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: Clean Your Mental Vessel

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"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world," wrote George Bernard Shaw. Pick some area of negativity in your life and let it go to clean your mental cup. Stop watching that disturbing TV show. Stop trying to change that other…

Casey’s eTip: Let Your Phone Read to You

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If you like to listen on the go, your phone can help. Your phone can read you emails, texts or articles. Here's how: iPhone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Csjmn5mR1A Android: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87GbDHCjUsI (This eTip brought to you by the Resources link in your Productivity Chain.)

Casey’s eTip: Be Happy, Not Right

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"Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions," wrote a Zen master. We cause our own distress with our thinking, which we means we have the power to be happy and less focused on being "right." When we let go of the need to be right, to have…

Casey’s eTip: Prevent Work Spillover into Your Personal Life

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After a stressful day at work, it is all too easy to release your tension in ways that negatively affect your loved ones. Researchers call this the spillover effect. One way to strengthen your boundaries around work is to create a buffer zone between work and home--by exercising, for example.…

Casey’s eTip: Focus on the Crucial 20 Percent

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As Elaine St. James rightly notes in Simplify your Work Life, 80% of your supervisor's satisfaction with your performance depends on 20% of your work activities.  Ask your boss what that 20% is. (If you're self-employed, ask your clients.) One of my clients did just that and now her daily…

Casey’s eTip: Just Do It

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Nike uses this slogan for a reason. Delay breeds delay. Overthinking becomes procrastination. It's time to challenge yourself. Look at that important project you've delayed. What is the very next physical action that will move it forward? Take that action today. As Goethe wrote, "What you can do or think…

Casey’s eTip: Look at Nature and Art Each Day

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A knowledge worker like you needs to take care of your brain. Looking at art can help you think creatively. Viewing nature calms you down.   Shape your work environment to stimulate and relax you. Hang art prints or nature scenes if you can. Look at some Renoir online if you…

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…