Tagged With efficiency

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With a few clicks of your keyboard, you can find hundreds of opinions hashing out the best ways to live and be and do. Travel, spend money, invest, be productive, structure your day, listen to music, brine a turkey — there’s a right and a wrong way for everything, and god forbid you use the wrong credit card or incorrectly word an email given the breadth of resources at your disposal.

With so much information out there on how to optimise, well, everything, there’s just no excuse to do something in a way an expert deems substandard. What if you take a route not recommended by Google Maps and end up at your destination four minutes later than you would have if you followed the AI’s instructions? Quelle horreur.

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The most fleeting joy in this world is that of sending off an important email, as it's inevitably replaced by the anxiety of waiting for a reply. If you want to get a quick reply to your email, send it in the morning.

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Getting kids out the door in the morning can go one of two ways: They wake up early and then dawdle, forcing a last-minute scramble, or they wake up late, forcing a last-minute scramble. I know very few people who get to school or day care on time and with serenity - maybe those folks who have a late start time and a short commute? But after a particularly spectacular late-fest in our household last week (late waking, breakfast eaten one crumb at a time, generic dawdling, forgotten backpacks), I decided to look around for some time-saving tips. Here are seven.

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If you're buried under unanswered email, and find yourself constantly starting your replies with "Sorry for the delay," do what BuzzFeed reporter and creative miscreant Katie Notopoulos did: Answer your emails right away, with just a couple of words. She calls it "emailing like a CEO", the same phrase used in a 2001 New York Times piece about how high-tier executives tend to send terse, misspelled emails.

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AKA, make everyone else in your building hate you. While we wouldn't advise doing it too often, there are ways to get express service in some lifts and speed up your journey (at the detriment of other potential passengers). These techniques won't work in every lift but hey, they're worth a try, right?

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Consensus is a great way of dealing with indecision. Not sure what the best course of action is? The most efficient method to go about something? Just ask someone for advice. Or you could ask a lot of people. Not that we all have time to track down others in similar professions and quiz them on their habits and processes. That's why it's extremely helpful when a person like designer Yevgeny Yermakov goes to the trouble of compiling tips from over 40 designers, with more on the way.

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Most software development problems can be solved in more than one way, but that doesn't mean that every possible solution is equally efficient. Watch out for 'hamsterware' solutions: quick fixes that seem to solve an immediate dilemma but actually require an inordinate amount of effort in the long run.

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I recently received an email making a simple request. However, the email was three pages long. The whole message could have been three lines, but instead the author decided to write a short novella. Needless to say, I didn't read the whole thing. Nor did I respond. Are your emails going unread because they are too long?

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The art of sitting or standing up straight might seem like something out of a 1950s etiquette class, but it actually plays an important role in staying energised and efficient throughout your day at the office. Here's why.

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One of the side effects of having so much stuff to help us get work done is dealing with the clutter it creates in our workspace. But just like you can defragment a hard drive—organize the bits and bytes so that related ones are closest to one another for faster access—you can also defrag your office to make it more efficient. Put your stuff out of the way but within reach, and make it easy to find and put back with a few workspace organisation techniques. Photo by lenski.

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Free web app Keybr.com is a simple touch type practice tool that shows you how fast and error-free your typing is through an escalating series of exercises. Like a web-based version of previously mentioned Windows-only tools TypeFaster and RapidTyping, Keybr.com could help you make the switch to a Dvorak layout, or learn to switch from a U.S. to UK, Spanish, German, or Russian keyboard (or vice-versa). Keybr.com is free to use and doesn't require a sign-up.
Keybr.com