Welcome back to Excellence in Government's weekly round up of the best management tips from around the web. This week we tell you to stop hitting the snooze button (you’re only making it worse), that standing will get you through phone calls faster and that moving backwards might be more effective than moving forward. Read on…
1. Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
A self-management tip: According to, uh, science…hitting the snooze button in the morning is one of the worst things you can do for yourself. The good folks at ASAP Science say “hitting the snooze button can do more damage than good.”
As you fall back asleep the body may restart its sleep cycle and enter into deeper sleep stages. So instead of your body prepping to wake up it’s going in the opposite direction. As a result the second alarm may cause you to feel even more tired.
[via ASAP Science]
2. Stand Up to Get Through Phone Calls Faster
Hate long phone calls? Consider this advice from Timex President Adam Gurian, who advises that standing during phone calls will actually shorten their length. “If you are standing,” says Gurian, “you are less likely to be involved in idle chatting and you will get to the point of the conversation faster.”
[via YFS Magazine]
3. Retrograde Analysis: Work Backward to Solve Problems
Here’s a strategy for more effectively solving complex problems taught by chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley at TEDYouth 2012. Every manager should take a look and see how this strategy can help them and their team approach problems more efficiently:
4. Welcome Edits on Your Writing
Do you resent when somebody edits your written work? Odds are you’re not a great writer. According to HBR, the best writers welcome edits to their work—especially good edits:
Share your material while it’s still rough — the feedback will help you improve it much faster than if you were toiling in isolation. Routinely ask your colleagues, including those you supervise, to read your drafts and suggest changes. Have them mark up the document and submit their revisions in writing, rather than in person where you might react defensively.
[via HBR Tips]
5. Stop Doing the “Negative Feedback Sandwich”
What I often refer to as the “crap sandwich,” in which you soften the blow of negative feedback by sandwiching it between two pieces of positive feedback, is generally not a good practice. According to an HBR Tip adapted from Anthony K. Tjan’s blog, “Have the Courage to Be Direct,” you run the risk of losing the very reason you’re giving feedback in the first place:
When you must deliver criticism about someone's work, it’s best to be direct rather than diplomatic. Avoid the all-too-common practice of mixing positive messages with negative ones. It’s confusing to the recipient… you need to be very clear on the poor performance part or your message might get lost. It is often the most important aspect of a feedback session, so don’t muddle it.
[via HBR Tips]
Have a great management tip to feature in the weekly round up? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.