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  • Francisco Eguiza 9:00 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , productivity, ,   

    SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes SoMoClo, your company and its entire ecosystem always connected A couple of years ago, people were already talking about SoMoClo as a potent, exuberant and explosive trend, above all in the fields of digital marketing and innovation, allowing companies to reach a greater audience with a more precisely-defined target and even better results (i.e. using geolocation services to send catalogues, discounts, payment methods and calls to action to smartphones). However, in this article I’m NOT going to talk about SoMoClo in terms of marketing. I want to dedicate this space to looking at how this trend can be used to help your company or business, to help your organization. So…

    What is SoMoClo?

    Let’s start with the following premise — nowadays EVERYTHING is Social, EVERYTHING is Mobile and (almost) EVERYTHING is on the Cloud. SoMoClo is an acronym for Social Mobile Cloud. Given that the previous premise holds true (and I’m not the only one who says so), why not align your company with Social, Mobile and Cloud principles?

    In the strictly business sphere, the objective of SoMoClo can be summed up in a single phrase: “Your company and its entire ecosystem: available anytime, anywhere.”

    Imagine the impact on your company or organization by having all the relevant information available, NOT just on your team’s PCs, but in a secure, private repository where all you need is an internet connection to start working. Response times are reduced, information is expanded, feedback becomes a positive tool (that, after all, is why we talk about Social) and work teams are fully capable of acting and reacting via the Cloud. (More …)

     
  • Rodrigo Escobedo 9:00 am on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , productivity,   

    Do You Set Goals for Your Business? Or Just Wishful Thinking? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    We are in the era where we define and execute new goals in the new year. The question is: How many goals did you accomplish last year? The reality is that we are used to filling ourselves with “wishful thinking”, in our life and in our business, thus not fulfilling actual goals. And the sad thing is that new year resolutions become a list of actions or changes that take place the first week of January, and later, they end up throwing in the towel and going back to the same old habits.      

    If we want to accomplish these resolutions and not convert them into a list thrown into the trash as quickly as children throw wrapping paper from their presents away on the 25th of December; if we want to talk about true goals, key points to consider are:

    1. To be sufficiently specific, i.e., detail it as much as possible so that there is clarity (without the need to provide previous explanations) and both you as a business professional, as your work team, perfectly understand the goal to achieve. An Enterprise Social Network allows you to transfer the message in a clear and concise way.

    2. It must be measurable, i.e., have a quantifiable parameter that allows you to know how you are advancing with respect to the goal and time.

    3. It should be reachable. Beforehand, know that it is a challenge, but with this additional effort, you will be able to achieve the goal. If you obtain it without effort, then it is not a goal. It is only a task.

    4. Target a result. Let it be clear- why do I want to achieve this goal? What do I get when the goal is reached?

    5. Define a specific date to reach this goal, or a clear time mark. The act of it being reachable generally goes tied to this criterion. Then be realistic, yet bold in setting the date for this goal.

    (More …)

     
  • Zyncro Blog 9:00 am on December 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , productivity, ,   

    3 Content Curation Tools Every Online Marketer Must Be Aware Of 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    Editor’s note: This article that we’re sharing today is an english adaptation of this post by Edna Campos published in our Spanish blog made by Zyncro.

    In a previous article about content curation, we talked about the Achilles heel of the contemporary marketer: finding the appropriate content and quality to supply it to our audience through suitable channels.

    Finding, collecting and organizing existing content on the web for our content marketing strategies– It sounds easy, however, there is a lot of information, not all of it is of good quality and additionally, this process can take us a lot of time if we don’t have the proper tools.

    Utilize the Correct Tools

    Here I list three tools that will be highly useful in the content curation process:

    1. Listly: Tools with which members create or recover lists around any topic, working to add items to the list and/or vote for existing items. You can: 1. Create original lists to use on your blog,  2. recover lists of useful content from other blogs, and 3. listen, that is, receive feedback. Listly supports its tools on the basis that “social interaction creates living content” and modern digital marketers wait to interact with the information they consume.

    (More …)

     
  • Francisco Eguiza 9:00 am on October 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , productivity, , team work   

    4 recommendations for working in a team 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    It has been demonstrated that working in a team, co-working and corporate collaboration, are three main strategies of success in a company or business. Nevertheless, it is common (and accounting for the talented personalities thereof) that working in a team can convert itself into a complicated situation before a prompt solution. For this reason, we are introducing four recommendations for working in a team in an appropriate and successful way.

    1. Involve yourself

    This should be the number one rule in this topic. Honest participation in the membership of the team, since no talent should be left behind in the process. It is extremely important to ask and offer help, above all when it is concerning a new element in the company. The fixed paradigm should be the constant support, the stimulus of work and the empowerment of each member to provide a mesh of complete machinery of the company or business.

    (More …)

     
  • Zyncro Blog 9:00 am on July 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , productivity, ,   

    GTD: Your Personal Productivity requires Control and Perspective 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Editor’s note: At Zyncro we like to help people and organizations to increase their levels of personal productivity. Today we’d like to share with you an adaptation of this post by Miguel Bolívar on our Spanish blog.

    What marks the difference between people who are fairly unproductive and those that are highly productive? The difference lies in a process, actions that change the way you focus your attention.

    Some symptoms that you need greater levels of control and perspective are:

    – You’d like to reduce your stress levels
    – You get distracted more than seems normal
    – You lack the balance between different areas of your life
    – You miss having a higher level of energy and motivation
    – You feel you are not taking advantage of your entire potential
    – You seek greater clarity
    – You would like to manage your projects better, use time better and look after your relationship with other people
    – You want more freedom

    The requirements for achieving any of the previous results are simple: you need organization and focus. Their order doesn’t matter.

    (More …)

     
  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on May 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , productivity, , ,   

    The executive and correctly managing time 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    For any professional, correctly managing time is essential as from it comes, in almost all security, efficiency in all the tasks performed. For an executive even more so, as in executive positions, the pressure of the surroundings is high and tends to cause distortion in personal organization which, when frequent, causes a reduction in performance, a fatalist resignation, and undesired stress.

    As opposed to what is commonly thought, time management is not a natural skill that some people have and others don’t. We aren’t born with the ability to organize ourselves; it is learnt and thanks to it, significant improvements in performance are achieved in all tasks carried out. Nonetheless, we admit that some people possess a sense of order, a natural inclination that usually is shown at an early age.

    On the other hand, we must remember that time is a resource with three characteristics that make it unique:
    • It is available to anyone. Most resources have a “property”: money to invest, books to study, instruments of any type, etc. Time doesn’t; we all can have time.
    • Everyone has the same quantity of time. An hour, a day, a month… are exactly the same for everyone.
    • It is inevitably used. Whether we like it or not, in any task time will come into play, unlike other resources where their use is usually optional.

    As a result, managing time is no different to that of any other resources we have available.To do it correctly, you just need to combine good task management with the right management of the independence with which we can perform the task. And those are the skills in which in many cases can be improved with learning and training.

    Nothing better than to have a line-up of practical, short and concise advice, that when handled properly and subject to a strict discipline should result in the disappearance of the eternal “time problem”, captured in endless work hours, to-ing and fro-ing from work to home, “it’s Friday again”, etc. For executives, the need is two-fold. You are responsible for your own time and for others’.

    Tips for correctly managing time

    1. Stop interruptions, that come suddenly, without notice, or by rebound. Be a little selfish.
    2. Know your priorities. Know how to ask for them and do not take on tasks unless you have done it beforehand. Working blindly without priorities can generate subsequent errors and dissatisfaction.
    3. Be FIFO (first in first out). Don’t accumulate old tasks. Finish them off in order. Only change this natural order with the appearance of emergencies and, in some cases, with the change in the established priorities.
    4. Don’t be overconfident. Know your own limits and don’t exceed them. Doing it, generates barren exhaustion and detachment if it is directed at others.
    5. Handle five things at most at one time or homogenous time period.
    6. Don’t be a perfectionist. The best is usually the enemy of the reasonably good. From the point where the marginal benefit is zero, time becomes gold. Not before that.
    7. Know how to waste time every now and again. Releasing tension, resting, relaxing are activities that also have a place in our time resource.
    8. Be an owl. Watch, process, decide and act. If possible, without hesitation.

    Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990.

    At Zyncro, we care about correctly managing time and we believe that an Enterprise Social Network can help you and your team to improve productivity. If you still haven’t tried Zyncro, try it free now and be convinced. If you don’t believe us, you can download the whitepaper in which we give you practical case studies of companies that have 😉

     
  • Jeroen Sangers 9:00 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , productivity, ,   

    Working out loud 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    I’m a freelancer working from home. A large part of my day, I don’t have anyone near, but I don’t work alone. On a daily basis, I’m in contact with my clients, my providers, and my partners with whom I collaborate on various projects.

    However, at times I miss the office’s coffee machine, where I could comment the latest news and laugh with my co-workers. These co-workers were also a major source of feedback related to my work.

    But there are also things that I don’t miss, like weekly meetings to discuss the status of projects.

    Now I only have my partner to have coffee with and comment the news. The rest of my communication has gone digital.

    Collaboration 2.0

    Nowadays, there are many tools to collaborate without needing to be in the same location, from email and Twitter—I still remember the interface at the beginning that went: “What are you doing?”—to complete platforms like Zyncro.

    When partners and co-workers aren’t in the same location, internal communication becomes even more important to generate results.

    Whenever I collaborate in projects remotely, I apply two habits that Bryce Williams identified in his post When will we Work Out Loud? Soon!

    Working out loud = Observable work + Narrating your work

    Observable Work

    This concept simply implies that the intermediate result of my work can be accessed by my co-workers. Instead of saving the document I’m writing in the folder My Documents on my computer, I use online platforms where my partners can see and comment on the progress and even edit the document.

    Based on this feedback, I can correct the focus of my work as soon as possible, and get better results in a shorter time.

    Modern collaboration platforms display in real time what each member of the team is working on. Each time I edit a document, my colleagues can see a notification in the system, even a summary with the changes made. What’s more, all the material is centralized and indexed in order to find the required information quickly.

    Narrate Your Work

    Similarly, I keep a public diary (blog or micro-blog) where I explain openly what I’m doing, what problems I encounter, what solutions I have found, and how I feel. I also share relevant articles I have found and obviously there is space for a joke once in a while.

    Finally, when working on a big project, I try to communicate each day at least these points:

    1. What I have done today
    2. What I have been unable to do
    3. What are the risks I have identified that will affect the project planning
    4. What my plans are for tomorrow

    During the day I keep a document open where I gradually answer these points. At the end of the day, I just have to publish it.

    If everyone in the team narrated their work openly, we wouldn’t need any meetings to assess project status and we would gain a lot of time.

    People who are already familiar with collaboration tools perfectly understand the benefits of working out loud. Others simply need to try it for a while to learn that they can collaborate efficiently remotely.

    Jeroen Sangers (@JeroenSangers) is personal productivity consultant and author of the blog El Canasto. He specializes in modern techniques to manage time, actions and attention, and provides training, consulting, and keynotes on a more intelligent way to work and live.

    If you want to enjoy the benefits that collaborating has for your productivity too, why not try Zyncro free?

     
  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , productivity,   

    Tips for improving your email productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Recently on our Mexico Facebook channel, we posed a simple question that generated several responses, many of which surprised me and made me rethink about how we manage our email. Is it the master of our time?

    Having an empty inbox is not something we need to impose, but managing our inbox so that email doesn’t dominate our working day is essential. Let me share a few tips with you that can help you to achieve it.

    Managing your inbox with the 3 folder technique.

    It’s a simple method that aims to ensure that we spend the least amount of time on archiving our emails. How long each day do you spend archiving your emails? There are people who create folders by topic, by departments, by projects, and add subfolders to those folders… the list is endless and often you don’t know where to save an email because it probably complies with the requirements to go in more than one of those folders. The 3-folder system I propose is:

    1. Follow-up: Those emails you need to manage during the day without anyone else’s intervention.
    2. Hold: Those emails that you need the reply or supervision of someone else to be managed.
    3. Archive: All answered emails go in this folder

    Thanks to powerful search engines in the leading mail managers, you can find your emails quickly without losing 20% of your time archiving.

    Short, concise emails addressed to the right person.

    There are various currents of thought that seek to improve email effectiveness, like the one of the 3 sentences in which they assure that with 3 short paragraphs you can transmit the message, improving productivity and effectiveness for both the one writing and of course, the person receiving it. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be as simple as possible, not just simple.”

    If an email becomes an unending conversation, change the font!

    Emails are meant to transmit important messages, from one person to another. When it involves too many people in “email chains” or when it becomes more a conversation rather than a transmitted message, maybe it’s time you question whether it’s the right channel. For that, an Enterprise Social Network is the solution.

    Reduce notifications and email subscriptions as far as possible

    Your email shouldn’t be saturated with notifications from other social networks or subscriptions you read. The most important thing is to not become saturated, we should use email intelligently so it doesn’t become the only task that dominates our day, rather we can spend our time on our daily tasks. Don’t fill it with mails that you delete without reading.

    Compose the message subject properly

    The email subject is the way to communicate the topic you are going to discuss with the recipient, it’s the first impression and what will make the recipient decide when to open it. A good option is to write the subject after composing the email, include the topic you cover, try to use keywords.

    You can improve your productivity and enhance your work performance by managing your email properly. Let me close with a quote from Berto Pena: “Email isn’t a place to be. It’s a place to act. Read, process, decide, assign, and exit as quickly as possible so you can DO.”

     
  • Jeroen Sangers 9:00 am on April 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , productivity,   

    2 keys for group productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we would like to welcome a new author to our blog. Jeroen Sangers (@JeroenSangers) is personal productivity consultant and author of the blog El Canasto. He specializes in modern techniques to manage time, actions and attention, and provides training, consulting and keynotes on a more intelligent way to work and live.

    Any trainer of a sports team knows it: although the players may be stars, that does not guarantee that the team will win. You have surely seen how the biggest football teams that have spent millions of dollars to get the best players often finish the season with the worst results. In order for a team to work, more than just good individual results are needed.

    Personal productivity

    No one works alone. Although we try to do all our tasks as best as possible and with maximum efficiency, for many things we depend on our co-workers. The web developer needs the texts of the copywriter, the sales rep needs the brochures of the marketing department, the marketing director needs the production status of the new products, etc.

    We may work efficiently, but if our co-workers are chaotic, we can’t be productive.

    The truth is that personal productivity cannot be extrapolated to the efficiency of teams. What are the two keys for group productivity?

    1. Roles and responsibilities

    In my opinion, the most important thing for building a productive team is to know the other members of the group well. Each person is different and has their strong points, their weaknesses and their own manner. Like in the different positions in a football team, a team works better if there are various profiles of people. Each team needs a leader, a creative person, someone who looks after relations, someone who gets to work straight away, etc.

    In the 1970s, Dr. Meredith Belbin developed a model with 9 essential roles for each team. We can use this model to identify the roles of each member and find the skills that we are missing in our team.

    2. Internal communication

    The second key point for a team to be efficient is internal communication.

    The dilemma is that we want to know all our co-workers’ actions, projects, ideas and concerns, yet we don’t want to waste time with useless information.

    To do this, we need to establish the best way of communicating in each case. In many offices, when we have to ask a co-worker something, we usually get up and go to their desk. Obviously we are causing a major interruption.

    It is better to use a less intrusive communication medium, like for example, email, the intranet or an enterprise social network. Then we can agree on exceptions for specific situations: How do we communicate if we need an instant response? What communication medium do we have to talk about sensitive issues or emotions?

    There is no one solution. The key is knowing which communication media are available, knowing the benefits and the problems of each way of communicating, and establishing an internal communication protocol with the other members of the team.

    If you want to be part of a productive team and win the league, you need to know your team well and have a top-quality communication channel.

     
  • Jose Miguel Torres 9:00 am on February 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: meetings, productivity, ,   

    Meetingitis: the illness of the 21st century 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today we would like to welcome a new author: José Miguel Torres works as a software engineer for Xamarin Inc. and specializes in mobile app development. With more than 14 years’ experience, he is a regular author for more than 10 years in technical journals where he has published numerous articles on Microsoft technology and is author of two books. He has been recognized as Microsoft Most Value Professional on four occasions. He maintains the web devoted to development for mobile devices desarrolloMobile.NET. Welcome, José Miguel! :)

    An effective meeting is short, productive, and doesn't have to be face-to-face.Have you ever asked yourself what are meetings for? Well, most times, for nothing. It’s simply a pretext of the “organizer”, almost always represented by the boss or area manager, and doesn’t do anything but embellish the lack of leadership.

    Apparently the official notification sent by email for a specific time on a given day is the solution, as it seems that face-to-face meetings around a round table packed with people with subjective conclusions is the most effective way to solve problems.

    Current context

    Let’s look at it from another point of view. I daily attend a place called “the office” where the company tries, in most cases, to make it so that work is a pleasant and productive place to be. However, it would be more pleasant if I didn’t have to invest more than two hours each day in going to and from it to attend meetings when in most cases, things could be solved quicker and better by digital means. And it would be more productive if they let us work.

    Yes, you understood me, let us work, and I define work as being the action of performing one or several tasks in a structured and continuous manner, i.e. without distractions. And no, when I say distractions I don’t mean reading the sports results or updating your Twitter account with your thoughts, all that is the cigarette break of the 21st century, or perhaps it is worse to tweet than smoke? For some companies it is, and they are not Chinese companies.

    However, they don’t hesitate when calling a meeting for 10 people when the cause and the effect in all meetings are always the same.

    The Cause: They call us to a meeting due to a lack of coordination or communication with a client or department, and the organizer wants to exert their authority by investing 10 hours of the employees in the company. Yes, 10 people during 1 hour in basic arithmetic is 10 hours, and it means cutting short the tasks that each and every one of them were working on, as the meeting is urgent, like they always are.

    The Effects: The meeting has gone on until 3 in the afternoon, some of the attendees haven’t had time even for breakfast, many of them –me included– already say yes to anything and everything just to get out of the meeting room. The Cause continues to be the same, but more Causes that provoke the original Cause have been detected. Obviously, the Boss exerts his authority once again and calls as many meetings as new causes that have been detected. The problem or the cause has not been resolved, but the boss is on it. Now we are really worried.

    We’re in a new era, aren’t we?

    I understand that there are reasons in which we must solve or coordinate a situation that requires the collaboration of two or more people, but nobody is able to justify to me why a (mandatory) face-to-face meeting is better than an email, nor why my attendance during 3 hours is required, if my intervention can be summed up in 15 minutes, nor why I can’t participate using Social Communication tools, or even, if the situation requires it, for a conference call, nor what the numerous doodles on our notebooks or on the meeting room whiteboard are actually for. Couldn’t they be digitalized and shared on a digital collaborative platform?

    Leveraging digital platforms in companies helps to improve and optimize internal communications, reduces infrastructure costs considerably, and improves the information flow to and from the company, among its employees and with suppliers and customers. Flexi-time and telecommuting are a reality today that any company can put into practice with platforms like Zyncro. Strict working hours, forced interruptions, and unending work meetings are a thing of the past.

    Is your company suffering from meetingitis? Dont you think it’s time to take some digital medication to cure it?

     

     
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