On productivity

Is the pandemic proving we can speed up by slowing down? It feels to me as though this period is full of paradoxes, and this is one of the more intersting ones – especially given my research in this area.  We are always being implored to do more, faster, with less.  What does this productivity […]

On being a public entrepreneur

The disruptive innovation spilling out of Silicon Valley and other hotbeds of tech start-ups can captivate our imagination. For those trying to make change happen in their own communities and organisations, for those seeking to stimulate economic growth in new and emerging fields, and for those trying to use tech to change the way things […]

On shadow work and bandwidth

The promise of going paperless is one I’ve been chasing one the last three years, digitising much of my world and opting out of being sent bills and correspondence in hard copy for environmental reasons as well as an attempt to simplify my life. I’ve scanned, recycled. Yet paperless is not synonymous with simple, uncluttered […]

On organisational immunity to change

“For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.” Albert Einstein Making things happen in our communities and workplaces is difficult for a number of reasons. Behavioural economics teaches us that we are averse to loss, whether financial, status, or simply in terms of what is normal in our lives. We […]

On meetings

Different people use meetings in different ways, and dysfunctional meetings are as often a product of clashes of intention as they are clashes of purpose or personality. Let’s ignore, for now, those one-on-one meetings, staff check-ins or networking calls and rapid-fire stand-ups when, of course, some preparation is needed. I’m focusing instead on those meetings […]

On knowing if a thing is a thing

When conditions are stable it is easier to spot an irregularity. A regular heartbeat suddenly shows an arrhythmia, a heathy person develops the ‘flu, freely flowing traffic backs up into a jam, someone’s hitherto stable behaviour starts to show peaks of seemingly irrational action.  Is it easy to spot these when you don’t have a […]

On paying attention

Multitasking is a myth – handling interruptions at work actually requires rapid task-switching, which can bear a cost to our health. “Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for […]

On email, but not as we knew it

How many people have received an email from someone asking if you’ve seen their email? Is there anything crazier? That’s just people making work about the work. Time to back up a it before getting back to email… Office software has traditionally adhered to what I like to refer to as ‘faster horses syndrome’. This […]

On ditching Outlook and those inbuilt apps

I think it’s important to have a separate calendar and email programme if you are to be focused and productive and reduce stress. And you shouldn’t automatically use the apps that come bundled with your device / tablet / computer as default. Here’s why. Separate apps mean you can work on your schedule and keep […]

On getting content into Evernote

There are numerous ways of getting information into Evernote; the following are listed in order of frequency with which I think I use them: Google chrome browser plug-in clips web content in various formats – screen grab, full page, simplified article (great for reading) and saves pdfs directly to Evernote. Open a pdf in your […]