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By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stuck in a Creative Rut? Bust Out of Your Daily Routine

2014_10_22_MTrut

Here’s an odd truth: The very routines that make your day bearable are killing your creative capacity.

We all rely on thousands of daily routines to navigate our basic tasks: the order of our morning routines, the clothes we choose to wear, the place where we buy our morning coffee, the route we drive to work, the people with whom we eat lunch, and so on.

The result? Decreased creative thought. The more we rely on our automatic processes, the less we are actually thinking something through; there’s no real opportunity for new insight.

But you can change that.

By Nick Brazzi | Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Get Set Up with Apple Pay and Instant Hotspot. We'll Help!

Apple Pay is easy to use

Apple Pay and Instant Hotspot are finally here—and they’re pretty great.

We’ve all been anxiously anticipating the release of Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile payment system, and with yesterday’s release of iOS 8.1, it has arrived. I did some shopping with it and want share my insights on how to get it running.

I’m happy to report that it’s very easy to use, as advertised. It takes a little bit of set up—and you do have to make a quick phone call to your bank to verify each of your credit cards for Apple Pay. But once it’s going, you can complete a transaction very quickly.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, October 20, 2014

Use Google Sheets to Make Templates

Make templates with Google Sheets

This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, I’m going to show you how you can make your own templates out of Google Sheets—Google’s version of a spreadsheet.

You can find Google Sheets by accessing Google Drive.

Why would you want to do make templates out of them? The best example is for a time sheet or expense report.

By Jeff Toister | Monday, October 20, 2014

Is Your Job Giving You ADD? Avoid the Perils of Multitasking

2014_10_20_JobADD

Many of today’s jobs are built around multitasking.

Take call center representatives for example. According to ICMI, the average call center agent uses five software programs to serve customers. They spend their day constantly focusing and refocusing their attention from one screen to the next.

When we try to do too many things at once, productivity declines, quality suffers, and stress levels rise.

Did you know that chronic multitasking — at work or anywhere else — can lead to a disorder whose symptoms are nearly identical to attention deficit disorder or ADD?

Here’s how to keep this from happening to you—and how to recover if it already has:

By Todd Dewett | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Management Tips: The Myth of Creative Genius

The myth of creative genius at work

At some point, every leader thinks, “My team needs a little more creativity!” Then they start looking for a “creative genius” to promote or hire. This isn’t completely illogical, but it’s definitely unproductive.

In this week’s Management Tips, we’ll address the myth of creative genius—the notion that only a few lucky souls out there are truly creative and that we can benefit from this fact if we can only find them.

By Jacqueline McDonald | Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Boost Your Conversion Rate Optimization — in 5 Steps

2014_10_15_Funnel

Which call to action resonates more? Where are users getting lost and leaving? What color should your button be? Conversion rate optimization (CRO) helps answer these questions to give you actionable insights—and have immediate impact on your bottom line.

Follow these five steps to make sure your conversion-rate strategy is successful and scalable.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, October 13, 2014

Use Online Groceries to Care for Far-Away Family Members

buy online groceries for far-away family

This week on Monday Productivity Pointers, I’m going to give you ideas and inspiration for using online services like grocery delivery to help you care for family members who live far away.

By Curt Frye | Monday, October 13, 2014

Enhance Excel Lookup Using INDEX and MATCH

index_match05

Business users of Microsoft Excel take advantage of many of the program’s built-in functions. One of the most popular tools is the VLOOKUP function, which lets you search an Excel worksheet as if it were a database table.

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