Events Sep 25, 2018

After the Summer break, the Partech Shaker organized a Partech Shake & Learn focusing on productivity. September is a good time to introduce efficient organization, concentration and speeding practices. The objective: free up time to do what really counts for you.

Today, more and more people complain about having too many projects to manage and not enough time. They feel overwhelmed and on the verge of burn out. Despite tremendous technological progress, we are working more and more. For old friends Bao Dinh, director EMEA for HotelTonight, the hotel booking app, Guillaume Declair, co-founder of Merci Alfred and Loom and Jérôme Dumont, co-founder of One More Thing Studio, the reason for this is inefficient work organization. They are convinced that there is a relationship between productivity and work environment: open space and multiple screens reduce our concentration level.

In their early careers, the three friends worked as hard as they could. They soon realized that this was not sustainable and became obsessed with working more efficiently. They then decided to write a book about productivity and asked 300 start-up founders, serial entrepreneurs and investment fund directors to each share one productivity tip that could help add an hour to your day: “The 25th hour: productivity tips from 300 successful startuppers”.

State of mind is critical to improving productivity. We tend to go into automatic mode and do many tedious tasks without even thinking. Changing your work habits won’t happen overnight: continuous improvement calls for time investment and method. Are you the master or the slave of your time? It’s up to you.
Bao Dinh and Jérôme Dumont shared the 3 golden rules of productivity described in their Book “The 25th hour”: Organization (time), Concentration (Focus), Acceleration (Execution).


The power of saying No: a clear no is better than a non-frank yes. Through fear of upsetting others, we tend to say yes to too many solicitations.
Use Timeboxing to schedule your day - One of the tips most shared by our start uppers is identifying your most important daily tasks (the big rocks), putting them on your To-Do List and blocking time in your agenda to actually do them. Your To-Do List will become your diary. This calls for discipline. Let’s compare an efficient diary to a non-efficient diary.
An efficient diary could look like this: morning meeting, time allocated for your 3 big rocks, time allocated to deal with your emails 3 times a day, proper lunch break, end of working day at 6.00 pm.
A non-efficient diary could look like the following: checking emails all the time, too many meetings, lunch at your desk.

To efficiently plan your day, you need to parallelize your tasks and not perform them one after the other. For example, when you prepare a pasta dish, it is less time-consuming to simultaneously boil the water and make the sauce. You need to distinguish key, passive and delegated tasks, and prioritize them. Make sure that you launch passive tasks first, so that you can do something else at the same time. Also, try to understand why you procrastinate and then apply the following method:
- Unpleasant task: just do it
- Complex task: break it up
- Boring task: make it more fun


With so many distractions and perturbations around, it is really difficult to stay focused! A recent study suggests that distractions can cause companies to lose 10,000 US$ a day per employee. This is because on average, we are interrupted every 3 minutes and take 11 minutes to get back to work.
The Zeigarnik effect - Why you should chase parasite thoughts from your head
As long as a task is not complete, it becomes a black cloud in your head and you can’t stop thinking about it. Making a To-Do List is a good way to clear up your mind.
Protect yourself from temptations – Delete all your iPhone and PC notifications to stay focused on the task at hand
Dealing with too many emails - We are strong believers in Inbox Zero in Gmail. The idea is to organize your Gmail inbox so that you only keep the useful ones. Use Filters to define the importance of your emails, if they need to be quickly addressed or if they can be archived to be dealt with later, use Labels… Your inbox is like a To-Do List open to the world. Checking emails or Facebook notifications is addictive. If you love Nutella and try not to eat too much of it, you don’t buy any. Similarly, if you have an Inbox Zero, you won’t be tempted to look at your emails all the time. Achieving Inbox zero every day is impossible, twice a week is more feasible.

Tips to reduce email pollution:
1) Objective Inbox zero
2) Set up 3 daily sessions to deal with your emails (think about your dirty socks: you don’t launch a washing machine each time they get dirty, but wait until you have a full dirty laundry basket)
3) Never read your emails in the evening and at weekends
4) Use Follow up: if you don’t get any reply within 6 days, send the email again
5) Keep to your biological prime time: if you are more efficient in the morning, as are 95% of people, make the best of this time and don’t set up meetings in the morning. To discover if you are a morning or afternoon person, do the Horne & Ostberg test.


So, now that you are organized and focused, how can you work faster?
On the key topic of meetings, let’s apply a few basic rules:
0 delays
1 screen
2 pizzas – if you need to order more, too many people are attending your meeting
30 minutes max: time is like space, the more you have, the more you fill it up.
If you repeat the same task very often, automate it. Below is a list of useful tools for improving your productivity:
- DASHLANE: automatically fills in your contact sheets
- ATEXT: a typing accelerator that speeds up typing by replacing abbreviations with frequently used phrases defined by you
- CLEARBIT: centralize information on your contacts
- LINKEDIN SALES NAVIGATOR: to quickly access contact information
- HAZEL: automatically organize your files based on rules you create
- GMAIL FILTERS: improve your Inbox organization using rules for your incoming emails
- MIXMAX: the best gmail extension with features such as tracking, downloading, meeting scheduling, faster writing with templates….
- ALFRED APP: boost your efficiency using hotkeys, keywords and text expansion…


For more tools, click here.


So, what are you going to do with this 25th hour that you have gained from all your productivity efforts?
It is important to distinguish true and perceived happiness. A survey suggests that you are happy up to 75,000 US$; above this figure, happiness is only an impression. Buying more and more stuff won’t make you any happier. Off-time with friends and family is what really makes you happy and to do this, you need to a little spending money.


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