Productivity Tools For Executives

Self help productivity tools for business leaders

For personal organization, consider creating a dedicated workspace like the one in the image. Key elements include:

  1. Clear Desk: Keep only essential items on your desk. This reduces clutter and helps maintain focus.
  2. Labeled Folders: Organize documents into labeled folders for easy access and to keep your workspace tidy.
  3. Digital Calendar and Planner: Use a digital calendar for appointments and a physical planner for daily tasks. This combination helps in managing time effectively.
  4. To-Do List: Maintain a daily to-do list to prioritize tasks and track progress.
  5. Organized Stationery: Keep pens, pencils, and other stationery in a holder to avoid clutter.

Remember, a well-organized workspace can significantly enhance your productivity and reduce stress.

dot voting

Dot voting is a straightforward and democratic method for prioritizing ideas, tasks, or options within a group. Here’s how to implement it effectively:

  1. Prepare: Display all options or ideas clearly on a board or wall where everyone can see them.
  2. Distribute Dots: Give each participant a set number of dot stickers or markers. The number can vary based on how many choices you want them to prioritize.
  3. Vote: Participants place dots next to the options they believe are most important, valuable, or relevant. They can allocate all their dots to one option or spread them across multiple options.
  4. Discuss: After voting, review the results together. Options with the most dots are considered top priorities or areas of interest.
  5. Decide: Use the outcome of the dot voting as a basis for further discussion, decision-making, or to guide the next steps in your project or meeting.

Dot voting is especially useful for visualizing group preferences and making collective decisions more tangible. It encourages participation and ensures that every voice is heard in the decision-making process.

When setting goals, make sure they have these 14 basic ingredients.

SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Phased
PURE: Positively stated, Understood, Relevant, Ethical
CLEAR: Challenging, Legal, Environmentally sound, Agreed, Recorded

In the book, The Decision Book, it is important to distinguish between final goals and performance goals. The goal should also be attainable and challenging at the same time.

Goal setting is part of GROW – Goal, Reality, Options, Will model by John Whitmore

 

slack

Slack is a popular team communication tool that facilitates collaboration and information sharing within organizations. Its key features include:

  1. Channels: Organized spaces for different topics, projects, or teams.
  2. Direct Messaging: For private conversations between team members.
  3. File Sharing: Easily share documents, images, and other files.
  4. Integrations: Connects with various other tools like Google Drive, Trello, and Asana.
  5. Searchable History: Find past messages and files quickly.
  6. Notifications: Customizable alerts to stay informed without being overwhelmed.

Slack is effective for teams of any size, supporting both real-time and asynchronous communication, thus enhancing productivity and team cohesion.

brainstorming

Effective brainstorming is crucial for generating innovative ideas and solutions. Here are some tips for a successful brainstorming session:

  1. Define the Problem Clearly: Start with a clear, concise statement of the problem or goal to keep the session focused.
  2. Foster an Open Environment: Encourage participation from all members, ensuring a judgment-free zone where creativity thrives.
  3. Use Diverse Methods: Incorporate different brainstorming techniques like mind mapping, SWOT analysis, or the 6-3-5 method to stimulate creativity.
  4. Build on Ideas: Encourage participants to build on each other’s ideas, promoting collaboration and innovation.
  5. Capture Everything: Document all ideas, no matter how outlandish, for future reference and evaluation.

Have you thought about using Alexa at office ? Yes, you can, and in innovative ways. Some of the uses as Amazon gives are:

Alexa can help you manage your calendar with Alexa Smart Scheduling Assistant, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. Alexa can help quickly find information for you, like the latest sales data, or the inventory levels in your warehouse. You can control conferencing systems, check room availability, and book rooms with just your voice. Alexa for Business integrates with popular video conferencing devices, room control systems, meeting room scheduling solutions, and calendar systems.

By building your own custom Alexa skills, you can easily voice-enable your workplace, and let Alexa help with common everyday tasks. Using your custom Alexa skills, Alexa can provide directions, find an open meeting room, order new supplies, report building problems, or notify IT of an equipment issue. Alexa can also provide important information, like inventory levels, and help with on-the-job training.

Alexa Devices: Echo Dot , Echo Show , Echo Auto for your car

For more info: Alexa FAQs

Google Calendar is an effective tool for managing time and scheduling tasks. It allows you to visualize your week, set reminders, and allocate time effectively. To maximize its benefits:

  1. Block Time: Reserve blocks of time for specific tasks or meetings. This helps in managing your day more efficiently.
  2. Set Reminders: Use reminders for important deadlines or meetings.
  3. Color-Coding: Assign different colors to various types of tasks (e.g., meetings, personal time) for easy identification.
  4. Shared Calendars: Share your calendar with colleagues for better collaboration and to avoid scheduling conflicts.
  5. Review Weekly: Spend time each week to review and adjust your schedule as needed.

Remember, consistency in using these features will enhance your time management skills.

2x2

A 2×2 matrix is a powerful tool for organizing information and simplifying decision-making processes. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  1. Identify Dimensions: Determine the two key dimensions or criteria that will form the axes of your matrix. Common examples include “Urgency vs. Importance” for task prioritization or “High Impact vs. Low Impact” and “High Effort vs. Low Effort” for project evaluation.
  2. Define Quadrants: Label each of the four quadrants according to the combination of dimensions they represent. For instance, tasks that are both urgent and important would go in one quadrant, while those that are low in urgency and importance would go in another.
  3. Place Items: Allocate your items—whether they’re tasks, projects, or ideas—into the appropriate quadrant based on their characteristics relative to the dimensions you’ve chosen.
  4. Decide on Actions: Use the matrix to guide your actions. Items in the “Urgent and Important” quadrant might need immediate attention, while those in the “Low Urgency and Low Importance” quadrant could be delegated or dropped.