What is Time Management?

Sue Becker, Productivity Trainer

Sue Becker, Productivity Coach

Today we are pleased to welcome guest blogger, Sue Becker, Productivity Coach at Spark Productivity. Sue has spent the last 15 years inspiring business people to implement organizational solutions to be more productive and to spend more time enjoying life. 


 

One of the biggest time management mistakes people make is not recognizing that time management is really self management. Instead of looking for external explanations to know why time management is a challenge, I coach people to look internally. I help them to build the self discipline to do what’s important to help them reach their goals and to flex the self discipline to set aside time for unburdened fun as well as for becoming the person they were meant to be.

Once a person accepts that time management is self management, then they eagerly make decisions to break bad habits and to establish new, helpful ones. Two such attractive habits are working in focused, uninterrupted sprints and working priorities top to bottom.

HABIT OF FOCUSING

To establish a habit of focusing, recognize there are external as well as internal interruptions to mitigate. We often interrupt ourselves as frequently as external factors interrupts us. Some people open their emails every time the little ding sounds, thinking, “Surely it’s something more interesting than whatever I’m currently working on.” Other people answer the phone every time it rings or leave their posture open to passersby. Discover your patterns of self interruption, and then determine a system for preventing and/or releasing them.

Set up your own self-management system to stop you from giving in to the temptation of external interruptions. So when someone interrupts you, you can let that person know you’re working on something important and then arrange a later time to speak. Using pre-determined, rehearsed phrases like, “I’d love to talk to you, but I have to finish this by three. May I call you when I’m finished?”

Another strategy is to set aside a fixed amount of time when you don’t allow yourself to be interrupted. This can be an hour a day or an hour a week. It’s intended to make sure you have quality time to focus on important tasks without the threat of being interrupted. It’s critical to select tasks that are worthy of this valuable, uninterrupted time so you don’t squander it.

HABIT OF PRIORITIZING

To establish a habit of prioritizing, use visual cues to create a pattern of working on the most important thing. Place a note somewhere easily seen—in front of your computer or inside your planner—that says something like, “Am I moving closer to my goals?” or, “What’s the most important thing I should be doing right now?” When you’ve discovered your purpose in life and have your goals recorded, driving your behavior gets easier.

TAKING CHARGE

What’s the key? It’s to take charge rather than let your days be dictated to you. It’s also getting comfortable with the knowledge that establishing habits takes time. After all, it took a lifetime to create your current habits, so recognize that you may not change them quickly or easily; yet it will be worth it when you do.

One final way to take charge is to use tools that will help you be more productive. For example, using tools like X1 to speed up your search for items on your computer will free up time so you can get more done. Please join me on February 24 for a complimentary webinar that will show you the power of productivity that X1 makes possible. I look forward to having you on the call.

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In 2015, What Should We Expect From Search?

ROIIt’s that time again: time to prognosticate about what the coming year will bring in our search software market. Lest anyone think search is a stale market, there are foundational deals now in place that illuminate how this market will evolve in an exciting way. This evolution will usher in a new era in the search market – one in which enterprises achieve positive ROI on search projects and actually love the technology. In 2015, companies will be able to deploy enterprise search and enable employees to actually find the information they are looking for.

The key to this enterprise search evolution is the recognition that success lies with an optimal end-user experience.  Over the past six months at X1, we have been educating the market on how to put end-users first with our whitepaper on why traditional enterprise search failed and our webinar on business productivity search.  How do we know that this end-user experience factor is the key to successful enterprise search initiatives?  Because we are seeing it play out in some exciting new deals over the last few months.

  • A large global technology firm purchased 15K+ seats of X1 SearchTM so that employees can quickly find the information they need to do their jobs.  This firm actually has set up its IT function to serve employees the way a consumer technology company would serve its customers.  The IT department creates a set of applications that employees can pull from based on their role.  X1 is a critically important application in each toolbox.
  • A large Government Agency within the Department of Defense purchased 10K+ seats of X1 Search and the Symantec Enterprise Vault Connector in addition to X1 Rapid DiscoveryTM so that employees would have a single-pane-of-glass view across information regardless of where it is stored.  This is a compelling example of how end-user requirements to have a single interface, in which to search across active and archived emails, drove a broader enterprise search initiative.
  • Another large Government Agency purchased over 20,000 seats of X1 Search Virtual Edition and X1 Rapid Discovery amounting to a $1 million deal.   This deal enables the agency to roll out its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) more broadly and meet several security requirements while ensuring that high-value employees have critical knowledge at their fingertips via X1.  Not only does this agency get the excellent X1 search experience, but it is able to fully leverage its VDI technology because of the complementary nature of X1 Search 8, Virtual Edition.
  • In addition, we have seen several enterprise-wide purchases and rollouts of X1 Search by professional services and financial institutions ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 seats.  These organizations understand that employee knowledge is the fuel upon which the business runs.  Giving users an easy way to find what they need to stay productive is key to maintaining profitability.

These deals show that the evolution to business productivity search as the dominant use-case for enterprise search is well underway.  X1 offers the best end-user search experience in the market.  Customer surveys (run by the customers, not X1) routinely show that 85%+ of Search 8 users truly like the product.  Most enterprise software approval ratings hover in the 20% range (based on my experience as an analyst at Forrester Research).  As we close the books on a banner 2014 at X1, we are extremely excited to continue this evolution in 2015.

We invite you to register for our next webinar on Feb 24 – Return on Investment: Attaining Business Productivity Through Search >

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X1 CEO Message: A New Approach to Enterprise Search Resonates

by John Patzakis

In my two and half year tenure as CEO here at X1, we have seen tremendous progress and exciting growth with our next generation search solutions: X1 Search 8 and X1 Rapid Discovery. During this time, I have taken the very valuable opportunity to listen to our end users, executive sponsors and key stakeholders in IT about their X1 experience, their input on our product roadmap, and their perspectives on broader enterprise search.

On the enterprise search front, the recurring theme we hear again and again is that outside of the data managed by X1, enterprise search is a source of major frustration for organizations. This is confirmed by survey after survey where the vast majority of respondents report dissatisfaction with their current enterprise search platform. Simply put, the traditional approach to enterprise search has not worked. This is largely because most search solutions deployed in recent years focused on IT requirements — which see search as either a technical project or a commodity —rather than being end-user driven.

At X1, however, many of our customers report real progress with enterprise search, with firm-wide X1 rollouts being major wins at their organization. We believe that X1’s unique focus on the end-user is the key. You won’t find many other business productivity search solutions where the end users drive demand, instead of the tool being imposed on the end-users by IT or systems integrators. We continually hear countless testimonials from our users, at companies large and small who swear by their X1 and cannot imagine working without it. In speaking with industry analysts and other experts in the enterprise search field, this is an almost unheard of phenomenon, where end-user satisfaction with the companies’ enterprise search platform is usually around 10-15 percent, verses the 80-85 percent satisfaction ratio we see with X1.

So in view of this customer and industry feedback, we coined the phrase “business productivity search” to differentiate what X1 focuses on verses most other enterprise search tools, which are typically re-fashioned big data analytics or web search appliances. And the feedback we’ve received on this from end-users and industry experts alike is that this assessment hits the nail on the head. Business productivity search is not big data analytics and it is not web retrieval. It is its own use case with a workflow and interface that is tailored to the end users. X1 provides the end-user with a powerful yet user-friendly and iterative means to quickly retrieve their business documents and emails using their own memory recall as opposed to generic algorithms that generate false positives and a workflow ill-suited to business productivity search.

This analysis is crystalized in the accompanying chart differentiating X1’s approach to business productivity search versus big data analytics and web search.

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Click image to enlarge

These points are further explained in our four page white paper: Why Enterprise Search Fails in Most Cases…and How to Fix It.   But perhaps the most compelling illustration is this testimonial from 2013 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry and Stanford professor Dr. Michael Levitt, who states: “X1 is an intimate part of my workflow — it is essentially an extension of my mind when I engage in information retrieval, which is many times an hour during my workday.” In my opinion, you will not find that level of enthusiasm by end-users for other enterprise search platforms.

And X1 is a platform. Users need a single-pane-of-glass view to all of their information – email, files, SharePoint, archives like Symantec Enterprise Vault, and other enterprise repositories.  X1 Search 8 and our enterprise extension X1 Rapid Discovery provides just that – a user-friendly interface to all information that lets workers use their minds to find what they are looking for in an iterative search tailored by the end user.

But the hundreds of thousands of X1 end users know all this. The key takeaway for CIOs and other IT executives is that search is an inherently personal user experience, and the number one requirement, by far, for a successful search initiative is enthusiastic end-user adaptation. If the business professionals in your organization are not passionately embracing the search solution, then nothing else matters.

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Filed under Business Productivity Search, Enterprise Search