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.