I'm in a new position at work where I'm now managing multiple projects and people, and need to overhaul my system for organizing tasks to avoid drowning. What solutions are there for my situation? [more inside]
We are a team of about 25 spread across two main locations with a single person in a third locale. We also use some outsourced resources now and again. We use a mish mash of tools to do everything from email (some of us use Outlook, others use Gmail with a forward, others use webmail/Zimbra, some use MacMail, etc.) to file sharing, chat and video conferencing. We need to get our act together and select the right tools. Help! [more inside]
In short: I need to track a couple of hundred tasks over 10-15 projects (in any of 7 areas) on the go at any one time. In a month, when I am asked, I currently have only a vague notion which project took up the most time. Currently using Things for Mac and iphone, but am open to moving if it is for a better solution (i integrated time tracking with no loss of functionality). Am ok with paying for it. [more inside]
My daily schedule is wide open, and I'm not getting anything done. How should I schedule my time? [more inside]
How important is context to getting work done? What are effective ways to manipulate context to get more done? [more inside]
My job has a lot of responsibilities and some of them are more interesting and appealing than others. Sometimes I find myself blocked on some of the ones I like less, especially when they have stressful consequences. For example, I often need to write detailed reports for higher-ups (stressful and not enjoyable!), but I'd rather be designing new CSS stylesheets. Sometimes I just stress out about writing for a whole day and don't get anything done. I've thought of doing something more enjoyable and lower priority but I'm worried that when I'm done with that, the high-priority tasks will still be there, and they won't be any easier, appealing, or less stressful. Has anyone had any success breaking up their work like this? Have any strategies for success? How do I know how much time I can afford to spend on the low-priority stuff? How can I avoid just procrastinating on the important stuff while doing the things that make me love my job?
How do you stay motivated in cubicle hell? I go through bouts of being motivated, sometimes for weeks. I am on top of my emails. I am making the phone calls. I am knocking down deliverables. I am having productive team meetings. And then something happens. I can't be bothered. I don't actively manage my inbox. My commitment to following GTD falls apart. I let certain things slip through the cracks. I just don't feel like doing any work. And then two weeks later I get motivated again. This has plagued me forever. Same thing in university. It's like I have ADD but instead of losing focus in the span of seconds, I lose focus in the span of weeks. How can I keep my foot on the gas pedal and feel like I am not a corporate bum half the time. Anyone else like this? Anyone have any tricks for keeping at a steady productive state?
I'm about to buy my first briefcase, and I'm looking for advice. I don't need to carry a laptop, I just want something that will help me juggle a couple books, my planner, loose sheets of paper, a 3-ring binder, a newspaper, and my purse as I go between home, work and work-related appointments. It should be easy to carry, professional looking, good at organizing these things, and maybe it can replace my purse during the work day. What are the best features of awesome briefcases? What should I be wary of?