fastcompany:

How CEOs Stay So Productive
Since the early 1970s, productivity—the amount of output per hour worked—has been steadily rising in America. Between 1973 and 2011, the productivity of the American worker has grown an astonishing 80 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Since 2000 alone, the productivity of average Americans has risen 23 percent. How are we achieving this extraordinary rise in productivity? In large part, it’s because we’re finding new tools and techniques to increase our focus and efficiency.
Below, some of the most productive people—from successful investors to “always-on” executives—share their secrets on how to be your most productive self, despite the overflowing in-boxes, the constant buzz of the phone and the never-ending ping of meeting alerts.
Clear Your Mind, Define Your Focus
“I send an email to my team each Monday morning with the top five things I will be focused on for the week. This really keeps me on track and gives me the focus I need.”
- Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction, principal at The Chatham Group, investor, advisor, mentor.
Cut Back On Meetings
Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), said he keeps productive by being diligent about meetings—sticking to the allotted time and only scheduling in-person meetings when it’s absolutely necessary.
All About Evernote
Dylan Tweney, the executive editor at VentureBeat, said Evernote, the popular note-taking and archiving service, is his go-to productivity tool. “I use Evernote to collect everything I might possibly need to save for later, with the exception of emails—Gmail is fine for that. I store all of my important documents—from notes to interviews—in Evernote.
I also use Evernote tags as a kind of to-do list: I have a set of tags that I can use to prioritize things that need to happen immediately or that I’m waiting for someone else to finish: (“1-next,” “2-soon,” “3-later,” “4-someday,” and “5-waiting”).”
Get Tunnel Vision
“Most people tend to focus on the 100 things they should do, which can be overwhelming and result in the failure to actually accomplishing anything of importance. I try to focus on the three to five things I absolutely have to do. I don’t get distracted by those ninety-seven other unimportant things that don’t ultimately contribute to my success or the success of my company.”
- Kevin O’Connor, the serial entrepreneur who founded both DoubleClick and more recentlyFindTheBest.
Get Physical 
“I love to run in the morning before I get into work. Running clears my mind, gets the blood flowing and ultimately makes me much more focused and productive. During my morning runs, I try to come up with solutions to any unresolved problems at work, brainstorm new ideas, and really prioritize my work in terms of the top things I want to accomplish that day. By the time I get into work, I already have a set of focused priorities, and I also have the energy to make them happen.”
- Patrick Dolan, the EVP and COO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Police Your Own Internet Habits: Notifications Are Evil
 “I also have a tendency to begin earnestly researching something online with the very best of intentions and then get lost viewing irrelevant content and wasting way too much time. To limit this, I turn on a browser extension to Chrome called StayFocusd where I maintain a list of sites I can get lost on for hours—the New York Times and Facebook are my top two. StayFocusd alerts me after ten minutes have passed and then blocks the offending sites to help me resist temptation and stay focused on the task at hand.”
- Fred Bateman, the CEO and Founder of Bateman Group.
Put Email In Its Place
 “More generally, email puts you in response mode, where you are doing what other people want you to do, rather than send mode, where you are deciding what you want to do and taking action.”
- Anne-Marie Slaugher, an author and professor of politics and international relations at Princeton University.
What are your productivity tips? How will you be more productive today?
Want more? Check out our entire issue on productivity.

[Image: Flickr user Massimo Regonati]

fastcompany:

How CEOs Stay So Productive

Since the early 1970s, productivity—the amount of output per hour worked—has been steadily rising in America. Between 1973 and 2011, the productivity of the American worker has grown an astonishing 80 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Since 2000 alone, the productivity of average Americans has risen 23 percent. How are we achieving this extraordinary rise in productivity? In large part, it’s because we’re finding new tools and techniques to increase our focus and efficiency.

Below, some of the most productive people—from successful investors to “always-on” executives—share their secrets on how to be your most productive self, despite the overflowing in-boxes, the constant buzz of the phone and the never-ending ping of meeting alerts.

Clear Your Mind, Define Your Focus

“I send an email to my team each Monday morning with the top five things I will be focused on for the week. This really keeps me on track and gives me the focus I need.”

- Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction, principal at The Chatham Group, investor, advisor, mentor.

Cut Back On Meetings

Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB), said he keeps productive by being diligent about meetings—sticking to the allotted time and only scheduling in-person meetings when it’s absolutely necessary.

All About Evernote

Dylan Tweney, the executive editor at VentureBeat, said Evernote, the popular note-taking and archiving service, is his go-to productivity tool. “I use Evernote to collect everything I might possibly need to save for later, with the exception of emails—Gmail is fine for that. I store all of my important documents—from notes to interviews—in Evernote.

I also use Evernote tags as a kind of to-do list: I have a set of tags that I can use to prioritize things that need to happen immediately or that I’m waiting for someone else to finish: (“1-next,” “2-soon,” “3-later,” “4-someday,” and “5-waiting”).”

Get Tunnel Vision

“Most people tend to focus on the 100 things they should do, which can be overwhelming and result in the failure to actually accomplishing anything of importance. I try to focus on the three to five things I absolutely have to do. I don’t get distracted by those ninety-seven other unimportant things that don’t ultimately contribute to my success or the success of my company.”

- Kevin O’Connor, the serial entrepreneur who founded both DoubleClick and more recentlyFindTheBest.

Get Physical 

“I love to run in the morning before I get into work. Running clears my mind, gets the blood flowing and ultimately makes me much more focused and productive. During my morning runs, I try to come up with solutions to any unresolved problems at work, brainstorm new ideas, and really prioritize my work in terms of the top things I want to accomplish that day. By the time I get into work, I already have a set of focused priorities, and I also have the energy to make them happen.”

Patrick Dolan, the EVP and COO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Police Your Own Internet Habits: Notifications Are Evil

 “I also have a tendency to begin earnestly researching something online with the very best of intentions and then get lost viewing irrelevant content and wasting way too much time. To limit this, I turn on a browser extension to Chrome called StayFocusd where I maintain a list of sites I can get lost on for hours—the New York Times and Facebook are my top two. StayFocusd alerts me after ten minutes have passed and then blocks the offending sites to help me resist temptation and stay focused on the task at hand.”

Fred Bateman, the CEO and Founder of Bateman Group.

Put Email In Its Place

 “More generally, email puts you in response mode, where you are doing what other people want you to do, rather than send mode, where you are deciding what you want to do and taking action.”

Anne-Marie Slaugher, an author and professor of politics and international relations at Princeton University.

What are your productivity tips? How will you be more productive today?

Want more? Check out our entire issue on productivity.

[Image: Flickr user Massimo Regonati]

nasdaq:

Our inspirational quote of the day is courtesy of Steven Soderbergh! For more creative advice, check out this Fast Company article. 

nasdaq:

Our inspirational quote of the day is courtesy of Steven Soderbergh! For more creative advice, check out this Fast Company article

fastcompany:

Why You Should Work From A Coffee Shop, Even When You Have An Office
Fast Company contributor and founder of Family Records and GNTLMN.com Wesley Verhoeve makes a good case for working in coffee shops.
Why:
A change of environment stimulates creativity.

Even in the most awesome of offices we can fall into a routine, and a routine is the enemy of creativity. 

Fewer distractions.

Being surrounded by awesome team and officemates means being interrupted for water cooler chats and work questions. Being interrupted kills productivity. The coffee shop environment combines the benefit of anonymity with the dull buzz of exciting activity.

Community and meeting new people.

Meeting new people always provides me with new ideas, a different perspective at existing problems, or an interesting connection to a new person doing something awesome that inspires me. 

Tips:
Rotate coffee shops. 

Avoid the stifling feeling of routine you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Buy something. 

Coffee shop workers are awesome, and they’ll be awesome to you if you are a good customer. That hidden power plug will be revealed, an extra free refill will be given, an introduction will be made.

Placement.

Don’t sit near the door or the register, if you can avoid it. 

Power up.

Come with a full charge.

[Image: Flickr user Kyle Hale]
Where will you work today?

fastcompany:

Why You Should Work From A Coffee Shop, Even When You Have An Office

Fast Company contributor and founder of Family Records and GNTLMN.com Wesley Verhoeve makes a good case for working in coffee shops.

Why:

A change of environment stimulates creativity.

Even in the most awesome of offices we can fall into a routine, and a routine is the enemy of creativity. 

Fewer distractions.

Being surrounded by awesome team and officemates means being interrupted for water cooler chats and work questions. Being interrupted kills productivity. The coffee shop environment combines the benefit of anonymity with the dull buzz of exciting activity.

Community and meeting new people.

Meeting new people always provides me with new ideas, a different perspective at existing problems, or an interesting connection to a new person doing something awesome that inspires me. 

Tips:

Rotate coffee shops. 

Avoid the stifling feeling of routine you were trying to avoid in the first place.

Buy something. 

Coffee shop workers are awesome, and they’ll be awesome to you if you are a good customer. That hidden power plug will be revealed, an extra free refill will be given, an introduction will be made.

Placement.

Don’t sit near the door or the register, if you can avoid it. 

Power up.

Come with a full charge.

[Image: Flickr user Kyle Hale]

Where will you work today?

idonethis:

Acknowledging what you’ve accomplished and celebrating your wins, no matter how small, contributes to your happiness! Magnify the right stuff!

idonethis:

Acknowledging what you’ve accomplished and celebrating your wins, no matter how small, contributes to your happiness! Magnify the right stuff!

nasdaq:

amexopenforum:

This infographic is about the mindset of an entrepreneur, and the first actions you would need to take to become one. However simplistic this infographic is, if you just do what it says, you will get what you put in.
(Via Funders and Founders)

We love a good infographic—and there’s some really excellent advice here! 

nasdaq:

amexopenforum:

This infographic is about the mindset of an entrepreneur, and the first actions you would need to take to become one. However simplistic this infographic is, if you just do what it says, you will get what you put in.

(Via Funders and Founders)

We love a good infographic—and there’s some really excellent advice here! 

fastcompany:

Hate Small Talk? These 5 Questions Will Help You Work Any Room
Do you love going to events, but find yourself stranded during happy hour, tongue-tied and tucked in a corner? Initiating and maintaining conversations while networking is a necessary skill, and one you can easily improve with these simple tips.


When looking for a conversation partner, look for:


—Fun, inviting groups
—White-knuckled loners who look uncomfortable and will welcome your attempt to initiate dialogue
—Familiar faces
Questions to get the conversations flowing:
“What’s your connection to the event?”This question can uncover mutual contacts and usually leads to a more robust answer than if you asked the typical “Have you been to this event before?”
“What’s keeping you busy when you’re not at events like this or at work?” This question gives the encouragement necessary for the person to share his/her passions and outside interests. It is an excellent way to add some enthusiasm into a conversation that has hit a lull, especially if he/she would prefer to be doing that activity at that moment.
“Are you getting away this summer?” This question can lead to conversations about family, reveal special interests and, if you like talking about travel, it’s a sure-fire way to keep a conversation interesting.
“Are you working on any charity initiatives?” This question makes it easy to launch into a deeper connection. If they’re not involved with any projects, they often share reasons which is usually revealing, and if they are doing something of value they will be more than happy to share.
“How did you come to be in your line of work?” For some, the path to where they are today can be quite an interesting ordeal. Having a chance to revisit their story to success can leave helpful clues along the way as to who they are and what makes them tick.
Ideally small talk will uncover common interests, business alignments, the six degrees that separate you, potential need for your product or service, and basically whether or not you enjoy each other’s company. 



The goal of conversation at functions is to establish enough common ground to determine a reason to connect again.

[Image: Flickr user Aquila]

fastcompany:

Hate Small Talk? These 5 Questions Will Help You Work Any Room

Do you love going to events, but find yourself stranded during happy hour, tongue-tied and tucked in a corner? Initiating and maintaining conversations while networking is a necessary skill, and one you can easily improve with these simple tips.

When looking for a conversation partner, look for:

—Fun, inviting groups

—White-knuckled loners who look uncomfortable and will welcome your attempt to initiate dialogue

—Familiar faces

Questions to get the conversations flowing:

“What’s your connection to the event?”This question can uncover mutual contacts and usually leads to a more robust answer than if you asked the typical “Have you been to this event before?”

“What’s keeping you busy when you’re not at events like this or at work?” This question gives the encouragement necessary for the person to share his/her passions and outside interests. It is an excellent way to add some enthusiasm into a conversation that has hit a lull, especially if he/she would prefer to be doing that activity at that moment.

“Are you getting away this summer?” This question can lead to conversations about family, reveal special interests and, if you like talking about travel, it’s a sure-fire way to keep a conversation interesting.

“Are you working on any charity initiatives?” This question makes it easy to launch into a deeper connection. If they’re not involved with any projects, they often share reasons which is usually revealing, and if they are doing something of value they will be more than happy to share.

“How did you come to be in your line of work?” For some, the path to where they are today can be quite an interesting ordeal. Having a chance to revisit their story to success can leave helpful clues along the way as to who they are and what makes them tick.

Ideally small talk will uncover common interests, business alignments, the six degrees that separate you, potential need for your product or service, and basically whether or not you enjoy each other’s company. 

The goal of conversation at functions is to establish enough common ground to determine a reason to connect again.


[Image: Flickr user Aquila]