I heard about a cool project by Adam Baker (ManVsDebt.com) which I would like to share with you.

Adam and a crew of four other film makers travelled the U.S. for about two months to create a documentary about complacency.

I watched the trailer and now I am really curious to see the whole movie. Unfortunately, the production of the movie is more expensive than the team expected.

To raise additional money, they started a Kickstarter.com project. Please see the trailer and – if you like it – support the team to make the movie possible:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cranktank/im-fine-thanks

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If you are receiving about 30 to 50 or more emails per day, my email filter strategy might help you to optimize your inbox processing by prioritizing incoming email based on filters.

The underlying methodology of this strategy is the assumption that the information of the sender and the recipient of an email can be used to prioritize emails for processing: [click to continue…]

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How to organize emails

About two months ago I had to restructure my company inbox due to a software change to Microsoft Outlook 2010. I used this opportunity to think about how I organize my emails and today I would like to share my findings with you. [click to continue…]

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Before I started using TimePanic, I’ve often asked myself what I did during the past day and why I haven’t been able to complete all the tasks I had planned to complete that day.

About two years ago, I met a coach at a conference who told me about the tool TimePanic and I started to use TimePanic to track my time. – In the beginning, it was just for fun, but I continued to track my time because of the interesting insights and I’m still learning a lot about myself, today. [click to continue…]

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Christmas is coming up and hopefully you all will have some time to sit down, relax, review the past year and make some plans for 2012.

I know that “living without goals” seems to be state of the art nowadays, but if you are living an a goal-oriented business environment – like I am – where you cannot wake up and just do what you are passionate about, a system to manage yourself will be essential for your success. This is why I recommend to structure your ideas and to make some plans for 2012, now.

This year, I had the chance to do my review already before Christmas which gives me the opportunity to provide you with a step by step guide which I created while doing my planning for 2012. [click to continue…]

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myloopblog evolves into SmartSelfManagement.com

A year ago, I started to think about setting up a blog to share my self-management experience with other interested people all around the world. Within this year, I have learned a lot by blogging about how I “manage my life”. Writing down my practices helped me to identify the key success factors and made me aware of the benefits of my habits. – I have a system in place, which works as a backbone and on which I can rely on completely.

The system bases on my professional experience in the area of quality and process management combined with well-known self-management practices. It is really simple to understand, to implement, and – most important – easy to use.

As consequence, I decided to align the content of my blog with these new insights and from now on I will focus on exactly what I am really good at: Setting up and running a smart and reliable self-management system to manage business and personal life. :-)

To make the focus of my blog more obvious, I have changed the name to SmartSelfManagement.com. On SmartSelfManagement.com I will continue to write about my self-management system approach to share my experience and to offer ideas how to implement a system like this on your own.

To support this implementation, I decided to summarize my approach in a compact way within an eBook. – More about this within the next weeks. Until completion of this eBook, just read about my approach on relaunched SmartSelfManagement.com! :-)

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Using the early hours

A few days ago, the headline “My secrets to productivity” within wordpress “Freshly pressed” caught my attention and I took the time to read Jolie O’Dell’s post about her productivity secrets.

I was really surprised about the similarities to my habits. Even if I try to get up at 5:00 am, compared to her late 6:30 am ;-), I try to make use of the early hours without interruptions by colleagues, incoming calls, or emails. Her advice is to “Wake up half an hour before anyone else” and I can definitely confirm this message. But most interestingly, she mentioned that this head start makes it possible to process emails without receiving answers right away. While reading her post, I realized that I am already using this “feature” without thinking about it for years. :-) Processing emails before others get up really reduces interruptions by incoming answers to your emails.

In addition, after cleaning the inbox in the early morning and after checking the tasks of the day, I have the time AND – most important – the calmness to work on my most important tasks even before other colleagues start working.

Jolie also talked about the downside of getting up early: Early to bed. For sure, this is not easy, but you can get used to it and if you want to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, you simply have to sleep earlier. Usually, I try to go to bed around 10 pm to get at least six hours of sleep. Yes, to be honest, it is really hard to wake up at 5 am. :-/ To make this easier, I started experimenting with sleep cycle software on my cell phone, but this could be another topic to write about. ;-)

Thank you Jolie for sharing your secrets to productivity. Your post made me aware of the power of using the early hours. …and now, it is time to go to bed. ;-)

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As my days were very busy during the last weeks, I used the time on a flight back home today to review and to think about what really helped me to stay on top of what I am doing.

Besides the support of my wife :) the two tools I am using frequently are my target mind map and my task management system.

About my mind map I have written another post already. Now I would like to take the opportunity to share my task management experience in busy times with you.

[click to continue…]

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I am always looking for ways to simplify my self management system. In the past, I used an excel sheet to manage my goals, but a few month ago, I started using a mind map to organize and review my targets.

For me, using a mind map is much more intuitive and flexible compared to excel sheets. I am really enjoying this very simple visual way of managing my targets and I would like to share this experience with you. [click to continue…]

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In business and also in private life, it is normal to get all types of feedback from time to time. Sometimes it is outspoken, sometimes you get it indirect. It does not matter if it is positive or negative feedback, the most important in my opinion is to take it the right way - a structured one – and to use it for your development.

This is what I learned and how I process feedback today:

1. Take the feedback without discussing it. Just listen, take the person serious, and say “Thank you!”. If possible, try to write the feedback down to look it up later.

2. In case of negative feedback, do not defend yourself. Accept the opinion of the other person – this does not mean to agree to the feedback itself – and ask for ideas to improve from the other ones point of view. Try to benefit from the feedback without being offended.

3. Explain that you will think about the feedback to improve yourself and – again – say “Thank you!”.

4. Take some minutes with yourself to lean back, breath, and think about the feedback. Try to filter the feedback, delete all emotions and identify the main points of the feedback. For complex feedback, I recommend to use a mind map to structure your thoughts.

5. Decide, if you want to do something about these main points. If yes, think about measures to improve and integrate these measures into your planning or your todo-list.

6. Think about a response to the person who provided the feedback. If you developed measures for improvement, the person might be happy to hear about it.

If you can not understand the feedback, decide if it makes sense to re-contact the person to explain that you thought about it but can not comprehend the given opinion. – This can be the starting position for a more detailed feedback to think about. But be careful to avoid an infinite loop. ;-)

7. Finally, I recommend to archive the feedback. If you scan it, you can “dispose” the paper version of the feedback literally to complete feedback processing.

What do you think about this procedure? Can you provide me feedback to improve? ;-)

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