Will Productivity in the Workplace Suffer Due to the Winter Olympics? It Depends.

Productivity in the workplace is expected to take a dip during the weeks of the Winter Olympics, but some employees will handle it better than others.

Sporting News recently reported that heavy sports enthusiasts spend on average over 31 hours a week following sports. These same people will probably completely shut down the next few weeks to follow the Olympics. Others will do what needs to be done…it all depends on the type of worker they normally are.

Slackers will use this as an excuse to do less work. If they’re wasting time instead of working now, they’ll just do more of it these few weeks.

On the other hand, conscientious employees will continue to meet goals, beat deadlines, and service the customer.

If you’re the boss and are going to require less of them during this craze, you should have required more from them before it heated up.

PEACE.

12 Fast Ways to Answer Email in Outlook (video tutorials on new membership Website)

Are you feeling overwhelmed just thinking about email? Are you finding it harder to focus and manage the never-ending demands on your attention? Are you scrolling through hundreds or thousands of unread messages all day? Are you spending too much time giving the same answers to similar questions?

The best way to handle an overflowing Inbox is to get into a meeting with it, and handle it one message at a time. For the messages that deserve an answer, you’ll finish quicker once you discover little-known, Outlook commands and a few workarounds.

Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert and author of Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook, has pulled together her best tips for answering emails fast. She manages her life inside Outlook and shares ways she uses it that its creator probably hasn’t even thought of.

· Create good, solid answers once, and use them again and again.

· Grab information you need often, and send it before you can blink.

Investing in this video series will be the best decision you’ll make this year, and it’ll take a little over 30 minutes to change your life. The videos will play on any device, plus PC and Mac, and all browsers.

Here’s a Free Sample from the Course

You can collect text and graphics from other Office software, the Web, a PDF, and so on, store them in the Office Clipboard, and use them to quickly answer an email. This tip also works in all other Office applications.

So clear your calendar, get quiet, and learn how to breeze through your Inbox, one message at a time, by learning ways to answer them faster. And for the ultimate success, use your desktop computer to manage it and your mobile to monitor it.

A one-time investment will give you lifetime access. This way, if you forget how to do something or the technology changes, you’ll be able to come back and brush up on whatever you need. Each tip is in a separate video to make it easier if you need a refresher later…just click the one you need.

You don’t have a second to spare! Don’t waste another minute digging through your Inbox. Invest in this training because, unlike dieting or exercising, the results are immediate!

Check out the site, choose the training you can use immediately to make your life a little easier, and sign up today!

PEACE.

How to Find Old, Deleted Websites or Blog Posts: WayBack Machine and Google’s Cache (video)

The WayBack Machine Internet's ArchiveI’m creating a new Website that’s similar to one that I had years ago…a site that’s long ago deleted. I have the files from this site saved on an old laptop that barely boots up, and when it does, it lasts for no more than a minute or two.

Two Ways to Find Oldies

I went to the Internet’s archive, the WayBack Machine. I typed in my old URL, and my entire site came into view. I copied the text on each page, and pasted it in Notepad (to strip out any trashy code that may have been added by publishing the site in FrontPage), and pasted that text onto pages in the new blog. Worked great.

In a previous post, I’d written about how I’d deleted an article in my blog by mistake and how I was able to retrieve it in Google’s Cache (storage from the last time my site had been indexed). I’ve included instructions on how to do that in this video.

Good luck finding what you need. If you have some other ideas, please leave a comment below.

PEACE.

 

TRAINING
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Use the iGo Battery and Charger to Juice Your iPhone and Other Gadgets Without an Electrical Outlet

Have you been away from your home base and your gadget battery was dead, or close to it, and there was no electrical outlet anywhere? Or have you been at the airport, coffee house, or bookstore, and the few available outlets were taken? Me too. That’s why I’m so excited about the iGo. It’s a battery and charger in one. You can use it to charge various gadgets without an outlet, just by changing the tip.

I made this quick video to demo using my iGo to charge my iPhone (you can order various tips to fit whatever gadget you use, including a laptop).

You can purchase the iGo from Amazon (this is a link to the unit I purchased on Amazon for my iPhone) where it’ll probably be less expensive than buying from the manufacturer. Two tips came with this order: one for my iPhone and an extra tip for a BlackBerry. Other tips are available, if not on Amazon, check out iGo.com.

So don’t get caught with another dead battery and nowhere to plug it up. Impress your friends and colleagues with this simple but powerful technology and charge your battery anywhere with iGo. Let me know what you think.

 

Send Your Product for Reviews

If your company manufacturers a gadget or software that improves productivity or helps with small business marketing, send it my way to review. First, email me with a brief description of your product and include a link to your Website. I’ll respond if I’m interested. No returns. Thank you!

PEACE.

 

Animoto Video: Record Your Memories and Produce Movies for Work or Play

This past Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day, and I do hope you honored them. One of my clients, Global Evaluation & Applied Research Solutions, Inc., (GetInGears.com), held their second annual Administrative Professionals Conference. Organizations that invested in their employees and sent them to this training included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), MARTA, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), and more.

I was the keynote speaker, and my speech was titled, “Spend Your Time Right and Your Dreams Will Come True.” I talked about my journey from my first job after college at IBM as a secretary and how my skills landed me a promotion to project manager, and also how I’m using those same skills to run my business. That afternoon, I demonstrated some of my favorite tips and tricks in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

My main advice for the day: turn off the TV and spend your time and your money feeding your brain. There is too much you need to learn to waste your time on some so-called Housewives of Atlanta.

What a great day we had! The following is a video I created that captures it.

A colleague, LaTonya Blount, used my Flip camcorder to record a one-hour video. I used Movavi Video Converter to convert the Flip’s MP4 to the Windows Media Video format (so I could import to Camtasia, which I used to edit the video). We’d taken some photos also, and I used Windows Live Photo Gallery to crop them. After all that, I pulled everything into the Plus version of Animoto and created this finished product (for video, Animoto’s limit is 10 seconds per clip, and that’s all you need).

Animoto adds all the animation. I purchased their Plus version so I could make something longer than what’s available with the free version, and I wanted to add videos. When I used the embed code from Animoto, their logo showed on the screen during playback (the logo comes with their embeddable flash player). I’d have to move up to the Pro version to create an unbranded video (and to get their coolest transitions), but that’s just not happening. They jump from free to $30/year to $249/year. I uploaded the video to YouTube so I could use their player instead. After that, I used LinkedTube.com to create the banner that’s on top of the video that reads, Hire This Woman! The music is my official theme song, Time Catchers, that my ex-husband, Larry, wrote for me.

Converting the video consumed the most time. I always start this process and keep working on something else. When I get my Kodak PlayTouch (zi10) camcorder, this will be a step I’ll be able to omit. I love the Movavi Video Converter because no matter the format, it keeps the quality.

Let me know what you think. Give Animoto a try, and use the free version to get a feel for how easy it is. And to create your YouTube channel the right way in the first place, or take the one you have to the next level, you’ll want my booklet, Create, Build, and Manage a YouTube Channel Made Easy. It’s available on my main Website with free shipping.

PEACE.

 

I LOVE Email Campaign Kicks Off October 1st

Email gets a bum rap. People complain about it all the time. It’s not email that’s the problem, but rather bad email habits and management. Think about all the good it does and the time it saves.


The I LOVE EMAIL CAMPAIGN will consist of a series Webinars (on Mondays), workshops (on Tuesdays), and media interviews conducted by Peggy Duncan, email overload expert and author of Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook 2007. Peggy, who is a time management expert, will also travel around the country speaking at conferences and training business professionals.

I cannot imagine managing my time or my life without the wonders of email. How do you feel about it? I hear a lot of bum statements about it. The next time you complain about email, think about where you’d be without it. It has many benefits such as the following.

  • Eliminates phone tag. You can say everything you need to say in an email message and not have to worry about someone leaving out important details.
  • Reaches volumes of people quickly. Everyone will get the same message and be on the same page.
  • Establishes a “paper” trail. No need to worry about recipients having convenient amnesia. You have the proof in writing.
  • Connects it with your calendar, tasks, and contacts. Move a message from the Inbox to where it needs to be with a click of a button or the flick of the mouse.

Campaign Kicks Off October 1st!

Reduce the Load with Better Management
If email overload is a problem, reduce the load. Get into a meeting with your Inbox, clean it out, send people what they need, and move the messages to where they need to be.

  • Eliminate junk email so you’re only managing legitimate mail.
  • Redirect messages with rules based on content, origin, and importance.
  • Categorize messages and view them in batches with one click.
  • Remember to do the work using flags, Tasks, and the Calendar.
  • File the ones you need to keep. Clean out that mess that’s already there.
    Stop using your Inbox for long-term storage and keep it to one screen.

Your Inbox is not a to do list for unfinished work, tickler file that reminds you of work, calendar with meeting notices and reminders, database for addresses and phone numbers, or filing system for unfinished projects.

Improve Your Email Culture with Better Habits
Developing better email habits will help improve email management. Ask people around you for a list of their email pet peeves…things you do in email that ticks them off. Pay attention to what they say do better. Avoid doing the following.

  • Sending or responding to all when all do not need to know.
  • Trying to solve complex issues instead of picking up the phone.
  • Not matching the subject line to the message. I should know exactly what your message is about by looking at the subject line. Would you send a letter on your company letterhead that reads RE: ABC and then proceed to discuss DEF?
  • Sending one word email replies that say “thanks.” Thank them in advance when you send the initial request.

Don’t Just Upgrade Your Software: Learn How to Use It Too
Training is the first thing to go when the economy dips when it should be expanded. You’ll work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes. Without the proper training, you’re taking hours to do something you can finish before you blink.

Change your habits, your culture, and how you manage email and learn to love it more every day. Visit www.DigitalBreakthroughs.com for details on training.

Want Training?
Download my
brochure.

PEACE.

I'm Speaking – Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day with Technology Training

Technology Skills for the 21st Century

Celebrating
Administrative Professionals Day
Mini Conference

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
9:00AM – 2:00PM
Includes Lunch

If you’re handling the work of two or more people, work smarter.

For a great day of training that’s also fun,
Register Today! Space is Limited.

The Digital BreakThroughs Institute
1691 Phoenix Blvd, Suite 380
Atlanta (College Park) GA 30349

A G E N D A

8:30AM – 9:00AM Check In
9:00AM – 10:15AM Organize Anything
Learn how to eliminate clutter and create systems for finding anything quickly!
10:15AM – 10:30AM BREAK and Networking
10:30AM – 11:45PM Manage Your Time with Outlook
Like the cockpit of an airplane, Outlook gives you almost everything you need right at your fingertips. Learn how to manage your email, contacts, tasks, and appointments like a pro.
11:45 – 1:00PM Computer Magic: Tips and Tricks in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat
Software you already have can perform magic if you take time to tap into it. Learn beginning to advanced commands that will help you finish work at least six times quicker.
1:00 – 2:00PM Lunch and Door Prizes
Delicious lunch and a cake you’ll dream about. Prizes too!
2:00PM Adjourn or Help Desk
You won’t be ready to leave and you don’t have to. Optional Help Desk to review anything you’re still fuzzy about.

Your Speaker

Peggy Duncan will teach you the same techniques that keep her stress-free. She’s a combination professional organizer, project manager, and computer trainer. She’s worked with hundreds of busy people and can help you too.

She is the author of Conquer Email Overload with Outlook, The Time Management Memory Jogger™, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint, and three ebooks: Shameless Self-Promotion, Create a WordPress Blog, and Get Organized at Work.

Peggy has appeared on CNN, TODAY, Black Enterprise Business Report, and the US Virgin Islands PBS affiliate. Her expertise has been cited in Fortune Small Business, O-The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Essence, Fitness, Self, Men’s Health, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and a whole lot more. She was formally trained at IBM where she was recognized by the chairman for streamlining processes that saved the company close to a million dollars a year.

Peggy is a wonderfully vibrant instructor. She
presents the information in a concise, understandable
manner. I love taking her seminars because I always
learn new tips and shortcuts that I can use immediately.
Michelle Yackel, Divine Redesigns


S P O N S O R E D   B Y


Two Tips for Deleting Email Messages Quicker

When I sit down to deal with messages in my Inbox, I make decisions right then on what to do with each one. I keep my Inbox to one screen and don’t worry about promises, commitments, or deadlines falling through the cracks. Most messages are deleted. Here are two tips for deleting messages in Outlook (I use 2007. Works the same in 2003).
  • Turn off the warning, Are you sure? If this pesky box bothers you, it’s easy to turn it off. When I hit Delete, I want it gone and don’t want to give permission. From the Inbox, click Tools, Options, Other tab, Advanced Options, and untick the box, Warn before permanently deleting items.
  • Bypass the Deleted Items folder. If you’re sure you never want to see the message again (as in spam), permanently delete it so you don’t have to delete it again. Select the message (if it’s closed), hold down the Shift key then hit Delete. If you’re on an Exchange server, the message can be recovered. Otherwise, it’s gone!
Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert

6 Ways to Create More Time. Hint: Stop Wasting So Much of It!

Every time I hear of company layoffs, I feel badly for the people losing their jobs. But I immediately start to wonder how the people left behind will make it. They were already working inefficiently; now half of their co-workers are gone.

In my work as a consultant helping people improve their personal productivity, I see so much wastage. I often wonder how anything gets done and how people have any time for a life outside of work.

Create More Time

If you’ve wondered “How on earth will I find time to do all this work?”, read on. Now is the perfect time to turn off the TV and start developing ways to work smarter.

Keep a time log. If you don’t believe you waste a lot of time, keep a log. How many times did you surf the Internet reading useless blogs (not mine), etc., that are not work-related? How many personal phone calls? How much time spent on personal errands, events, etc? How much time are you spending looking for a file on your computer? Keep track of every minute for a few days and be honest with yourself about how you’re spending work time.

Organize everything. Save hours a day by creating paper, computer, Inbox, etc., filing systems so you can find anything you need the instant you need it. Start with your clothes closet and purge the things you don’t need and put like items together by type and color. Use this same system for everything else that you organize, not necessarily by color, but by putting broad categories of items together. In a filing system, this could mean putting all of your marketing files together, accounting files together, etc. Get everyone to use the same logical systems so anyone can find anything anywhere in the office.

(Free templates are available at www.PeggyDuncan.com that will help you with all this and will save you hours of tedious work. My site views best in Internet Explorer.)

Set goals and prioritize. You have to determine what your goals are so you’ll know how you should spend your time. The easiest way to figure out what your priorities are is to stay focused on those things that make you the most money. On a job, it’s what’s laid out in your performance plan that’s connected to the size of your raise. In business, it’s whatever is bringing in the most revenue, whether it’s a particular set of clients, products, or services..

Streamline your processes. Get back weeks by not working the same way you always have. Spend time figuring out better ways to get everything done. Look at everything you’re doing, especially the most time-consuming, miserable, mundane work you have to do. Is the work necessary in the first place (not all of it is)? What steps are unnecessary? Is someone else doing it a different way and finishing faster and with fewer errors? Examine everything you’re doing, write it down, move steps around, and eliminate all wastage.

Computerize everything. Get work done in the time it will take you to blink. Technology you already have can perform magic, but few people have stopped long enough to seek training. If you learn how to use the software you touch every day, you’ll finish everything at least six times quicker. Either learn how your software works or hire a geek who already knows.

Delegate or outsource what you can. Once you’ve gotten organized and computerized, you’ll have a clearer picture of the work you do and how it should be done. Now you’ll be able to get someone else to do much of it and offer logical explanations of what you need (because now it makes more sense to you). Spend your time and mind on your core work and delegate or outsource everything else.

You might have to give up a weekend or two to get this done, but you’ll get all that time back and feel better every day going forward. And unlike dieting or exercising, the results from all these things are immediate!

Need training? Check out my Website for public productivity workshops, Webinars, computer classes, and information about hiring me as a speaker for your next event or for company training.

And my book, The Time Management Memory Jogger(TM), teaches everything I know about working smarter in a quick, easy read.

P.S. Here is an excellent article on motivating employees who are left behind after a layoff. And use the calculator in the right sidebar to determine how much free time you have after doing all the things that MUST be done.

PEACE.ggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert