Finding the Right Solution – Explore As Many Different Ideas as Possible Within Given Constraints

20 January 2009 Categories: Effectiveness

Iain Barker explains why you should consider more alternatives when solving a problem (in his case, user interface design) rather than trying to optimize the first reasonable solution found. As illustrated in the image below, jumping too quickly into the iterative phase (the phase where you refine a given solution) might prevent you from seeing a better solution.

not every idea has the same potential

As to answering the question “how many alternatives are enough?” The somewhat obvious answer given is that it depends on the specific constrains that are imposed upon you, such as time and budget.

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How to Send an Email to Someone Whose Mailbox Is Full (Outlook Only)

18 January 2009 Categories: Effectiveness

When you send an email, the recipient must have enough free space to get it. If he doesn't (i.e. his mailbox is full), your email will not be delivered to him. When that happens, you should Send it again, but use outlook's ability to schedule the actual delivery time. That means that you'll get this monkey off your back by sending the mail right now, but it will actually be sent in a later time. How does that solve the problem you ask? well, It is likely to assume that your recipient will have cleared his mailbox by the midst of that following day (since it is full and he will not be able to send and receive emails). Thus, he will get your email. If he didn't clear it by that time, you will get back an announcement that your email could not be delivered.

Scheduling an email delivery

Take these two steps to schedule an email delivery:

  1. Click the "options" button: write your email as you would normally do. When it is ready to be sent, click "options". new mail  […]
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How to Keep Track of Tasks That You Assign by Email [Best Practice]

15 January 2009 Categories: Effectiveness

Have you ever sent an email asking a coworker to schedule a meeting, or a document for review to your boss, but remind bothered whether he will remember to do that or just read your email and forget?

Here is how to handle these situations. whenever you send an important task by email and want to be peaceful minded about it getting done, you should gain back control by scheduling a reminder. here is how to do that:

  1. Include yourself as a BCC (that is, add your email address in the BCC filed). That way, you’ll get a copy of the email without the other recipients knowing about it. Then,
  2. bcc-yourself

  3. Move that email from the inbox to your calendar. Save it as an event a few days later (enough time for the other person to complete the task).
  4. task-in-calender

    […]

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How to Use Checklists to Deliver High Quality Outputs

30 December 2008 Categories: Effectiveness

checklist Checklists help to deliver high quality outputs by recognizing routine procedures and must-have attributes of these outputs. Checklists have several more benefits and they are easy to create and use. Here is how to get going:

What is a checklist

Checklist is a list of items (names, characteristics, tasks etc.) you check or consult when performing a task. It is used to make sure that the output is complete and consist, that no mandatory attributes has been forgotten. For example, you can use a checklist of activities you must take before publishing new content in your website. This might include spellchecking, review by others, adding tags, adding picture, writing an extract and so on.

Some Benefits

Using a checklist provides these benefits:

  • Standardization – it helps keep outputs standard when more than one person is involved or when one person produces many items over time (for example, blog posts).
  • Prevent cognitive overload – it frees your mind from the the routines so that you could think about the main activities and process innovations.
  • Continues improvement – as new insights, activities, and attributes are added to the checklist, your outputs will improves.
  • Collective learning – people who are new to the process can use the checklist to learn it and to avoid reinventing the wheel. […]
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Time Management – Get Things Done by Setting Up an Effective Agenda

09 December 2008 Categories: Effectiveness

Have you ever felt at the end of a work day that you didn't accomplish anything? That even though you worked all day long, I've only finished half the things you thought you will?

In this post I'll explain how to plan your day through by building a realistic agenda. By doing so you will be able to control your day, know what you will be able to do (and what not), and allocate sufficient time to do the important and urgent tasks.

 

Follow These Steps to Build Your Agenda:

  1. List your task for today – write down a list of tasks you want to accomplish today. The important thing is that you add two more tasks to that list – breaks and unplanned events.
  2. Allocate time to each task – next to each task, write how long you think it should take or want to work on it today. Next to breaks write 25% of the total time (about ten minutes break for every 50 minutes of work and another one hour for launch. Breaks are essential for productive work – do not skip them). Next to unplanned events write another 10% of the time. The sum of all your tasks and breaks should be equal to a full work day.
  3. Schedule your day – Write the start time for the first task. Then write the next task and its time and so on. Do not forget to include a break every 1-2 hours. Write the unplanned event as one of the tasks.

That's it. Your daily agenda is ready. Now that you know what you are going to do today and when are you going to do that, you are more likely to achieve the goals you set.

One important thing to remember is that this schedule is dynamic. That means that you can switch between tasks as long as you do not exceed the time allocated to each of them. this is whay you can "plan" an unplaned evnt.

image by CommonGuy

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Effective Presentations using Power Point – A Quick and Useful Guide

21 November 2008 Categories: Effectiveness

I strongly recommend watching the following presentation at least two times. The first is now, so that you know it exists. The second is when you'll actually need it - before building an important presentation.

Why? Because it easily explains and illustrates how (and why) should good presentations be built. 

Good PowerPoint Design – for business presenters

 View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: point" "power)

 

Via Business Model Design and Innovation

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