Welcome to the Clear
Thoughts™ newsletter from
|Productivity Thoughts - Too Much To Do?
If you are like most people, you have too
much to do, especially those of you currently
operating with reduced staff and feeling the
pressure to accomplish more than ever. To
top it off, this pressure and stress is probably
making you less productive when you really
need to be more productive. Now, more than
ever, it is important to remove the obstacles
that prevent you from focusing on and
completing the important tasks while
dismissing the unimportant.
What are those obstacles? How can you remove
For a simple diagnostic article that can help
you find and conquer your obstacles, read:
Much To Do, So Little Time"
If you would like some help, give us a call at 1-
800-527-0087. It is hardest to see
the routines closest to you.
|Productivity Thoughts - 10 Tips for Smarter Email
Email is just WAY too easy. That "reply-all"
button in particular should require a license to
operate. Here are 10 tips to save all of us
Pass this newsletter around your company and
community and maybe together we can reduce
some of the unnecessary volume that is clogging
inboxes, increasing stress, and destroying
- If you don't know what you are trying to
accomplish, don't try to accomplish it via
- If your email is going to lead to an email,
which is going to lead to another email,
going to lead ... you get the idea, don't
Get on the phone or out of your chair and have a
real conversation. Only use email when you
believe you can accomplish your purpose in one
round trip - one message and one response.
- Keep email short and to the point. What
specifically do you need from the other person?
If detail or background information is
use the first few sentences to clarify the
question, assignment, decision, or other
Don't assume people will read more than the
paragraph unless you give them good reason. If
you bury important information below, it may
see the light of day.
- Distinguish between requests for action and
information (FYI). If you are simply keeping
informed, include an FYI at the top. You might
want to let them know why you think they
interested. Simply put, help people process your
- If you read an email that was just sent and
requires a response, you are usually better off
picking up the phone than replying by email. A
quick phone conversation can often prevent
several email rounds. To make this fast and
easy, always include your phone number after
your name - your signature file can do this for
- Providing options can speed results.
This is particularly true if you are trying
a meeting. "I can meet at these three times. Do
any of these work for you?" This works for other
situations too. "I can send you a draft or we
arrange a time to talk on the phone first or we
can meet. Which makes sense to you?"
- Don't send a vague request to anyone, but
especially not to multiple people. If multiple
people receive a request, it is easy for them to
assume the others will and should act while they
- Don't use email for emotional or sensitive
issues. You will spend more time later trying to
undo the damage done by the misunderstandings.
- If you write an email when you are mad, wait
24 hours before sending it. Presumably by then
you will realize that while writing it helped
out, sending it will help no one out!
- Don't reply-all unless you absolutely
everyone needs to know.
|Parting Thoughts - On Change
"All appears to change when we change."
P.S. Forward this Clear Thoughts™
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too can join our loyal subscribers around the
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© 2010 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.
How We've Helped Others - Would This Help You?
We helped a subsidiary of a large corporation
and a suppllier to Boeing make the transition
a small, ad-hoc R&D shop to a disciplined
organization capable of repeatable processes
able to deliver quality parts on time. Specific
results included quality, cost and productivity
improvements along with their first booked
production order and AS9100 registration.
"On a collaborative project with Boeing
Phantom Works, Ann did a tremendous job in
identifying the cost drivers, producibility
and productivity barriers of a supplier
organization, all of which were impeding the
success of our project. With Ann helping to
the focus and oversight, the supplier was able
meet their commitments for quality, cost, and
Ed Gerding, Chief Engineer C-17 St. Louis,
Could we help you? Give us a call and let's talk
about what you would like to accomplish.