Calendar Tricks that will help Productivity

Nearly all of us are connected to electronic calendars these days. Although this article references Microsoft Outlook, these tricks will work with any electronic calendar and will help make you more productive.

What’s the secret to maximizing productivity and efficiency? There’s no single silver bullet, but one sure-fire way to make gains is with calendar tricks that will keep you organized and focused. From scheduling “no meeting” time blocks to integrating mobile so you never miss a meeting—the art of calendar optimization is crucial.

Here are seven simple calendar tricks you can use to bring your productivity to the next level:

  1. Schedule “no meeting” time blocks—Instead of multitasking, set aside time without interruptions. “When people multitask, often they do multiple things badly,” says David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah professor of Psychology. “A lot of times, the people who multitask the most are the worst at it…it’s individuals who lack impulse control.” (From Forbes.)

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The Importance of Data Backup

Yeah, we regularly write about data backup. At least monthly, we'll be contacted by someone with an issue that a regular backup could have made much easier to deal with. The Computing Center provides all the backup solutions mentioned in this article and helps clients with backup strategies, best practices, and management of their backup systems. 

Have you ever lost a lot of really important data? Or, short of that, have you ever felt a moment of panic where you thought you did?

Whether it’s images of a family vacation, a report from work, or a semester’s worth of homework, you probably have data on your computer’s hard drive or your mobile device that’s not just valuable, it’s too valuable to lose.  

Data loss can happen to anyone. Having a backup strategy can help you to avoid the crushing feeling that comes with finding out that all your hard work and treasured memories are gone.

It’s a good idea to make backing up data a part of your cyber hygiene. If you happen to lose your data due to a hardware defect or ransomware attack, having a backup could be the respite you’re looking for.

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Mentors and Mentoring

Many of us have mentors. Simply put, it's the people we look up to - those who we want to emulate, whether in business or personally. These days, we're seeing professional mentoring (coaching if you will) even in smaller companies and organizations.  

Reap the benefits of professional relationships

When you think of a mentor, you probably envision a person you’d like to emulate—the walking, talking answer to the old interview question “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”—who will generously donate their time and set you on the path to get to where they are now. That’s certainly a nice idea. But think about how much technology has changed in the past 10 years; in 10 more, both you (and your potential mentor) will have entirely different jobs anyway.

Enterprise-sized companies often have formal mentoring programs, but most small businesses don’t. So how can you find a mentor who’ll help you navigate our constantly-changing world? By changing how you think about mentors. Here are some do’s and don’ts that’ll help you get started.

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Working Remotely - More than just the technology

Nearly daily, we get requests from clients interested in remote computing. And we keep remote workers working by taking care of their computer technology. However, the actual technology is not the whole story. Being remote or having remote workers presents challenges.

Working remotely is appealing for a lot of reasons: You don’t have to commute, you’re in charge of your daily routine, and you can work for a company you love that just happens to be in a different city. (If you’re a remote worker in Vermont you can even get a cash bonus for being so awesome.) According to research by HR consulting firm Robert Half, 77 percent of employees say they would take a job that allows telecommuting at least some of the time. And since 75 percent of managers say they are open to their employees telecommuting, it’s no surprise that working from home is a commonly-used perk used to attract new hires.

But here’s another interesting stat from the same research: 73 percent of workers would still prefer to work together in groups rather than independently away from the office. That’s a pretty radical contrast to the 12 percent who prefer off-site virtual collaboration and the 5 percent who just want to work autonomously off-site.

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Predictions of future office environments

It’s truly challenging to keep up.  More is changing in the world of technology than is remaining the same. Our friends at HP (think mainstream computing, rather than bleeding edge companies) takes a look at wearables, what’s going to happen to your office (think of a rudimentary holodeck) AI assistants and translators.  Hang on – it’s going to be quite a ride!

Wild things are coming your way

There’s so much changing in the IT world at this very moment—from transitioning to Device as a Service to managing the security of an increasingly mobile workforce—that it’s hard to look beyond next month, much less the next decade. So we did it for you. (You’re welcome.) Here are five burgeoning technologies that we think will radically change the way you work.

HR-monitored wearables

The idea: Not feeling well? Don’t worry about calling in sick—HR will do it for you. The office of the future will use a Device-as-a-Service model that includes wearable tech that your company will use to keep tabs on your health. It could be as simple as a smart watch or as sophisticated as “earables”—in-ear devices that can monitor temperature and heart rate as part of their wide range of features.

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