Blog

Working on a Train

Working on a Train

General, Uncategorized
Let’s face it, we’ve all travelled by train, sometimes with a clear conscience, sometimes feeling guilty. So what is it that makes the difference and what is it makes best use of your time? I’m not making a huge claim that this is the only way of maximising your train-time, but it’s certainly a good one. How do I know?  Because I’ve been using it myself for a few months and doing some pretty serious Reflective Practice to check it out. Some of it is pretty obvious but some of it isn’t. Stay with me. Think small Yes, really. Take a long, hard look at what you hope you can achieve and cut it in half. If you manage to get more than that done, celebrate, but my experience is…
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AIRcast Episode 005 – What we can learn about being efficient by being rubbish!?

Podcast
We're all good at something. And it's fair to say we're all less good at other things. If we're going to be honest, there are some things we're absolutely sucky at! But all is not lost. Sometimes we can look at things that we're rubbish at (or better yet, things that other people are rubbish at) to see how to be more efficient and effective. For example, I know I drive more economically when my car's computer tells me there's only enough juice in the tank to get where I'm going with not tooooo much spare! In this short, solo episode, I look at how I'm more effective when I copy people who have a problem doing what I do instinctively and easily, because the've figured out how to be…
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More productivity by being someone else  ;)

More productivity by being someone else 😉

General
Sometimes other people are more productive than we are. Why don't we pretend to be them? 😉  Yeah, I know, I know... it's not a long term solution and I'm not suggesting you go around fibbing about your name and faking an ID but there's a dirty trick you can use to increase your productivity... and sometimes pretending to be someone else will increase your sanity (or at least your self confidence)... 🙂
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Productivity: Stop being such an egotist

Uncategorized
So what’s the big idea? There are times in our lives, I know, when absolute precision is needed. Let’s face it, when I ask my accountant how much VAT I owe this time, an approximate answer isn’t good enough.  I can’t pay the HMRC “about three thousand”. But let’s face it, for most of us, most of the time (and even my accountant some of the time) life’s not that important. Absolute accuracy and perfection aren’t critical. As the old saw goes “Good enough, is”. It might not be nice to admit it, but most of what we do isn’t so important to anyone that it has to be perfect - it has to be good enough and that’s all. Let’s take an example… if you’re an engineer asked to…
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Productivity and people – two fundamental truths

Productivity and people – two fundamental truths

General
The basic building blocks are the most important things for productivity A couple of blindingly obvious and fundamental truths coming up. Ready? They apply to lots and lots of work-related stuff, but let’s concentrate on getting stuff done. They’re so basic I often hesitate to cite them in training courses but when I do, people look at me like I’m some kind of genius. Ah, if only they knew! Fundamental truth #1 You can’t control the other person. You can influence them, sure, but short of locking them in a room so that you control their physical location you can’t control them. Even if they’re people who report directly to you, you don’t control them - because they’ve always got the option to quit, either with…
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Deadtime vs Downtime

Deadtime vs Downtime

Act, General
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fyuvKVBFCg&feature=youtu.be Deadtime vs Downtime. They aren’t the same - they just feel like it you’re not paying attention. Let’s do some definitions first, so we’re all using words in the same way. Deadtime Deadtime is time when you’d like to work, when you’re trying to work, but something stops you being productive. Typically it might be because you’re waiting for someone to get back to you with a piece of information that you can’t move on without. Or it might be waiting in the dentist’s waiting room - all the more annoying if you arrive five minutes early and they’re running 15 minutes late. For me it’s often an issue as I travel - it’s hard to read a book and drive a car at the same time 😉 Downtime…
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Productive traffic lights

Productive traffic lights

Act, General
https://youtu.be/XTK2dP9tKj0 Nope, I'm not talking about the things you do in the queue while you're waiting for it to turn green. That's your own affair and so long as it's legal and moral I'm not interested.  (Well I am, if it's a bit salacious - drop me a line! 😉 ) No, I'm talking about the traffic light system for reviewing something you've done. In a corporate/business environment it's probably best used as a review tool at the end of a project or some other big milestone but it works nicely in a domestic situation too. For example, you could use it at the end of a 'season' or the end of the year. You might even use it after a relatively big event, such as a big, family summer…
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The importance of holidays in productivity

The importance of holidays in productivity

General
I'm writing this as we come out of a holiday season. (I won't publish it until a lot later for a whole bunch of reasons, but I'm writing it now, while the scars are still fresh in my mind.)  I can tell you from personal experience how important holidays are: my wife has just spent six out of seven weekends visiting her parents after one of them had a heart attack and surgery as a result; she was also working during the week. I've got a massively busy job and was supporting them (a little) and her (a lot). On top of that, there were assorted other things going on, such as an 'adopted' daughter being deported (long story!). In short, we were bushed! So bushed, in fact, that my…
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Do you need some AIR? 😉

General
Not everyone's right for AIR.  Like atmosphere-air everyone needs it, but not in the same way.  We've put together a bit of a light-hearted quiz for you to see if you're the kind of person who'd benefit most from some fresh AIR in your life... Loading...
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