- 5/19/2013 Shepard designs dream room
- 5/19/2013 Sue Jolly Award will honor student Mock Trial Team member
- 5/19/2013 Anglican Church to host homeless meeting
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta bookings
- 5/19/2013 Suspect sought in theft of Walmart cell phones
- 5/19/2013 STEMfest exposes students to principles of science, technology
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta crime blotter
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta High School hosts 309 student runners
- 5/19/2013 Predators fall to Knights in walk-off fashion
- 5/12/2013 Predators stumble against Knights, face uphill battle
- 5/12/2013 Lady Predators have to win to stay in
- 5/12/2013 Phil Schaefer reflects on North Augusta history
- 5/12/2013 North Augusta golf team’s season ends in Sumter
- 5/12/2013 NAHS grad named SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
- 5/12/2013 World’s No. 1 disc golfer pays a visit to Hippodrome
- 5/19/2013 Column: Downtown developments: Vacations less and less important
- 5/19/2013 Wrinkles: Recognizing mothers and angels
- 5/19/2013 Phragments from Phyllis: A mother’s a mother for the rest of her life
- 5/19/2013 Letter: Bring the troops home from Afghanistan
- 5/19/2013 Column: New PASS exams intended to benefit student performance
- 5/19/2013 Chaplain's corner: In his hand
- 5/12/2013 Column: The best of both borders
- 5/12/2013 Chaplain’s Corner: A mother’s joy
- 5/12/2013 Downtown developments: Bad customer service, part two
- 5/12/2013 Letter: Riverkeeper is a benefit to North Augustans
Focusing on efficiency at Women in Business
Everyone multi-tasks these days. It's a requirement of life with email, text messaging, Internet, cell phones, etc. But how many people - in particular, women - handle those tasks efficiently?
Last week's Women in Business luncheon gave a few tips into how to move from "multitasking to efficiency expert."
Dena Thomas, CEO of Advanced Services, was the guest speaker at the luncheon, held at the North Augusta Community Center and sponsored by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas first explained that studies have shown that workers who are distracted by email and phone calls "suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers," according to the Institute of Psychiatry in London. She cited another article that said "Attention Deficit" is now "rampant in the business world," mainly as a response to the "hyperkinetic" environment in which workers live.
And another study suggests that certain levels of multitasking leads to information overload, costing the economy $650 million a year.
Thomas said moving from one task to another causes a 20 percent reduction in productivity. "It takes 5 to 7 minutes to re-engage," said Thomas of switching between tasks.
She listed typical tasks at home and at work, then suggested some ways to improve efficiency in dealing with the various tasks.
At home, Thomas recommended using a preprinted grocery list on which all family members can mark items that are needed. She also suggested assigning jobs to children - folding laundry, for example reminding oneself to think efficiently and to not waste steps.
"I have a checklist of things I need to have with me when I'm off to work," she said, listing keys, phone, laptop, reports, etc.
She offered the need for a cleaning schedule, and mentioned that she keeps cleaning supplies in each room where they'll be needed, not just in a central location.
"Keep up with your to-dos," said Thomas, who indicated each person needs to find a system that works - whether it's Outlook, a running list, sticky notes, etc. "Review it daily," she said, adding that putting things to do on a calendar helps - no matter how trivial the task may seem.
On managing emails, Thomas said, "You're the boss, not your inbox." She contended a person should only touch each email one or two times. She offered the D.D.D. approach - Do it (if it takes 20 minutes or less), Delete it or Delegate it. She noted she created A to Z folders for filing emails, so that she can find things quickly whether she's looking for an email from a particular person or on a particular topic.
In the area of work space management, she said sometimes getting out of the office helps. "Crash the conference room," she suggested.
"Use technology efficiently," said Thomas, who included efforts to save keystrokes. "Learn your software," she said, adding "use Outlook or another scheduling program."
Recognizing that all workers have differences in styles and productivity, Thomas said, "Know your body rhythms." She noted that a person needs to schedule repetitive tasks (e.g., going through emails) for low-energy times, and important or detailed tasks for a person's high energy times.
And all of Thomas' comments came down to being disciplined with time. "Make a schedule and stick to it," she said, pointing out it takes 21 days to create a habit. "Don't waste steps or keystrokes."
The Women in Business luncheon included a time for networking.
Sponsors for the event included Bridgestone, SRP Federal Credit Union, WNRR-1380, The Star and Fox 54.