Showing posts with label productivity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label productivity. Show all posts

Monday, February 08, 2016

Monday Inspiration

How I wish I could be this organized - Purl Soho, May 2015. 

Getting more productive is my goal.  I look to leaders like Nir Eyal to keep me motivated.

This is a great post to help you become more productive by just changing a few things in how you work and organize your information. Less stuff to see on your desktop, tablet, physical desk, phone - the less likely you'll be distracted and hopefully more productive.

I'm afraid to show you my desk, but I might just have to tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Blue Monday

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Happy Monday. 

My Mac picked up some weird malware that hijacked my Chrome browser and it took me nearly two hours to figure out how to tackle it. I’m not sure I did the right thing, but I reset my Chrome settings, installed some malware software remover  that was recommended. I ended up ditching Chrome and removed the application. I may go back to it, but not until I’m certain everything is copacetic.

While I was trying to extract myself from this irritation, I realized that I could work unplugged and get more done with less (distractions). Why do we have this deep seated need to read status updates for things that only serve to muddle up our thought processes?  Why bother checking mail on your laptop when you can do it on your phone and be done sooner.   Why bother checking your mail at all?

Many companies are abandoning email all together and using tools like Slack or Hipchat to communicate internally and share assets via these services. I’m still not convinced that this is a way to conduct all communication or work, but how lovely it would be if you could unsubscribe from threads of conversations that you don’t really need to be part of  or tell the world you are away with a emoticon of a sleeping koala bear?

We tend to say the same things when we’re communicating by email as when we talk to our colleagues. While some things bear repeating, if this information was delivered quickly via a internal messaging system, questions could be answered quickly and succinctly and we could use that five minute water cooler conversation talking about solutions instead of setting up the scenario or problem we’re trying to solve.

Why is it that we’re so fast to answer a text and so dread answering email?

I’m going to try this unplugging while working for the rest of the week – maybe I’ll see a rise in my productivity or at least a decrease in my dislike for the sharing aspect of the web.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The non-work day

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

It is nearly 7 pm and I'm knackered and I'm not quite sure what I did today.

So far --
  • Worked out at the gym
  • Checked on parents (they say hi!)
  • Picked tomatillos at p-patch
  • Dropped off library books
  • Picked up stuff at drugstore
  • Went to grocery store  
  • Arranged a meeting for next week 
  • Worked on AMS Program planning 
  • Brought laundry in due to approaching thunderstorms 
  • Cooked a million things for the next few weeks (chile sauce, enchiladas, fig jam FTW)
  • Tried to walk dog
  • Cleaned kitchen after cooking all the things
  • Raked and general garden clean up 
  • Tried  to walk dog
  • Met with garden gate designer for final install 
  • Finally succeed at walking dog (pre-listing this because I really want the dog to walk)

It can get lonely at home. The dog is great company, but I feel that unless I get something concrete done towards the goal of finding a job, the day is a bust. Writing out what I have done makes things better, but I still wish I that all things accomplished towards making my life saner are good things.

While I enjoy human contact, I realize that I can power through my list if I limit my own interactions with the world - sort of my own heads down time - no social media, not running to Google every time I have a question and trying to run errands and perform tasks in a logical order.  I guess is it much like the ideal workday - Say hello to the dog, have a cup of coffee, power through the tasks, eat and repeat until it is time to call it a day without having to attend a standup or eat bad teriyaki at your desk.

The problem with working at home and doing home work is sometimes it is hard to know when end the work day. Even if you break off to have dinner, talk to your sweetie, spend time together walking the dog, it always seems that there is something left to do.

I'm trying to stick to my list and when it things are crossed off, I'm done.

There will always be more waiting for me in the morning.

And the dog just rang to go out.


Friday, May 01, 2015

May Day

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

I'm not calling for reinforcements -  but I am making my May goal public. I would like to blog every day this month, no matter where I am and when.  I like those gold stars that mark my calendar for completing tasks.

Last month my goal was to record everything I ate - that was interesting. I learned I love sugar and early in the day and late at night. I don't eat enough vegetables and that I walk a lot and get plenty of exercise.

All these goals start to snowball in a good way - I track my food, I try and exercise daily and I need and want to write about all sorts of things.

Happy May.

What are you goals for the month?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Accidents will happen

They say that most accidents happen in the house or near your house. I'm living proof of this.  Accidents happen to me because I cannot leave well alone or better yet, just SLOW THE HECK DOWN.

Most of my accidents involve gravity and stairs. I'm pinching myself, throwing salt behind my back and knocking wood as we speak.  Today I took an awesome tumble down the stairs to the basement because I looked up instead of down.

It could have really sucked, instead I am just wincing when I sit down and trying to figure out how to start slowing things down so these things don't  happen. Each "accident" or setback, whether it be falling down a flight of stairs or having to redo a bunch of calculations because you didn't check your work and think things through are big wastes of time.

They are also sometimes caused by our need to say "Yes" and "No problem" and try to complete a task without thinking all the steps through. Friends, we need to start saying "yes, no problem, but give me a few minutes to come up with a way to do this right". Most of us are not brain surgeons, bomb detonators or sharpshooters.  We're folks trying to make sure we fill out the form correctly to get that bomb squad person hired.

You think the bomb squad person rushes? Nope.

So, a few advil from now I may no longer wince when I sit down, but hopefully I'll still be reminded of the need to slow down to get something done correctly and safely.

Where is that inflatable donut?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The week that was or wasn't

I came down with some kind of flu on Friday. I'm delighted to say I managed to hold it together and manage public transport, a walk home and to change my clothes before I fell to pieces.  Lots of crap happened here while I was out and I thank the gods daily for TH and her ability to get things done while I was sleeping off this thing.

I have lots of awesome things I was going to write about, but honestly, if I can manage to get a load of laundry into wash, write this post, pack my work bag and clear out my mail from the weekend, I'm high-fiving myself to bits.

High Five.

Getting through those mails.



I read most of my mail on my phone. This is not unusual. The average wage slave consumes mail and work information from a mobile device. In fact, they may own more than one, maybe even three and a half.  Hell, I have possession of four right now.

Well, no matter what, I still let things fall through the crack because it is pretty darn hard to keep track of the 100 to 140 mail messages I get a day over five or six accounts.

This is also not an unusual thing. Most of us (wage slaves or not) have more than one mail account. We may read them from one place, but mail comes from a million places and it is getting harder to manage.

Not only do we have mail now, most of use instant message (iMessage, jabber, yammer) or collaboration tools (Slack, HipChat, Lync) within our work groups to communication internally to minimize the interruptions that caused by email threads.

How can we keep track of all this?

I'm not sure we can.  Lots of tools allow you to get organized with all this information - you can set alerts and notifications, defer answering mail, archive messages, set rules within your mail and other good things.

For me, I'm trying to read my mail quickly from my phone, but when I get to my office, I'll triage what I can from my laptop.  I try really hard to keep email at bay by not answering it as it comes in, but in one bulk slug. I pick either push notifications or emails when dealing with collaborative tools - I refuse to double the amount of attention that software commands of my resources. 

When I get home from work, I let it pile up and read it after dinner.

As for the fun email from my other five accounts - that gets read the same way. Triage, bulk and a decent purge through once a week and a lot of unsubscribing.

Unsubscribing is your friend. You will never miss what you didn't know existed.  Trust me.

How do you handle all this information to keep yourself productive and on top of your game?