The five-finger meeting evaluation

There is an old joke about meetings that I quite like. Not all meetings are bad – some of them are cancelled. Harsh, but funny. I write a lot about meetings in my new book, Smart Teams, and believe we can all get better with how we organise, run and attend meetings. But meetings are […]

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Focus your inbox

Most of us don’t like change, me included.  Anything that turns my comfortable world upside down is always unsettling. Especially when the change affects one of my favourite productivity tools – Microsoft Outlook. Anyone using Office 365 in their workplace will no doubt be used to regular updates from Microsoft.  Most changes are tweaks that […]

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Get clear for the new year

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome back to work. As soon as I’m back from the summer break, I always like to clear the way for what I hope will be a productive year ahead. In other words, I move from ‘end of holiday confusion’ to ‘start of year clarity’. To achieve this clarity, I […]

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Make meetings count

One of the most common ways that we cause productivity friction in our team is through unnecessary and unproductive meetings. Not every meeting is unnecessary or unproductive, but many are, and most could be tightened up at least a bit. I hear stories about meetings from clients that would make your blood boil and your […]

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Try making less noise

My upcoming book, Smart Teams is essentially about how we work together more productively, and how we reduce the friction we cause each other when we interact. One of the main ways we cause productivity friction is when we communicate using tools like email. We may not mean to, but we create way too much […]

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Going beyond productive

If you’ve read my first book, Smart Work, I hope you are better for it, working in a way that is personally productive. But even in teams where everyone has had personal productivity training and has committed to working as productively as possible, there can still be a productivity drain. This is because personal productivity […]

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Track your project progress

At the start of 2017 I set myself a goal of taking a six-kilometre run every week for the whole year. I have not been 100% successful, but most weeks you’ll see me down by the river with my running gear on. With a few runs under my belt, I started to focus on my […]

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Lack of clarity causes friction

When you are not clear in your communication to me, it causes me friction. I then need to seek clarification from you, in turn causing you friction. Both of us incur wasted time and frustration because not enough care was taken with the initial communication. You may have thought you were being clear, but if […]

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Your brand is always on show

As a manager or a business leader, your brand is always on show. Every time you interact with others in your organisation, or outside for that matter, you put your brand on show, and are judged by your actions. Every email, meeting, delegation, conversation, interruption, phone message or presentation allows others to form a judgement […]

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Mind the gap

I let the cat out of the bag a few weeks ago about my upcoming book Smart Teams. I am well and truly in the middle of a world of pain, with editorial deadlines, design meetings and writing. Lots and lots of writing. So, to give myself a bit of a break I thought I […]

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