Casey’s eTips

eTips are quick suggestions for improving productivity.  You can quickly digest the tip and put it to use immediately.  Sign up to receive eTips via email using the form on the right, or read them online, below and on Casey’s blog.

Casey’s eTip: Help IT Help You Efficiently

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Inevitably, computer problems will crop up from time to time. Here's how to handle them as expeditiously as possible. The first time a problem arises, treat it as an anomaly. Re-start your computer and it may resolve. If it recurs, document it. Write/type what exactly you were doing when it…

Casey’s eTip: Be Careful with Your Email Copying

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Copying people on emails can be a power move and it can backfire. Be cautious about it... If you regularly copy people at a higher level to leverage responses, you look weak and discourteous. Take that action very sparingly. Always consider how your recipient (and the people you copy) will…

Casey’s eTip: Breathe Fresh Air, Even Indoors

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Breathing is an underrated productivity resource. Inhaling clean, oxygenated air fuels your brain and calms your mind. Consider getting a small air purifier to clean your air of the many allergens and pollutants that get trapped in office carpets and furniture. You can get a small desktop model for under…

Casey’s eTip: Ask for Solutions, Rather than Supplying Them

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If the people who report to you typically come to you for answers, this eTip is for you… Ask them how they would handle the situation if you were not around. If it's a good idea, tell them to run with it. If it's not, do a little training to explain…

Casey’s eTip: Free Your Mind from Worries

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Lack of clarity about the status of projects and commitments is arguably people's greatest source of worry at work. Fortunately, it's one you can eliminate by conducting regularly weekly reviews of both. If you do yours before the holiday, you'll feel free and enjoy yourself with no mental clutter. If…

Casey’s eTip: Read the Small Print

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If your vision is no longer 20/20 or the menu uses 8-point font, your phone can help! Embrace the Accessibility feature, even if you view yourself as fully able. Go to Settings and search for "Magnifier" (iPhone) or "Magnification" (Android). (This eTip brought to you by the Resources link in…

Casey’s eTip: Pick Goals that Challenge You

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Easy-to-achieve goals bore people. Difficult-to-reach goals motivate us. Pick an area of life to challenge yourself: Make this quarter your best ever. Train to run a race. Learn a second language. You may find that you'll rise to the occasion and enjoy the triumph. (This eTip brought to you by…

Casey’s eTip: Give Yourself the Gift of Clarity

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When you know the status of your projects and where all your loose ends are (even if you can't tie them all down yet), you can enjoy time off with family and friends with more peace and presence. So do your weekly review before you take off for the holiday…

Casey’s eTip: Tidy Up and Eat Less

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people who worked in an organized setting ate healthier snacks compared to those who worked in cluttered surroundings (O Magazine, Dec. 2018).  Clear the clutter off your desk one folder or paper at a time. Decide what to do with each item, then…

Casey’s eTip: Step Away from Your Work

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And it makes everyone less productive. As a recent Time article shows, micro-breaks from work improve mental outlook, which ultimately helps productivity. (This eTip brought to you by the Health link in your Productivity Chain.)

Casey’s eTip: Be a Great Team Player (Part 2)

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Effective teams require trust among members. We build trust one commitment at a time. Take every commitment seriously, even if it's "just" for a team mate. If you can't get that data to your colleague as requested, for example, tell that person as far in advance as you possibly can…

Casey’s eTip: Be a Great Team Player (Part 1)

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Are you someone that people love to work with? It's easy to complain about others without realizing that we do some of things that we complain that they do. Be responsive. If you can't answer an email within 48 hours (maximum), send a reply saying you received the message and…

Casey’s eTip: Gain Time and Respect by Saying No

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You may be reluctant ever to say "no" because other people will be disappointed. Your fear about their reaction can supercede attending to your own needs. But there's another way to think about "no"... Gain Time and Respect by Saying No You have the right to determine what commitments to…

Casey’s eTip: Reframe and Leverage Stress

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There are two kinds of stress. Both can arise at work. One will kill you; the other makes you stronger. The difference between the two is the way you view them. Professor Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University makes a compelling case that shifting your mindset physically changes the way stress…

Casey’s eTip: Check Your List Daily

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Your to-do list is only as good as the last time you checked it. Check Your List Daily David Allen explains: "As with any action reminder system, if you don't review and reassess the reminders of actions you might need to be taking, your mind will take back the job;…

Casey’s eTip: Another Reason to Get More Sleep

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Sleep is the hidden hero of sustainable productivity. Long hours and even all-nighters can get you through temporarily (usually when you're young) but you can't rely on them long term. And their costs increase with every year of your life. Sufficient sleep, on the other hand, boosts your effectiveness tremendously.…

Casey’s eTip: Get Started When You’re Stuck

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Alan Brown, the ADD Crusher, suggests you ask yourself the following when you find yourself stuck at the beginning of a project… * Are insights more likely to come from “outside” the process or once I’m “in it”? * Do other people REALLY know how a complex task gets done…

Casey’s eTip: Create More Interruption-Free Zones

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If your CONSTANT availability to others' questions, comments and requests impairs your productivity, here are a few ways you might protect your time: Change your work hours...come in early before others arrive or stay late after others go home. Or change your location on occasion...work in a meeting room, coffee…

Casey’s eTip: Reframe Certain Interruptions

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How you look at an event determines your response. If you're relaxed and welcoming, you feel more in control… As Dr. George Pickett said, “What you call ‘interruptions’ is my work.” Instead of seeing emails, calls and drop-by's as interruptions, view them as welcome opportunities to problem-solve and be of…

Casey’s eTip: Channel Negative Energy into Positive Action

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"I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues," Duke Ellington once famously said. Take a lesson from his playbook today. Casey's eTip: Channel Negative Energy into Positive Action You can "fight" negativity inside yourself or leaking out of other people, but that battle takes time and…