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Feb 16, 2012 MYN & 1MTD Newsletter:
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Supervisors: Don't Turn Your Employees Into E-mail Zombies!

Here's a common scenario: a supervisor sends an e-mail to his or her employee and in the email tells the recipient that the action is due, say, within an hour. When that hour is up and the e-mail has not been responded to, the supervisor calls or walks by the desk and says hey I sent you an e-mail why haven't you done this? Within the next days, weeks, or months, the supervisor does this consistently.

The result? The staff are now all e-mail zombies. What do I mean by that? The staff are now constantly watching their e-mail for requests from their boss. They are fearful that if they don't catch the e-mails immediately they may get pinged for not responding quickly. And of course now they are reading -every- e-mail they get, since they are right in front of them. But when are they getting their real work done? Well, there are solutions.

Read the full article

Fixing the Outlook 2010 Task Creation Problem

In Outlook 2010, Microsoft introduced an unfortunate “feature change” that occurs when you drag-create a task from e-mail. It causes the new task window to disappear immediately. But it is sort of fixable.

Some background. By now you know I recommend that you convert action e-mails that you cannot act on now into Outlook tasks, and then manage them in the 1MTD or MYN tasks system. And the way you do that is to drag the e-mail onto the tasks icon in the lower left of the Outlook screen.

Well, in Outlook 2010, when you do that, the new task often (usually) seems to disappear after you create it, which prevents you from editing the subject, start date, priority, and so on. Well, the task is actually there, it’s just been hidden behind the main Outlook window. So if you move the main OL window aside, you’ll see it there. But many do not realize that and sit there scratching their head thinking the drag and drop failed to create the task.

The solution?

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The Subtle Difference between MYN's Defer-to-Do and Defer-to-Review

For those of you who have been using my MYN system for a while (MYN is the advanced form of the One Minute To-Do List—1MTD; see this page for more info on the two), I want to point out something important. I want to emphasize the difference between Defer-to-Do and Defer-to-Review. It is a rather subtle point, and you’ll likely consider it only after you’ve been using the MYN system a while. But it’s something that I encounter every day when I manage my MYN to-do list, and I suspect you do to, without realizing it. So it’s worth an article to explain it.

Here’s the scenario. You are trying to clean up the Opportunity Now section of your MYN to do list (the medium or normal priority section). You want to remove items that you really don’t need to focus on today or even this week, and trim that list so it is nice and compact (fewer than 20 items). Other than deleting tasks, there are two ways to do that. You can move an item down to the low priority section (Over the Horizon) and set it to a future Monday start date so that you review it later. That’s what Defer-to-Review is and it works great (more details here). The other choice is you can leave it at the medium priority and just set the start date to the future to hide it for a while; that’s what Defer-to-Do is.

When do you use which?

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Some Announcements

My next MYN-Outlook Webinar open to the public is scheduled for April 17 to April 20. The last one filled up early, so reserve your space or learn more here.

Don't forget that I have a new One Minute To-Do List video course. This 16 video course teaches you how to get control of your to-do list and life. More information here.

The new MYN-Outlook video course is due to be released in a week or two, keep an eye on our newsletters. And by the way, the new MYN-ToodleDo course is behind schedule, likely out in mid to late March.

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