Archive for September, 2015

Templates And Hints For The Perfect Email For Almost Every Situation – Week 1

Have you ever received an amazing email, one that you’d like to print out and pin to your wall, one that made you grin from ear to ear or slow-clap in appreciation and awe?

Now imagine that every email you send is as great as these occasional all-stars you receive. Starting this week, we’re gonna share some of the best email templates we’ve seen, so you’ll have the perfect email for (almost) every situation!

This week we show you how an email template can save you time:

 

Here is an email that team members can send their team leaders at the beginning of every week:

Subject: My plan for the week

Jane,

After reviewing my activities here is my plan for the week in order of priority. Let me know if you think I should re-prioritize:

Planned Major Activities for the week

1) Complete project charter for X Project

2) Finish the financial analysis report that was started last week

3) Kick off Project X – requires planning and prep documentation creation. Scheduled for Thursday.

Open items that I will look into, but won’t get finished this week

1) Coordinate activities for year-end financial close

2) Research Y product for our shared service team

Let me know if you have any comments. Thank you!

— Robbie

The clear intention here is to set the expectation for the week ahead and allow team leaders to get a clear understanding of what has be worked on/what’s going on that week.

Then, on Friday, team members send a second email, summarizing what they completed during the week and noting any open items that need further attention or follow-up from colleagues. The idea here is simple: Set expectations early on in the week and follow through at the end of the week.

This provides clear boundaries on their time and conveys the message that they are responsible and organized, and—if everything goes according to plan—it might even get everyone out of the office on Friday having worked zero overtime.

 

We’ve got even more awesome emails planned for next week, so stay tuned! We got this from fastcompany.com. You can visit them for more articles like this (and even some that aren’t like this), exploring topics even beyond email.

Warren Buffett’s 5-Step Process for Prioritizing True Success (and Why Most People Never Do It)

Warren Buffet, one of the World’s most famous business personalities, uses a two-list system to prioritize his work and ensure he achieves his goals. Here’s how he does it:

 

Warren Buffett might best be known for his financial advice (which is usually very simple), but we might also learn a few things from him about productivity and achieving our goals. Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend relates a story about Buffett in which he gave a friend advice on how to figure out and achieve goals:

Make a list of the top 25 things you want to do in the next few years or even your lifetime, and then pick the five most important.

The other 20 things? Forget about them, for now:

Once the Top 5 planning session was over, Warren then asked “but what about these other 20 things on your list that you didn’t circle? Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list’. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

 

To know about how to achieve “true success” through prioritizing, read the full article here: liveyourlegend.net

An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day And Finding Focus

There will never be enough time in a day to do everything you need to do. In that light, this week we discuss an 18-minute plan for managing your day and finding focus:

 

We need ritual to manage our days, “clear enough to keep us focused on our priorities. Efficient enough not to get in the way.” [Peter] Bregman argues that ritual should take 18 minutes a day: Your Morning Minutes, Refocus, and Your Evening Minutes.

Step 1 (5 Minutes) : Your Morning Minutes

Before you turn on your computer, sit down with your to-do list and “decide what will make this day highly successful.” “Make sure,” he writes, “that anything that’s been on your list for three days gets a slot somewhere in your calendar or move it off the list.”

Step 2 (1 Minute Every Hour): Refocus

Set your watch, phone, or computer to ring every hour and start the work that’s listed on your calendar. When you hear the beep, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively. Then look at your calendar and deliberately recommit to how you are going to use the next hour.

Step 3 (5 Minutes): Your Evening Minutes

“At the end of your day,” Bregman writes, “shut off your computer and review how the day went.”

 

For more on Peter Bregman’s ritual for productivity and other productivity hacks, see farnamstreetblog.com

11 Tricks Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, And Other Famous Execs Use To Run Meetings

There are many ways to run a meeting. Some are disastrous, while others are the gateways to an effective meeting. Here are some of the ways that a few of the most famous executives use to run their meetings:

 

Americans sit through some 11 million meetings every day — with the unproductive ones costing companies $37 billion a year. So we decided to look at how some of the most effective executives in history — from GM czar Alfred Sloan to Apple prince Steve Jobs to Facebook queen Sheryl Sandberg — run the meetings that invariably fill their calendars.

Legendary GM CEO Alfred Sloan said little — then made follow-ups.

After any formal meeting — in which he simply announced the purpose, listened to what people had to say, and then left — Sloan would send a follow-up memo with a plan of action.

Google CEO Larry Page says no one should wait for a meeting to make a decision.

Page took over as CEO of Google in 2011. He immediately sent out a company-wide email. The subject: how to run meetings effectively. One of his tips is to designate a decision-maker for every meeting. But even more importantly, Page made the point that you might not need a meeting at all.

Evernote CEO Phil Libin always brings a high-potential employee to participate.

At any given meeting at Evernote, there will be someone there who doesn’t belong.

This is by design. The cloud note-taking startup has an internal program called “officer training,” in which employees get assigned to meetings that aren’t in their specialty area to explore other parts of the company.

 

To know more ways that other CEO’s and executives use to have an effective meeting, read the full article here: businessinsider.com