A PM’s Guide to Managing Your Team’s Project Roles with I Done This

Over half of all managers in the US are concerned about their team’s time management skills, according to an Institute for Corporate Productivity study.

As your employees’ heads are tucked behind computer screens and they’re clacking away on the keyboard, it seems near impossible to know how they’re spending their time. Are they in a private Slack channel chatting away about the new hire, or are they working? Should the project you assigned Linda take as long as it has? And if you don’t know what your local employees are up to, you can forget about getting insight into your remote employees time management habits.

In the internet-driven workplace, transparency feels like a pipe-dream. Not only do you have no way of telling whether your employees are slacking off, but you can’t even tell if hard-working employees are being tripped up by obstacles outside their control. The natural response to this issue is to micromanage and hover over their shoulder, but you want to empower your employees in their project team roles, not control them.

project team roles

I Done This gives your whole team transparency without any of the negative side-effects. Here’s how.

Continue Reading

How to Use an Amazon Echo for Your Startup Office

This week’s post is a guest article by Vinay Patankar, CEO and co-founder of Process Street.

If you’re running a startup, you can use every little bit of help you can get.

But to justify an administrative assistant or office manager, you’ll probably need to have raised a big seed round of over $1 million or have bootstrapped your company past 10 employees. Otherwise, that extra help getting stuff done is just a luxury you can’t quite afford yet.

Enter Alexa via the Amazon Echo. In the same way Alexa can help you and your family out around the home, it can also make your office and your startup just that little bit easier to manage, so that you can keep your sanity and focus on what’s important.


To get the most out of Alexa, you’ll need to set her up specifically for the office. Here’s how.

Continue Reading

To Be More Productive, Work Less

Guest Post by Daniel Tay, Piktochart

Daniel is a Content Strategist at Piktochart, where he writes regularly about creativity, design, and storytelling. His motto in life: Always be improving, always be loving. Check out his latest articles over at the Piktochart blog.

Back in the 1800s, American author Herman Melville was facing a problem while writing his to-be masterpiece, Moby Dick. Like many famous creative people who would come after him, he struggled against mankind’s greatest nemesis – procrastination – and even had to resort to chaining himself to his desk to be productive.

That particular story turned out pretty well. Moby Dick went on to become one of the greatest literary works of all time. Sitting at our desks mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, though, it’s hard to imagine that we could ever overcome the Instant Gratification Monkey, and get to work on the ever-increasing mounds of assignments and projects ahead of us.

Even if we did chain ourselves to our desks and get started, distractions continually attempt to pry and lure us away. And unlike Melville, we live in an age of perpetual distractions which are easily accessible at the swipe of a finger. Stanford sociologist Clifford Nass says that we are “suckers for irrelevancy.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 3.33.08 PM
Each time we get distracted, we mess up our flow – defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Not being in the flow is naturally very, very bad for doing actual productive work.

Continue Reading

The Secret to Finding the Elusive Balance Between Busy and Happy

collage of balance

Let’s face it. We have a love-hate relationship with being busy. We want more free time but are quick to jam-pack our calendars and flaunt the bling of our busy status.

While busyness has become a badge of honor to be admired and applauded, at the heart of it, busyness seems a human way to assert that you exist, to prove you matter. I do, therefore I am — which can quickly morph into, I do more, therefore I am better.

University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson studies how people use their time for a living. He’s even called “Father Time” by his colleagues, and he discovered that the happiest people actually balance busy schedules by not feeling rushed. Only about a tenth of Americans attain this elusive balance, and that might be because we’re inclined to trick ourselves into enjoying busyness for more than it’s worth.

Continue Reading

Stop Spreading Busyness Like the Flu

busyness at train station

Busyness has become such a sign of our times that there’s a trend in architecture of drawing blurry people on the move for office project designs. Apparently it’s a visual that clients can identify with “on an emotional level.”

While you might recognize yourself in that blurry state of being, consider how limiting busyness can be as a state of mind. Since you start coming across as irritable, impatient, and anxious, you start to close yourself off from others. It’s hard to connect with someone who’s a physical or mental blur that can’t sit still for a minute and feels like there’s no time.

One of the toughest part of falling into the busy trap is that you become preoccupied with your own busyness, and you might not realize that you’re spreading your busyness affliction to everyone around you.

Continue Reading

The Science Behind Why You Procrastinate In The Afternoon (and How To Stop)

4 ways to beat the afternoon slump

It’s 3 p.m. and you find yourself struggling to focus on work. You can’t seem to stop checking Facebook. Instead of being productive, you welcome distractions like text messages and co-workers coming by to chat.

Welcome to the afternoon slump: that time in your workday when your brain refuses to cooperate with you and you can’t stop procrastinating.

Continue Reading

Rethinking Productivity as Choreography


Despite the profusion — or distraction — of helpful productivity advice, sometimes I feel like I’m trying to squeeze my working style into systems that just won’t fit. That’s why I appreciate ways of thinking about productivity that encourage you to align how you work with your natural inclinations and work rhythms.

When you’re stressing about how you’re not getting enough done, it’s easy to stop listening to yourself and to ignore those rhythms. Psychiatrist Dr. T. Byram Karasu points out the cost of such heedlessness:

Like all of nature, human beings are biologically programmed. Our psyche’s interference with the physical rhythms and cycles is detrimental to our bodies, only to be negatively resonated, in return. This vicious circle is a distinctly human phenomenon. No other living creature steps out of pace with nature and survives. Chronobiology (the biology of time) asserts that our bodies have an internal rhythm or music, which we not only can but should tune in to.

Being productive isn’t about a continuous, speedy march from waking to sleeping, though it can certainly feel that way. What if instead, the ideal was not just about crushing your to-do lists but attunement, aiming not for time and task management but for tempo management?

Can you choreograph your day and set your movements to your internal rhythm and music?

Continue Reading

The 3-Part Recipe to Stop Working Around the Clock and Beat the Rat Race


Humans are not machines.

This is stating the obvious, but the obvious hasn’t seemed to sink in. We organize our work days as if we were machines, never turning off even when we get home.

These work habits are erroneous, unhelpful, and unhealthy.

When the Huffington Post polled 1,000 people on their work habits and routines, the results show just how far we’ve tilted the scales to a machine-like existence:

  • 60% take 20 minutes or less for lunch.
  • 25% never leave their desk.
  • 66% fail to take their allotted vacation
  • 25% leave at least a week’s worth of vacation unused each year

And to top it all off, 33 percent spend less than half an hour a day completely disconnected from email.

This isn’t a sustainable work style.

Continue Reading

Want to Be More Productive? Design a Better Work Break

What do you do when you take a break during your workday?

When I ask people this question, most of them tell me they get on their smartphones or visit various websites:  news publications, Facebook, Instagram, and other online sources of information and entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with doing that — sometimes looking at pictures of cute baby animals is exactly what you need to get through the afternoon.


But have you ever thought “I’ll just check Facebook for a couple of minutes” and then look up shocked to realize a half hour has gone by? Or notice after catching up with news or social media that you’re returning to work feeling more tired or unfocused than you did before your work break?

Bringing awareness to how you’re spending your time and matching your activities with how you want to feel will lead to better quality work breaks that provide the energy, focus, and creativity you need for your day.

Continue Reading

More Energy at Work! The Best of the Internet

Before your relaxing weekend, check out some of the best of what we shared on the interwebs this week:

One snippety tool that companies like Foursquare, Buzzfeed, and Shopify use

How crafting media empire Annie’s uses iDoneThis

De-stress in 15 minutes

How to REST YO’ SELF for more energy at work.

imageDundee’s Tips of the Week:  Did you miss our exclusive content in the iDoneThis weekly newsletter? Sign up here!