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productivity

How Two Minutes Can Ruin Your Day

Knock, knock.

Your employee peeks their head in innocently. “Do you have two minutes?”

OK. It’s just two minutes, you think. “Sure! How can I help you?”

Tell me the truth: How many of you fall for this on a daily basis?

Though the person didn’t intend it to be, this is a trap—and we all know it. Because a second is never a just second. A minute is never just a minute. Even if it were, all those seconds and minutes add up to much more than you might think, in both time and mental headspace.

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We’re here for you.

In these unprecedented times, you, like business owners around the world, are probably uncertain about what steps you should be taking to minimize the effect of the coronavirus crisis on your business, and how to best support your employees and customers during this challenging time.

We want you to know that you’re not alone, and we’re here to support you in any way we can.

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Is Asking for Help a Strength or a Weakness?

By the time he came to me to ask for advice, the only thing left to do was stop the bleeding and get out.

He sat across from me in my office, tears welling up in his eyes. He had invested $400,000 into his new venture, and it wasn’t working. The most painful part of the story? If he had sought advice from someone sooner, he may have been able to turn the situation around, or at least cut his losses.

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The Meeting that Should Have Been an Email

When you hear the word meeting, what’s your gut reaction?

The other day, I was listening to a podcast about productivity where the guest was bemoaning the amount of time that we waste on meetings. Curious if this feeling was the norm, I decided to turn to my LinkedIn community and ask: “When you hear the word ‘meeting,’ what is the first time that comes to mind?”

Well, over 8,000 views and 75 comments later, I got my answer.

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The Food Truck Challenge

Recently, I took the Ptex Team on a surprise outing just a few doors down from our office. We came to a large, empty hall with chairs arranged in a circle. As the team filed in, no one knew what was going on, why they were there, or what we’d be doing.

Then, our moderator explained that we would spend the afternoon competing in “The Food Truck Challenge.” We divided into four teams and each team was tasked to create their own food truck according to their assigned cuisine (Mediterranean, Asian, South American, and desserts), complete with branding and marketing, three dishes plated for 20 people, and of course, the truck itself. Everyone had a blast!

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You 2.0: Your Update Is Now Available

You turn on your phone, and a familiar message flashes across the screen. It’s a request to update to the new and improved version of some app or software. You ignore it.

The next day, the same message comes up during an important meeting. And once again, you hit “not now.”

Then, a few days later, it happens again. Annoyed, you ignore the message, telling yourself that you’ll deal with it later.

A couple of weeks later, you find out that some of your friends and colleagues have certain helpful features on their phones that you don’t have, making you feel outdated. The only difference? They took action—they clicked “update.”

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Don’t Make Things Harder than They Need to Be

I was once discussing with two business partners how to upgrade their company’s technology. When I suggested we first examine their current order processing system, one partner launched excitedly into a detailed explanation of how it all works: Orders are taken by phone, then someone handwrites an order form, then it goes to billing, and so on and so forth. He explained the ins and outs of their complicated system for tracking orders, packing and shipping items at their warehouse. Read more

The Year Isn’t Over Yet. Make it Count.

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

You planned a Monday meeting, but the time arrives and you’re busy or tired, and you decide to reschedule for Tuesday. On Tuesday, something important comes up, so you reschedule for the next day. Before you know it, Friday rolls around and you still have not had that meeting, so you postpone it until the following Monday.

The cycle continues, until you actively decide that enough is enough, and you’re going to make that meeting a priority.

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