How MindMate Stays Mindful of Remote Team Success

It takes a truly noble cause to inspire three graduate students to put dissertations on hold so they can start a company. For the founders of MindMate, that cause was helping people who suffer from dementia.

The University of Glasgow’s Patrick Renner, Rogelio Arellano, and Susanne Mitschke created an app that empowers those with dementia to live as independently as possible. MindMate comes with cognitive stimulation games, reminder tools, and a “Getting to know me” section where people can save personal information.

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The 16 Best Productivity Software of 2016

With apps popping up left, right and center, it often feels like you waste more time looking for the perfect productivity software than actually working efficiently. At I Done This, we’ve worked to improve our done lists and integrations to eliminate the need for meetings—but we realize that there are dozens more ways you can get more done in less time.

To spare you hours of internet sifting, here’s a collection of the best productivity software tools of 2016 to double output with minimal effort.

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3 Hidden Productivity Killers You Can Beat With I Done This 2.0

Your startup is on the rise. You’ve added four great developers, six customers have signed on, and you’ve reached a revenue milestone of $2.4 million ARR. But just as things are getting peachy, you notice the company isn’t shipping as much code as before.

What makes productivity problems so hard to deal with is that they’re hard to detect. They’re often so entrenched in culture and old systems that they seem invisible. At $2.4 million ARR, you are now far removed from the day-to-day routine of team members, making it difficult to spot inefficiencies on the ground.

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We built I Done This 2.0 to help teams bring lurking productivity killers to light. We want to help our customers spot the most common production killers out there. I Done This empowers you to find out what’s going wrong with productivity and address the problem at its source. Here’s how your startup can track down invisible productivity killers and solve them with I Done This 2.0.

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An App Addict’s Guide to Beating the Task Management Blues

This week’s post is a guest article by Ben Brandall, a writer for Process Street.

Last weekend I found myself in a cafe, alone and without a laptop for around 2 hours. With just my phone, I wanted to do something worthwhile so I decided to organize my tasks properly — something I hadn’t done in a while.

I realized pretty quickly that my task management system made no sense at all.

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How to Handle 3 Types of Workplace Conflict

Hollywood would have you believe that workplace conflict is awesome. Movies depict the best offices as filled with macho dudes in suits screaming at each other, throwing around insults, and somehow also getting fantastic results.

That’s entertaining, but let’s look at the facts: a 2010 study revealed that the average U.S. employee spends 2.8 hours a week dealing with disputes at work, resulting in losses of $359 Billion across the American economy. In reality, conflict pulls people away from their jobs and kills productivity.

With that in mind, your instinct might be to ruthlessly stamp it out wherever you see it. But that’s not always the best course of action. You need to recognize that not every workplace conflict is the same. It’s like criminal justice—a first degree crime is sentenced differently than a second degree crime. The context, causes, and intentions should influence how you deal with conflict in the workplace.

Here’s a rundown of three of the most common types of office workplace conflict, what they mean for your company, and how to solve them.

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How To Work With A Motormouth

You walk into your office on a Monday morning and are instantly overwhelmed with the amount of work you have that week.

Just as you’ve figured out how to cram all your meetings and projects into your schedule, you look up from your desk and are instantly full of dread. Your chatty coworker is headed right toward you and has chosen you as his next victim. Well, there goes the better part of the morning.

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Of course, having a great social relationship can boost company culture. Once in a while, some water cooler talk can be a nice break from your hard work, but some people take this way too far. Some will come by your desk every few hours, and even remote workers might incessantly ping you on Slack. According to a survey conducted by talent mobility company Lee Hecht Harrison, talkative coworkers are the #1 disruption at work.

Here are the different kinds of chatty coworkers, and how to keep them from disrupting your day.

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Why Your Goals Aren’t Making You More Productive

Google didn’t become one of the most valuable brands in the world by accident. It’s been rated the #1 place to work by Fortune for seven of the last 10 years, and called “employee heaven” by leadership advocate Will Marré.

The secret to their employee engagement is a little trick they picked up from Intel: the OKR system. OKR stands for objective and key results. The premise of OKR goals is that every employee, from entry-level to CEO, is working towards a single objective that aligns with the general mission of the company. Each objective has key results which serve as measuring sticks for the success of that objective.

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Now used by tons of tech companies, the OKR system has become hugely popular in the tech community. But misuse of OKR goals can not only prove ineffective—it can prove fatal to your organization. Here are four disastrous goal-setting mistakes that startups make.

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The Father of Personal Productivity Joins the I Done This Team

I Done This is pleased to announce our newest addition to the team: Ben Franklin, or, as we call him, Benji. He will be assuming the role of in-house personal productivity expert and is super excited to be sharing his insights.

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I have been invited to join I Done This as the in-house personal productivity expert for a pretty obvious reason: I’m really great at getting things done.

My main accomplishments have been in the fields of technology and innovation, although when I dabbled in politics I did help draft the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, earning me that “founding father” title. I also have 9 honorary degrees and have held 16 public offices. In case you’ve never seen one, my face has also been put on the hundred dollar bill.

What can I say— personal productivity just comes easy to me. But it wasn’t always that way. I’ve spent years developing the best method for personal productivity. And I’m about to let you in on my secret.

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How To Dress When You Work From Home

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Work remote, and this conversation comes up all the time.

“You don’t even wear pants to work! Lucky!”

Some version of that.

Workers without an office are the pantsless winners in the occupational lottery, sleeping until 10 before enjoying a few hours of gleeful twirling in an office chair while wearing boxer shorts. At least that’s what the rest of the world seems to think.

In reality, remote work is a lot harder than that. In many ways it’s harder than working in the traditional office setting. It takes discipline, practice and the right kind of person to pull it off.

But unfortunately, many of us have succumbed to the stereotype. OK, maybe we’re wearing pants. But probably not the kind of pants you’d prefer to be seen in outside the house.

When you work in an office, you’re concerned about being presentable for the people around you. Even if the dress code is silicon valley casual, it’s nice if your t-shirt and hoodie aren’t stained. Or worse, smelly. It’s being polite to the people around you. Or as iconic designer Tom Ford put it: “Dressing well is a form of good manners.”

Working remote makes it easy to ignore this.

Dressing well isn’t just for other people. It makes you feel better. It helps your self esteem. It gives you confidence. It helps you feel — and thus, act — like the best version of yourself. Even if you work from home, the best version of yourself isn’t wearing dirty gym shorts and a smelly oversized sweatshirt.

The legendary writer Gay Talese works each day from a home office underneath his New York townhouse. Before going to work alone in his basement all day, Talese puts on a jacket and tie. Talese channels his Italian heritage and the phrase “La bella figura,” the beautiful figure, a reminder to put care into how one looks and composes themselves.

So maybe you’re not an 83-year-old magazine writer. Maybe you’re a 33-year-old designer. La bella figura can be a part of your life, too. You just have to find your own version of it.

It probably doesn’t include a jacket and tie. And that’s OK.

Here’s my rule of thumb on all this. I call it the waiting room rule. If there suddenly were an emergency and you had to spend the next 12 hours in a hospital waiting room (morbid, but stay with me), would you be embarrassed about what you’re wearing? If so, don’t wear it to your remote job.

You gotta find what works for you. Here’s a guide to get you started*

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13 Business Cliches That Are Making You Terrible At Your Job

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At some point — long, long ago — someone would say “bull in a china shop” and you would actually picture the scene. Here’s this bull, all big and mad and energetic. But he’s in a dainty little shop filled with dedicate plates and teacups. You can picture it, you might even chuckle a little. And you would definitely remember that conversation.

But hear that same phrase today? You’d get the point, but the message doesn’t stick nearly as well. There’s no imagery to make the point extra clear. You register the phrase and what it means, but the benefits of the metaphor are washed out. You might as well be saying nothing. You basically are.

This is what a cliche is. And they’re insanely common in business. And they’re making you terrible at your job. Terrible? Yes. Talking in empty cliches makes you — and the things you say — forgettable.

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