To Get More Done, You Need to Do Less

You try to do it all. Often, that leads to many things started and nothing done. Or you don’t get to your most important work, because you are busy doing everything else. If you want to get more done, you need to do less in your day. Trying to Do It All Doesn’t Work You can’t […]

…read more

Translation Series: “The Non-Negotiables of Leadership”

By Voices Team

To reach a global audience of project professionals, Voices on Project Management presents a blog post every month translated into Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
This month’s post by Dave Wakeman, PMP, discusses three leadership skills that project practitioners should uphold, no matter how difficult a project.
Read it in your language of preference and share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Las Habilidades Imprescindibles del Liderazgo
Princípios Não Negociáveis da Liderança

…read more

Managing Time: Who’s Responsible for Your Work-Life Balance

A very expensive New York hotel is now offering a new service – a work-down call. When you check in, you can arrange for the front desk to phone you at a certain hour to remind you to power down all your electronic devices. Isn’t this like having your mother tell you it’s time to get ready for bed?

Some companies are even instituting bans on replying to emails after hours. And Volkswagen in Germany shuts off emails sent to employees’ Blackberries half an hour after shifts end.

Many employees sing the work-life balance song. But do they need to have their activities controlled by others so they can have it? May be they just need skills to manage their lives and time better.

Workshops on Managing Your Time

Time Management : Make it a Habit
This workshop analyses the participants three-day time log. The Wiley Time Mastery Profile

Article on Managing Your Time

Time Management — Getting Back Control of Your Life


The Key to Productive Meetings: The Cardinals Know It

The cardinals in Rome have much to talk about as they participate in closed-door, pre-conclave meetings. In fact, some of them have so much to discuss that they have had to set up a 5-minute time limit. When the green light flashes, the speaker must halt.

It’s the best way to run a productive meeting. Time allowances for speakers prevent one person from monopolizing a meeting and encourages the speaker to organize his or her thoughts in a logical manner.

Why don’t more meeting chairs do this? Oftentimes, it’s because they don’t feel comfortable dictating to their members – some of whom may be higher ranking than themselves. But in the long term, the chair looks more capable, meetings finish on time, and more work gets done.

How do you set up the time limits? In the agenda. A good agenda doesn’t just list the topic for discussion. This would make the agenda just the chair’s grocery list. Effective agendas include the name of the person who will lead the discussion and the purpose for the discussion – update, decision required, or action needed. It also assigns a time limit for each topic. Obviously, if the topic becomes heated or more time is needed, the chair can make some adjustments during the meeting.

When in a meeting, do what the Romans do.

By Jane Watson

Time Management — Getting Back Control of Your Life

Time management is essential.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night wondering how you are going to fit the 10 hours of job duties into the 8 hours for which you are being compensated?  And then knowing that you will get still more work as the day progresses. The 10 hours will become 12 hours, and you will not get home until well past 8 p.m.?

This describes the life of a time-challenged individual. Busy, running here and there, eating over the sink, off to appointments and always arriving late, not reading books to the end, and falling into bed exhausted. These are common complaints of people whose schedules are out of control. People who lack time management skills.

Read more

Proposal Writing: Essential Skill for All Organizations

In the spring of 2010, Immigration Canada put out a call for proposals to agencies across Canada that provide immigration services. It received over 600 applications.

These proposals were particularly important this year as the amount of money to be distributed across the country was considerably less.  In other words, the pie was a lot smaller.  All submissions were rated based on criteria such as relevance to need, value for money, cost effectiveness, organization governance, and the agency’s track record in reporting and financial accountability.

Read more

10 Ways to Implement a Successful Companywide Business Writing Training Program

Many companies over the past few years have introduced business writing training programs to improve the quality of the letters, reports and emails of their staff. Some programs have been enormously successful; others have fizzled.

The reason: employees will change only if senior management is thoroughly sold on the need for change and announces that all employees are expected to co-operate. One of the most successful business writing training programs I was involved with had the president’s full backing; he demonstrated this by announcing that writing ability was to be considered in every job appraisal. And he wanted his employees to equally proficient in emails and report writing.

Read more

12 Ways to Increase the Readability of Your Business Documents

The first step in creating a reader-friendly document is not writing style as many people would expect. It is the layout of the page or screen. If a document appears difficult to read because of the font, print density and lack of organization, you will immediately reduce its readability.

Based on research, reading tests and discussions within my writing workshops, here are some techniques I recommend to improve the readability of documents.

  1. Use a serif font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, for body text. It helps readers’ eyes move faster thus improving readability. Most newspapers are written with a serif font. (Serif fonts have curls at the end of letters.)
    If the document is a report or manual, change the headings and subheadings to a sans serif (without curls) font, such as Arial, Opus, or Verdana. You want to slow the reader down at these places. Never use more than two different fonts in a document.
  2. If the document is to be read mainly from a computer screen (an email or web document), use a sans serif font such as Arial. This is because it’s easier on the eyes. With screen documents, readers are reading light — not print. Read more

5 Ways to Become a Better Manager

Recent studies show employee engagement is down, and that many employees are looking for new opportunities — or they intend to — as soon as the economy picks up steam. A number of studies have also revealed what these employees are looking for, and what can motivate them to stick around – good management. This means a manager who understands personal motivations and who is looking out for their employees’ best interests and development.

Work now to improve your relationships with your employees and to provide tailored learning, training and development opportunities for them. This can help stem future job losses – as well as build a more productive and motivated team today. The best way to strengthen workplace relationships is to study your employees’ behaviour profile. If you understand the strengths of a person, you will understand what motivates them.

Read more