Microsoft Outlook Team Blog

outlook-team-blogs.jpgI mentioned in a prior post that I have been looking for someplace on the internet where I could find a serious discussion about the philosphy behind Microsoft Outlook. I hoped that it would include those who developed the software.

Well, I found a website that might be serious.

Check out this link:

I also found the following mesage board, again for serious discussions on Outlook:

Time Out of Mind

franklin2.jpgI think that this New York Times article is an interesting one. It makes the case that there is no such thing as “clock time” and that there is only time that is experienced in the mind of human beings. We treat time as if it were money – something that can be saved, stored, invested and wasted, but our language is quite mis-leading.

Here is an excerpt:

Time Out of Mind

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin composed a satire, “Essay on Daylight Saving,” proposing a law that would oblige Parisians to get up an hour earlier in summer. By putting the daylight to better use, he reasoned, they’d save a good deal of money — 96 million livres tournois — that might otherwise go to buying candles. Now this switch to daylight saving time (which occurs early Sunday in the United States) is an annual ritual in Western countries.

Even more influential has been something else Franklin said about time in the same year: time is money. He meant this only as a gentle reminder not to “sit idle” for half the day. He might be dismayed if he could see how literally, and self-destructively, we take his metaphor today. Our society is obsessed as never before with making every single minute count. People even apply the language of banking: We speak of “having” and “saving” and “investing” and “wasting” it.

Local Productivity — Jamaica

touristbeach1.jpgIt is well established that the productivity levels we experience here in the Caribbean are lower than those of North America.

In a way, that’ s a good thing. After all, who wants to take a trip to a foreign country for the purposes of relaxing only to discover that the environment you are visiting is more stressful than the one you are leaving behind? If productivity is correlated with stress, then certainly one would want neither when visiting a Caribbean destination in order to take a break from the rat-race.

On the other hand, doing business in the region can be a problem.

From my experience, there are simply many more professionals at all positions who exhibit many of the behaviors of people who are swamped. Their email in-boxes are full. They forget appointments. Their cell phones can accept no new messages. They miss deadlines. Phone calls go unreturned. In short, they cannot deal with the volume of time demands that life throws at them. Continue reading “Local Productivity — Jamaica”

Open Door Policy?

door-bartels-designer-sliding-door.jpgThe idea of an open door policy has become something like a religious belief. It has gone from a good suggestion to a badge of honor, and is now an established management dogma.

The fact is that the most productive managers DO NOT have an open door policy, and this with good reason. When taken to its extreme, managers think that they should be available to interruptions as long as there is no-one in their office. The impact of this unconscious decision is that a manager never creates a space in which they can be deeply productive, unless they come in early, stay late or come in on weekends.

I say to managers that they need to schedule their times to have an Open Door, and allow themselves to be interrupted only when there are emergencies. This takes careful scheduling, plus an effort to notify others about the exact nature of this “modified” open door policy.

The result, however, is more quality time for both the employee and the manager. The manager is able to give 100% of his attention to the times when he has to do uninterrupted deep thinking, and the times when he has the employee in front of him in need of his attention, without his mind straying to other activities. The employee gains by being able to gain the full attention of the manager.

A modified open door policy is a win-win for everyone.

A Mention in the Toledo Free Press

toledo-free-press.jpgThis blog was mentioned in the Toledo Free Press. It makes note of the fact that I live in Jamaica… which I found interesting.

I happen to have visited Toledo once, for a project. It sticks out in my mind as just about as far away from Jamaica as I have ever been, with respect to the weather I found there in mid-November!

Blackberry Insanity

blackberry31.jpgNew devices make it easier than ever for professionals to get stuck in unproductive activities that damage their peace of mind.

One of the more destructive habits that they enable is the ability to check email at all times during the day and night. In the thinking of the 2Time Management system, it enables a user to Capture all the time.

While this is very convenient, it’s a little like having a cell phone nearby all the time. Most of us have learnt that a ringing cell does not need to be answered just because it is ringing. This is a sure-fire way to at the least a drop in productivity, and at the very most, a certain insanity.

In other words, having the ability to download email at any moment only means that one must be more disciplined in capturing, not less, in order to preserve one’s productivity. Continue reading “Blackberry Insanity”