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Productivity

multitask

The Myth of Multitasking & Why You Need to Stop

Trevor 7 comments

Recent neuroscience research tells us that the brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously. The reality of the matter is that we switch tasks quickly. When you read and listen to music or when you text while sitting in a meeting, you’re not really doing 2 simultaneous tasks. There’s a stop and start process that goes on in the brain. This stop and start actually eats up time, is less efficient, has a higher propensity for mistakes and it can be overall exhausting.

 

Still think you are a great Multitasker? Do the following test:

Part A. Instructions: 

1. Draw two horizontal lines on a piece of paper. Now, have someone time you as you carry out the two tasks:

2. On the first line write:

– I am a great multitasker

3. On the second line, write out the numbers 1-20 sequentially:

– 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

 

How much time did it take you? It usually takes about 20 seconds.

 

Now let’s start multitasking.

Part B. Instructions: 

1. Draw two horizontal lines. Have someone time again.

2. Write the first letter on the first line, then write the first number on the second line.

3. Write the second letter on the first line, then write the second number on the second line. For example:

– I am…

– 1 2 3…

4. Continue in this fashion until you’ve completed both the sentence and the number sequence.

multitask-2

How long did it take you? More than likely the time has doubled from the first round. You might have also noticed that you made some mistakes, and probably got frustrated in the process since you had to “rethink” what the next letter would be, and then the next number.

 

What you just did is known as switch-tasking on something very simple, but this is exactly what happens when one tries to do several tasks at one. Keep tabs on yourself to avoid switchtasking, and focus your brain on one task at a time. If you have several tasks at hand, try the Pomodoro Technique, a time management practice.

 

Sources: Psychology Today 

graphic designer head

How to Talk to a Graphic Designer?

Trevor 2 comments

It’s all about communicating effectively. Avoid poor outcomes that arise from poor communication skills. Save time & unnecessary headaches.

When talking about designs, it is particularly hard due to the creative process involved. So to prevent misunderstanding, conflicts and overall frustration realize that as the client, you are just as responsible as the designer for the final product, so stick to useful feedback.

Early and Often Feedback

Nothing is more frustrating for designers (and most people) than asking for a completely different concept when the project is nearing its end. Make sure you make all your corrections frequently and as early as possible, enabling the designer to go back to the drawing table with a clear direction. Also make sure you go over all the corrections in order to eliminate implicit approvals. Although possibly tedious at first, in the end, it will save time.

Avoid Vagueness

Don’t say you don’t like something and leave it at that. Either explain why you don’t like it, or make a suggestion on how you think it would be better. “It looks a little off…” means absolutely nothing because the criticism isn’t clear, and neither is the direction.

Improvements vs. Mistakes

Although designers are expected to have thick skin to withstand criticism, using tact to communicate is still more efficient than being harsh. Instead of saying “This font is ugly”, try “I would like to use a different font here”. A good relationship will always elicit a better result.

Let the Designer be the Designer

It’s only natural to have suggestions; however, there is also a possibility that the designer has already considered it. Ask your designer the reasoning behind their choices and it will allow you to see what your designer is thinking, as well as the limitations of your project. Next time you receive a proposal that is not aligned with your original vision, don’t discard it immediately, take the time to evaluate the designed fully before making corrections.

 

Sources: Entrepreneur.com 

gmail logo

3 Gmail Tools That Will Boost Your Productivity for Free

Trevor 5 comments

Canned Responses 

Do you get similar emails that require similar answers quite frequently? Well, instead of typing the reply emails over and over again, Gmail offers a Lab feature that will allow you to save ‘pre-written responses’ to make your life easier.

How to turn on Canned Responses

– In your gmail, go to the settings page by selecting the gear on the top right corner

– Go to the ‘Labs’ Tab

– Search for Canned Responses

– Enable the Lab feature and Save your Changes.

Canned-Responses

To create a Canned Response

This feature will save your email as is; so, it would be best to start with a new email. Simply write your ‘pre-written reply’ and select the drop down arrow in the bottom-right corner of your compose window.

From there, select ‘canned responses’ followed by ‘new canned response’. Create a name for the type of response you’ve just created, and that’s it! This will be the last time you’ll have to write the same email over and over again.

Canned-Responses2

To use canned responses

I labeled my canned response as ‘Feedback’. When I receive an email that warrants it, I’d go to the drop down arrow in the bottom right corner and select the appropriate canned response.

Canned-Responses3

Boomerang

Stop sending emails past midnight. This Gmail add-on can schedule your emails to be sent at a later time.

The coolest thing though, is the ‘Boomerang’ feature. Don’t want to deal with a certain email at the moment but don’t want to forget about it completely? Enable the boomerang feature, and have the email return to your  inbox in your stipulated time frame. But that’s not all, you can turn on the boomerang for emails that have not received any reply in, say, 2 days; basically, any unanswered email will return to the top of your inbox if no one replies to it.

boomerang

 

Rapportive

Are you in HR? Rapportive will show you the sender’s linkedin profile within your Gmail. Instead of seeing gmail ads, you will get the linkedin profile from the sender. Quick, easy references that will make your life so much easier.

rapportive

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