Tag: Productivity

5 Quick Tips for A Mobile Lifestyle

TheAfter5Edge - 5 Quick Tips for A Mobile Lifestyle

1.  Develop a routine  – Once you have this, there’s no guessing what you have to do each time before hitting the road.  Do your laundry, stock up on toiletries, pack and be ready to go!

2. Learn to pack light – This one is definitely not easy.  But you want to be able to pack everything in a carry-on for quick trips. Coordinating colors with your outfits and shoes will certainly help so arrange everything so you can see how they look by day before you start packing them away.

3. Keep separate toiletries –  This will make packing so much more efficient. You’ll never have to wonder if you’re forgetting your toothbrush or lotion.  From time-to-time, you’ll just have to assess if you need to restock the items you keep in your carry-on.

4. Leverage tools and resources – Apps and tools that you can easily jump into after being on the road are ideal.  Use tools such as Google Drive, Quip and other cloud apps to make your transition seamless.

5. Make friends – Knowing the people who work at your hotel will cut down on the logistics you’ll have to take care of.  They’ll know what your preferences are and have things ready for you in advance.  So be friendly!


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The 3 Crucial Steps to Managing Your Time and Getting Things Done Efficiently

There’s a limited amount of time in each day and an unlimited amount of things you could do with that time.  Like everyone else, I often feel busy but don’t always see what I’ve accomplished when the day is done.  With funny videos being posted on Facebook, texts, emails, popular articles surfacing on your timeline on Twitter, there are countless things to pique your interest and make you veer away from the day’s agenda.

A few days ago, I was catching up with a friend who is 800 miles away. Our catchup session was longer than usual since our schedules often conflict.  We soon realized that we had both fallen victim to sleeping in, relaxing and not tackling the things on our to-do lists as planned.  Of course you need to take it easy sometimes, but my plan was to be up and out the door by around 8 AM so I was already hours behind schedule.

So I spent some time thinking about what it really takes to get manage your time and get things done.  I started with a long list but in terms of what is truly crucial and consequential, I was left with these three steps:

1.  Figure out what you need to do.  Without direction, an objective and a clear list of tasks, it is hard to move forward and accomplish anything.  So the first thing is to figure out what you need to get done.  If you’re following through on directives from others, make sure you’re clear on the details.  If you’re running the show and creating and tackling your own list, make sure you’re honest with yourself so you include everything.

2.  Prioritize your list.  One really important skills is to know what to work on now and what can wait.  Not everything in your list will be high priority and being able to attack your list accordingly will really impact your effectiveness.  This is especially important if you’re reporting to others who are depending on your output.

3.  Get things done, efficiently.  If you’re working on your list, that’s generally a good thing. But don’t spend all day working on one item with 20 more left untouched.  Being busy doesn’t always translate to effectiveness so make sure you’re not spinning your wheels unnecessarily.  In between tasks that require a lot of focus, do lighter tasks or take a break altogether to do something different.  Stepping away will usually give you that boost and revitalization you need.

My friend and I eventually got our acts together and by the time I checked in later in the day, she had called her cell phone provider and was well on her way to getting a new phone within the week.  Some time ago, her iPhone stopped working so she reverted to an old flip phone because she wasn’t due for an upgrade for two months.  By picking up the phone and sharing she was considering switching providers, she got her monthly bill lowered and the option to upgrade her phone immediately for a minimum down payment.  On my end, I revisited the installation of some software onto my new computer and got it to work with one try after multiple failed attempts the night before.  Now I finally had access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint which I needed to do other things on my list.

So get your list, your coffee and snacks and get to work.  You’ll see how amazing the power of the start is!

Do you ever feel like you could do a better job of managing your time and getting things done?  What are some obstacles you face?  How do you get on track and accomplish things?

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Why You Need Execution, Delivery and Results

So many of us crowded around a television last Sunday evening to watch the Super Bowl.  Or if you weren’t 100% into the game, you tuned in for the commercials or the half-time show. At the very least, you socialized, enjoyed camaraderie and digested enough to be part of Monday’s conversations about the game.

We saw the Packers take the lead early.  And we saw the Steelers score eventually to get close enough to make it look like a game was in order.  It added to the thrill, excitement, and competition that we all like.  How much fun would it be to see one team hold a huge lead from start to finish?

But despite the Steelers’ efforts, we saw how the game ended.  It ended with the Packers winning.

Does this make the Steelers a bad team?  Does this mean the players made bad plays?  Is this symbolic of bad coaching? There will forever be arguable reasons for the loss.  And whether or not they hold true, the fact of the matter is that the Steelers lost.  As much as we tend to applaud a valiant effort, the regard in which we hold execution, delivery and results is undeniable.

Execution. This is the process of carrying something out from start to finish.  It is one thing to have a plan, but do you take all the steps needed to see it through the end?  Do you stick at it even during the difficult times? When you have idea or say you will do something, do you work toward accomplishing it?

Delivery. This is the act of producing a final product.  And more importantly, how do you deliver?  Do you deliver quality? Do you deliver on time?  Do you deliver consistently? Do you deliver under pressure? Do you deliver despite constraints?

Results. This is the final product that comes about as a consequence of actions.  Results may be qualitative or quantitative; but ultimately, they are noteworthy for being measurable.  How well did you perform against a budget? Did your results lead to profitability and increased sales?  Did it surpass goals?  Did it indicate success?

Yes, there can certainly be victory along the way.  But at the end of the day, the action and results matter.  With that said, how would you rate your competence?  How do you perform in terms of execution, delivery and results?

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