. If I have time to do fun things, I know I’m good. I can’t stand wasting time, so I’ll stop long enough to figure out a better way to get something done.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be? 

I hope it’ll be that people realize they need to get back to the basics, set boundaries for
work and home and get serious about it.

You can learn more about Peggy Duncan through her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter, too.

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