Top 10 Productivity tips

Automate team creation

Applying stringent rules or restrictions to use MS Teams platform freely can diminish user enthusiasm to take ownership of their tasks. By activating self-service, you can allow end users to create teams and empower them to collaborate efficiently. Also, it develops a sense of belonging to the platform. Furthermore, with an approval system in place, administrator can ensure that the teams created by users are purposeful and relevant to the business.

Create tags within a team

Categorization of teams promotes findability. Tagging or labeling a team is the easiest and best way to classify teams. This helps in better search and organization of teams based on their department, project type or location and so on.

Use analytics within Teams

By gaining insights into teams’ activities, it gets lot easier for business managers, administrators and owners to check teams’ performance and detect any anomaly, if exists. This further helps in taking informed business decisions or actions to resolve complicacies and fulfill company’s goals effectively.

Create expiry-policy for teams

Random teams floating all around Teams environment is not good for the health of MS Teams. It is important to manage the lifecycle of teams by configuring expiration policies for their archival or deletion. The intention behind creation of teams is a business purpose to fulfill. Inactive teams or teams that are no longer in often cause content overloading and mismanagement.

Configure bulk updates

Editing multiple teams one by one is time consuming, especially when they all need the same inputs. The phenomenon is frustrating for administrators who are supposed to work in a fast-paced environment dealing with hundreds of thousands of teams. Ability to update a bunch of records in a snap reduces context switching and improves user efficiency.

Follow naming conventions for teams

Proper naming of teams prevents creation of teams with the same names  and hence, eliminates confusions in searching a relevant team. By imposing team naming policies, users can gain more clarity while creating their teams such as, for which project it is created, which department it belongs to and so on.

The Art of Letting Little Bad Things Happen".

All credit goes to Tim Ferriss, but this idea needs to be spread. The thing that keeps us from doing the high-leverage things that really push us forward in life is a concern for small issues. Someone is slightly disappointed because you were late, you didn't fulfill some obligation to perfection, you occasionally have to back out of an obligation--being concerned with this short-term, irrelevant bullshit keeps you from proactively choosing the most important tasks and knocking them out.​SOURCE: https://tim.blog/2007/10/25/weapons-of-mass-distractions-and-the-art-of-letting-bad-things-happen/

Move Complex and Non-Critical Emails Into a To-Do Folder

In Outlook 365, you can create a structure of folders for organizing emails. Many people use the folder structure for archiving emails, but folders are also a great way to manage incoming emails as tasks and get them out of your inbox view. We're going to use these folders to do email triage, organize the messy inbox, and overcome email overload. To do this, create three new folders under your inbox folder. The first is a "To Do" folder, and the second and third are subfolders called "Follow Up" and "Someday." These loosely follow the Getting Things Done® or GTD® methodology of organizing tasks. Getting Things Done® and GTD® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. To create these folders:

  • Right-click your "Inbox" folder, and select "New Folder."
  1. Title the first folder "To Do."
  2. Click the arrow next to the Inbox folder to view your new To-Do folder.
  3. Right-click the To-Do folder, select new folder, and name this folder "Someday."
  4. Repeat to create a "Follow Up" subfolder under the To-Do folder. Now you have four folders for incoming emails, and you can use all four to manage your tasks and keep your inbox clear. When new emails arrive, move them to the appropriate folder: Inbox – The only emails that stay in your inbox are those that you should answer immediately. They’re either urgent or can be handled quickly (in three minutes or less). To Do – Drag non-urgent emails and emails that will require more than a three-minute response into your to-do folder. You’ll follow up on these items later, but moving them immediately keeps your inbox empty while you process the emails. Follow Up – Move emails to this folder that are put on hold. Things like replies you're waiting to get or tasks that you've delegated. Someday – Some emails don’t require a response. Instead, they’re things you’d like read/review one day when you have time. Drag those into the someday folder to review at some point in the future when work slows down and you need something to do. This might be the equivalent of an Archive folder, but you can use it for items that you'll need to quickly access in the next few weeks. After processing your email, schedule time on your calendar every day to review and handle the items in your to-do folder. This method has three benefits: First, it keeps your inbox clear, allowing you to achieve inbox zero and avoid getting overwhelmed by a cluttered inbox. New emails that come in at a steady stream don't get mixed up with existing emails you've already read, pushing all the important emails down. Second, your emails are better organized! You have a set place to go now for emails that need your attention—just as many folders as you need to stay on top of your email, but no more than you need. Instead of creating countless folders (for different projects, clients, or other categories), you have just four to work with. Third—and perhaps best of all—it allows you to manage your time better throughout the day, focusing on important tasks instead of getting distracted by constant email questions and requests.

Use Outlook’s Task List Instead of Clogging Your inbox

Some emails don’t require an immediate response, but they do need to be handled before the time you have scheduled to review items in your to-do folder. These items can still be moved to your to-do folder so they’re not clogging your inbox, but you’ll want to make sure that you have a reminder to take care of them before a deadline. Create a reminder by adding these emails to Outlook’s task list:

  • Drag the email and drop it on Outlook’s task list icon.
  1. Add a due date and set a date and time to receive a reminder. Save the task. You can now hover your cursor over the task list icon to see a quick view of your task list, organized by due date. Click on the task list icon to open your to-do list and review the respective tasks. If you set a reminder, the task will pop up like a meeting reminder at the specified time. Once the task is complete, mark it as such to remove the task from your to-do list. Open the task by double-clicking it, and click the "Mark Complete" button—or just press the Insert key to quickly mark the item complete. Outlook’s task list is also useful if you’re in the habit of copying yourself on emails as a reminder to follow up, or if you’re emailing someone who is prone to ignoring your requests. Instead of keeping reminders as emails in your inbox, just move them to your to-do folder and add them to your task list.

Write It Down

Every task, every commitment should be written down. This frees your mind from the energy- and attention-sucking job of trying to remember. In his seminal book on productivity, Getting Things Done, David Allen points out how uncompleted commitments take up psychic energy, each one making you just the tiniest bit more tired, more distracted, and therefore less productive. He emphasizes that the first step to managing your life and time is getting every commitment, large and small, out of your head and into a trusted system. I use OmniFocus to capture these commitments, but you can start with a simple pen and paper.

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