When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host at dinner, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to identify what they believed was the single most important factor in their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.”

Complete article on LinkedIn written by Greg McKeown


Deal with it

One of the first mistakes that most of us make with email (even me some days) is just scanning it and not dealing with it. You open your email client and the first thing you see is a pain so you close it.

Curtis McHale is right on emergency email scanning.
If you can’t deal with it, don’t open the box.


Information consumes attention

“What information consumes is rather obvious; it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” [Herbert Simon, 1971]

Smart quote on page 68 of 99u‘s ebook “Manage your day-to-day …”

design productivity

Gorgeous stand-up Desk (Ikea hack)

IKEA stand-up desk

I absolutely LOVE this desk. Minimalistic yet functional.
Want one! (and the loft sized office to fit everything in)

Found trough swissmiss


Smartphones vs productivity

“There are two types of people: One strives to control his environment, the other strives not to let his environment control him. I like to control my environment” – George Carlin

Interesting article on explaining the negative impact of smartphone notifications on productivity.
Your fancy smartphone might be the main reason you are constantly out of focus.

business networking productivity

Coworking spaces might be good business for IKEA

IKEA office

We all know IKEA.
We go there to buy furniture, to buy flowers, to eat Kötbullar.

Lots of freelancers and entrepreneurs go to IKEA for something completely different.
Instead of buying office furniture at IKEA and do the “love it or hate it” nuts and bolts assembly, just go do your work in IKEA.
Everything is already there, why bring it home?

The infrastructure is all there:

  • Office furniture (tables, chairs and BYOD)
  • Cheap & good coffee (unless you favor baristas)
  • Lunch and drinks (fries or salad?)
  • Free parking space (and lots of it)
  • Free Wifi

The long tail advantage for IKEA:

  • Visitors/coworkers will often buy something when at IKEA
  • Coworkers often start their own office when succesful. Already familiar with IKEA office furniture, buying IKEA becomes a more obvious choice.
  • Daily coworking usage can be monitored by IKEA, using the office as a “live lab” with real life situations. Data can then be used for further development of IKEA’s office range.
productivity technology

The long tail power of RSS feeds

Abandoning the entire idea of the RSS-inbox model because of inbox overload is like boycotting an all-you-can-eat buffet forever because you once ate too much there.

Mario Ament wrote a great blog post about a problem we all know. You start with one (remember the days?) blog post in your shiny new RSS-reader and before you know *BOEM* … 215 feeds which all post around 10 feeds a day. Making 2150 articles to scroll trough each day. You successfully installed a productivity killer.

Without RSS readers, the long tail would be cut off. The rich would get richer: only the big-name sites get regular readership without RSS, so the smaller sites would only get scraps of occasional Twitter links from the few people who remember to check them regularly, and that number would dwindle.

The long tail is why RSS is my favorite news tool. When a new US president gets elected or when Apple launches a new hipster toy, I’m sure my Twitter feed will let me know. But when Marco or Thomas or others write yet another great blog post, RSS gives them a platform.


Singletasking, because multitasking is zoo 2008

Tijs Vrolix made an inspiring presentation for Zoocamp Antwerp 2009.
He talked about singletasking, the next generation multitasking “lifehack” (longer lasting, better formula).
I guess we all know this … but most of us first need to see it on screen before acting upon!

You can watch his presentation on Slideshow or click the slide below.
(the next slide fits my attitude 200%, pointing out both my biggest energy drain and biggest motivator)


productivity technology

Print everywhere

For business or pleasure, more than ever people tend to live their live on the go. Whether you are a mobile warrior or you don’t like to be in the same place for long, the world is your playground. Using notebooks, PDA’s and mobile phones it has become easy to live your life and run your business almost everywhere.

For those of you who need to print documents while being mobile, this can be rather difficult. Getting your notebook connected to a local network often comes with security regulations that keep you from printing that financial report. Even when you get yourself connected to a network, connecting the printer and printing the document can be a hard task. You could off course carry your own printer with you … but why should you?

The Xerox Mobile Express Driver is ideal for people who travel or work in multiple locations. It largely eliminates the need to download individual printer drivers for each product to which you print. Instead, download a single universal printer driver to your PC and print to virtually any PostScript device on your network, even to those made by other manufacturers.

You can find more details and download the Mobile Express Driver on the Xerox website


Move that mail!

As a long-time personal fan of David Allen’s GTD method, I have to say Merlin Mann does a great job with promoting GTD at It’s a blog I follow for some years now and for those of you who don’t know it yet, check it out!

Terminologies like “personal productivity”, “time management” and “life hacking” sound very sexy these days. Time is a valuable recourse for all of us, you can only waste it once since every minute in your life is irreplaceable.

One of Merlin Mann’s biggest resources is the “Inbox Zero” project. Using GTD and other techniques, Merlin gives you a massive amount of tips on how to keep up with your mailbox. If you happen to get around 5 messages in your mailbox per day, feel lucky. Most people get more, much more.

Whether it is right now or be it the next time you have 58 free minutes in your life, the next presentation is for you. If you can’t find the time but suffer with your e-mails daily, think of it as the best investment you can make in 2008.