that extra "spring" in your step to good use. The season's longer days provide
ample time for enhanced productivity as we posted about last month in Making Better Use of Longer Days.
Stay on a productivity roll
with our round-up of useful posts from across the web.
Productivity blog Stepcase has three new terrific posts worth a read:
Lifehacker, another site devoted to doing more with less, is
taking a look at different productivity strategies linked to each the day of
the week. For their seven-days-a-week strategy to a more productive you, read here.
Does procrastination often
get in the way of your productivity? We have a fantastic
post for you
at Gretchen Rubin's blog, The Happiness Project. Read what Rubin, a NYT's best-selling
author, learns as she interviews Piers Steel, the
author of "The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and
Getting Stuff Done."
Finally, we leave you with
the thought that happiness can contribute to productivity. Leading Fortune 500
consultant Paul David Walker calls it one of the crucial ingredients. Read here for more on the link between feeling good and
Have you come across any useful productivity resources on the web?
Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook
by Candie Harris
graduation season is right around the corner. Do the grad in your life a favor
and equip them with tools to manage life's paperwork, bills and time-management
demands. Organization is the gift that keeps on giving.
File in Style: Gift your grad
with a filing cabinet or a portable filing tote.
Better yet, fill it with files and labels
and direct them to past Pendaflex posts for tips on
becoming a filing maven.
Time Flies: Watches may be the
classic retirement gift but for young grads, time-management tools are the
better bet. Consider a PDA or leather day planner.
http://bit.ly/knp4Gj Or gift cards let your grad opt for apps to organize the day. Finally, past posts on time-management resources will have your
grad up to speed in no time.
Label Maker 101: Long-hand is so
2000. Gift your 2011 grad with a state-of-the-art label maker, perfect from organizing everything from files to dorm room cubbies. This is one gift with a very long
Grad or Nomad? Today's high tech
grad bears a striking resemblance to a digital nomad, able to work and recreate
untethered from traditional desks and phone cords. Equip your grad just as you
would a digital nomad, with a wireless laptop, battery charger and even, gasp!,
an old-fashioned pen and paper. Read on for more to
make your grad a well-equipped nomad.
What is the can't-live-without organizing gift for your grad? Share
your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Carly Fadako
headlines say it all: Give Apple
"F" in Crisis Management and Japan's
Prime Minister Blasted Over Crisis Management. Crises come in all
shapes and sizes: from natural disasters to management missteps to product
failures. Fend off a tsunami of criticism by arming yourself with the tools to
manage catastrophes before they happen.
crisis management boils down to two criteria: the ability to make good
decisions under enormous pressure and the capacity to manage crisis communications.
for guidance on making decisions during those back-up-against-the-wall moments?
We like the advice in How to Make a High-Stakes
Decision. Tips include
fact-checking your gut reactions and being wary of drawing on past experiences
at the expense of underestimating current realities. Other wise counsel?
Involving other smart thinkers in the decision-making process.
a catastrophe also requires the ability to navigate crisis communications with
a sure hand. Communication missteps such as providing too little information or
tone-deaf statements is like throwing oil on a fire: the resulting
conflagration might well consume you. For must-heed advice read How to Communicate in a Crisis, a soup-to-nuts
primer on navigating crisis-communications before the emergency unfolds.
What is the toughest crisis you've had to manage? How did you and
your team navigate the crisis? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.
by Bradley Eggers
Having a bad week? Or 52 of them?
If stress is your constant companion, it's
time to take steps to combat its harmful effects on the body and brain.
We all know that stress causes a host of
ills, ranging from high blood pressure, to depression, insomnia and heart
attacks. And most of us are familiar with tools to mitigate stress such as
exercise and meditation.
While virtually every human being encounters
stress fairly regularly, some face enormous pressures day in and out. Think
President Obama walking into the Oval Office every day or CEOs tasked with
managing multibillion companies. In the face of extreme stress, why do certain people
survive, even thrive, while others buckle?
We've assembled some resources chronicling how
individuals facing tremendous pressure handle the burden. We find these
accounts to be instructive and we hope you will too.
How Top CEOs Cope with Constant Stress: Author Justin
Menkes examines business leaders who thrive under pressure and finds that they
share common attributes including realistic optimism, or the ability to identify
challenges but not be undone by them.
Stress Management for the CEO: This Forbes article looks at nine CEOS and how they
combat stress, offering up tips for readers.
Finally, if you've made it through the above reading unconvinced that
constant stress can truly be managed and must instead be endured, read the
Fortune Magazine article The Last Taboo. It's Not Sex.
And It's Not Drinking. It's Stress and It's Soaring. The article chronicles the tale of an executive who
worked 120-hours a week, sleeping only 2 hours a night. It took paralysis and a
hospitalization for her to finally slow down and combat the stress in her life.
If she can do it, you can do it.
Do you combat extreme stress at work? What tools
help you get through a grueling workweek? Share your thoughts here and on the
Pendaflex Facebook page.
Spring has officially sprung.
Have you stopped to smell the roses? All too often we run at a breakneck pace,
not stopping to savor small moments or even catch our breath.
Regular readers of Pendaflex's
blog know we are advocates of tools to enhance productivity and doing more with
less. But sometimes the best way to be productive is to pass on cramming more
work into fewer hours and stop, unplug and tune out for a time.
We've rounded-up a selection of past
posts to help you relax and embrace spring's season of renewal. Read on to
refresh your productivity.
worries keeping you up at night? Or interfering with concentration during the
day? Check out our advice in Stress
Less: Keeping Work Worries in Check for tips
including time and task-management, to gain perspective on what seems like an
yes when you should say no? Read From Superwoman to Balanced Woman for tips on
putting the brakes on work-overload and putting work into perspective. Time to
retire your cape, Superwoman.
Do you have more work than
there are hours in the day? Find coping strategies in Too Many Irons in the Fire? Tips for Coping
with Project Overload.
stress at bay with Easy Desk Stretches. Gentle
stretches throughout the day help prevent the all-too-common neck and back
pains that plague desk workers.
consider checking the weather report and using one of your untapped vacation
days to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. A healthy dose of Vitamin D,
gleaned during a favorite outdoor activity will have you smiling in no time.
Relax! It's only work.
How do you keep work overload in check? What tools
help you relax during a grueling workweek? Share your thoughts and don't forget to Spring Free with us this season on our Facebook page!
on any news channel and the buzz is about a recent series of tough decisions capturing
headlines: from Obama's decision
to attack Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout
to the President's refusal to make public the photographs of the deceased
Most of us will never to
grapple with decisions of this magnitude. But tough calls are made every day in
business, from boardrooms to cubes. Are your decision-making skills up to par?
Decision-making is a daily
skill, from small choices-what's for lunch?-to bigger questions-who to hire for
a key role? In our past post Decision-Making 101 we walk readers through the basics. For readers in
search of a refresher, we also like the article The
Fine Art of Decision-Making:7 Tips for Getting Decisions Made Easier for concrete tips on getting you from a question to
Sometimes the basics just won't get the job done. You can walk through
decision-making trees for days but often the most daunting calls require a gut
check. Read Making the Tough Call for more on reconciling
your values with your decisions and How to Make Tough
Decisions in Eight Steps.
Finally, we leave you with a
wonderful piece that uses golf analogies to decode how effective decisions are often
made. It's worth a read even if you can't tell a nine-iron from a driver: Three Steps to Making Better Decisions.
What is the toughest work decision you've had
to make? What tools help move you from question to answer? Share your thoughts
here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
buds and slender green leaves are popping up all over signaling spring's
arrival. Take a cue from this season of renewal to take stock of your career.
Too often, we're so busy punching the time clock, meeting deadlines and moving
from project to project that there's no time to stop and evaluate where our
career is heading. Do yourself a favor and put the spring-cleaning projects on
hold for a weekend and instead take some time to assess your career and its
sure of how to begin? We've assembled
some useful reading material to get you started.
like the advice in A To-Do List for the CEO of Your
article encourages people to understand that their skills and career are not
static, but rather must be constantly reinvented. Adding new skills and embracing new
opportunities is not only smart, it's essential in order to remain marketable.
In a nutshell, say good-bye to the notion of climbing a corporate ladder, rung
after rung, and hello to the idea of a career lattice, composed of different
paths and branches.
if a job hunt isn't on your to-do list, advancing a career can look a lot like
job hunting. For terrific tips on steps that all employees should take for
advancement even when you're happy to say put, read Top
10 Career Moves Even the Happily Employed Should Make. Advice includes networking
ideas, building your online brand as well as resume updating.
your career isn't just about adding new skills; it's about nourishing your
network. Commit time and energy into building your network - both vertically
and laterally. Vertical networking might be about finding a mentor and as well
as extending yourself to mentees. And don't neglect lateral networking across
your peer group. For more ideas on networking as a savvy career move, read Test the Strength of Your Network.
do you nurture you career? How often do you evaluate your career? Share your
thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
leaders recognize the distinction between managing people and micromanaging
them. Are you looking to lead your staff by example rather than by getting in
the weeds, and doing their work for them? Take a page from the authors of Being the Boss: Three Imperatives for Great Leaders and practice the
technique they dub Prep-Do-Review.
Prep: First, preview people's plans by asking questions.
Delve deeply: ask about steps, strategies, anticipated challenges, how setbacks
will be handled, etc. Thoroughly cover all angles, which will allow you to
coach necessary changes and supply useful guidance.
Do: Based on
information gleaned during the prep stage, managers can determine how deeply
they need to be involved. With a new employee, you may wish to do the job
yourself, allowing the novice to observe and learn. With more senior staff, you
may only need to dip in on certain elements. Eventually, as employees become
more seasoned, you can step back and only be involved in the prep/review
Review: Assessing what worked, and what didn't, is a critical
last step. Too often people do a post mortem only after a failure. Learning why
something succeeded is just as crucial in future work. Conduct either
one-on-ones or periodic group meetings for these reviews. Then, model what you
learned going forward.
more in-depth examination of the Prep-Do-Review strategy, read the authors'
article in the Harvard Business Review: How
to Get Involved Without Micromanaging People.
you a manager or a micromanager? How do you guide your staff without falling
into the trap of doing their work for them? Share your thoughts here and on the
Pendaflex Facebook page.
Few people truly enjoy public
speaking, but in the work world presenting goes with the territory. Case in
point: there are literally dozens and dozens of books on Amazon on the topic. A
round up of the best can be found here but
in the interest of brevity, this post looks at three short-and-sweet articles
that will elevate your game in short order.
Winning Power Points
Corporate presentations are often accompanied by
Power Point and reams of data. Avoid boring your audience to sleep by reading If You Must Use PowerPoint, Here's How To Do It: 5
Tips From Hans Rosling.
include not speaking to the slides, speaking with passion and limiting
distracting animation effects.
Learn from a Pro
Few business people in the world command the attention
of Steve Jobs when he presents. Interested in adopting some of his presentation
skills? Read 9 Quick Tips For
Successful Presentations From A Steve Jobs Event.
include acknowledging the crowd, using lay people terms rather than industry
jargon and having fun with your material.
Finally, for those of you who are deeply leery of
presenting, or who feel that excellent presentation skills are out of their
reach, read Why We Fear Public Speaking
And How To Overcome It.
This useful article posits that talented presenters are made not born, and that
excellent presentation skills can be honed through practice, just as a skill in
sports is learned and improved by coaching and rote practice.
How do you prepare to present?
Do you have any tips or strategies for improving your presentation skills?
Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
moms enjoy a paycheck and a more flexible schedule. But there's nothing
enjoyable about an office that's equal parts play dough and presentations.
Work-at-home moms looking to organize their work life at home should look no
further. We've got tips to make you the CEO of your home office.
Establish a Dedicated Workspace. Don't make your
kitchen table your home office. Find a quiet area of the home for your office
(preferably with a door) and let kids know that a closed door means
do-not-disturb. Establish a hands-off policy for work supplies in this area to
prevent computer paper from becoming art projects or the lap top from being
commandeered for video games.
Rules Made by Mom Are Made to be Broken
(But Only By Mom):
A caveat to the "dedicated workspace" rule of thumb is that sometimes work
needs to be done while kids are supervised (in the basement/backyard/frontyard,
etc.) Set up a portable office for just these occasions. Be sure to have a wireless
ready lap top, using either a wireless card or a router in the house. Keep a
file tote/box that has your office basics (pen/paper/etc.) and be sure to have
a cordless phone with a headset.
Set Work Hours. By establishing
set work hours, you can signal to your family the times when you are not
accessible. Setting up a framework of regular work hours and sticking to it as
best as possible will both decrease stress and allow you to carve out protected
family time. Try not to fall into the trap of always "on" for work just because
you are always home.
Nanny 911: Have a stable of
babysitting options on speed-dial. Working from home doesn't mean you can work
while the kids scamper about or while you drive carpool. School-aged children
require babysitting after 3pm and the nursery school set needs constant
supervision; be sure to outsource that task to paid help so you can concentrate
on work. In a pinch? Call in a favor from a work-at-home-mom friend. What goes
around, comes around.
Open in Case of Emergencies: When all childcare
options fail and there is a pressing deadline or a conference call that can't
be missed (or muted) break open the emergency box of treats. Stock it with
inexpensive items such as sticker books, new crayons, a matchbox car, and even,
gasp!, lollipops. We did say it was for emergencies.
more ideas for making the juggle work? We assembled some useful resources for
working parents in our posts earlier this week: The Thank You
For Being a Working Mom's Toolkit and Social
Moms: Best New Media Tools for Busy Moms. Think of it as an early Mother's
love their children, and...their phones. Fully 91 percent of all moms never leave
their house without their cell says a research study by leading parenting site BabyCenter.
and other social media, are smart moves for today's busy mom. Recipes, reviews,
time-management tools and even Dr. Mom medical advice is all just a click or a
Mother's Day take time to amp up your social media
mavenhood with these
resources. You'll soon be texting to the beat of a more productive drummer.
What are your favorite social media tools?
Which ones help you navigate the motherhood and work? Share your thoughts here
and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Mother's Day is fast approaching with its glitter embellished cards and kitchen-wrecking breakfast creations. The sweet offerings of children (often aided and abetted by dad) make motherhood worth it. What makes it possible is a whole other story.
Working moms pull double-duty, managing both paying work and labors of love. Pulling it all off requires patience, planning and frankly, luck. Well this is your lucky-day: we've assembled a list of our go-to resources that every parent can use in a pinch. It's our "Thank You for Being a Working Mom" Tookit.
Finding Child Care for Sick Kids: A Working Mom's Guide to Sick Kids: Daycare for sick kids? Yup, it exists; here's how to find it before a little one's fever coincides with a can't-miss-meeting.
Stress Management Tools for Parents: Stress-free working moms don't exist. Come to think of it, stress-free stay-at-home moms don't exist either. So moms, take a deep breath and read on for stress-busting tips, everything from parental date-night to effective time management tools to help keep stress at bay.
Working Parents: A clearinghouse of information from leading web resource BabyCenter providing tips for working parents on topics ranging from childcare to managing mom-guilt.
25 Parent Productivity Tools for Busy Moms, Dads and Kids: Comprehensive list of productivity resources ranging from pet care to allowance trackers. Offers a productivity overhaul for virtually every aspect of family life.
Mom Puts Family on Her Meal Plan: Healthy, home-cooked dinners every weeknight? You heard me right. This helpful article takes you through the planning process for dishing up dinner after work. And a new favorite blog Dinner: A Love Story is a charming, nightly walk through healthy, foodie home-cooked meals made by a pair of working parents every night.
What tools do you use to help balance the demands of work and motherhood? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.
Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.