100 Productivity Hacks

Posted on Nov 26, 2018 by Marc Zao-Sanders

We could all be more productive. Between the daily deluge of digital distractions and our own bad habits and human fallibility, there is probably room for improvement somewhere. Thousands of articles, videos, tips and hacks have been offered by hundreds of experts. So how to separate the signal from the noise, and adopt practices that actually make a tangible difference to you?

We brought some method to the madness. We scoured hundreds of online articles to build a list of the 100 most frequently cited tips. We then consolidated a long list and ranked them to produce the Definitive Top 100 Productivity Hacks.

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Topics: Productivity

More than skills

Posted on Sep 22, 2017 by Marc Zao-Sanders


It's never just one thing. It's always more complicated than that. Productivity’s too low, especially in the UK. Skills levels could be much higher, again especially in the UK - this World Economic Forum report from this month says the UK now ranks 23rd in the world. So it's important to get a much better handle on skills if we want to get our learning strategies right and improve the productivity of our firm, industry, nation.

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Topics: Productivity, skills, workforce

Productivity, skills and intelligent learning recommendations

Posted on Jun 15, 2017 by Marc Zao-Sanders


The system supporting skills and careers development is inept and that costs the world trillions. But the future for learning is bright: higher quality, justified, data-driven, technology-enabled, culturally embedded, more of it. That future arrives sooner with useful, relevant, high-quality, fresh, intelligent learning recommendations.

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Topics: Productivity, Business, Critical Thinking, Technology, recommendation, Online Learning, Learning & Development, Artifical Intelligence

Anatomy of a good recommendation

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Chris Littlewood

We’re working on how to personalise training to optimise productivity. In one strand of that project we are trying to understand the characteristics that make a recommendation useful. The recommendation might be for a book, a course, a video, an article, an experience, a mentor, a conversation, a tool, a tip… anything that’s made a difference to the way we work and the results we see.

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Topics: Productivity, Business, Technology, Personalization

The real problem with learning technologies? "The learner”

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Toby Harris


The most attention I’ve ever received on LinkedIn was not because of a post I had written, but because of a post written about me. It started when my seminar at the Learning Technologies event in London earlier this year more-or-less flopped - hardly anyone showed up. A friend of mine responded to the situation by posting on LinkedIn:

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Topics: Productivity, Business, Critical Thinking, Technology

Write with purpose

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 by Paolo Lenotti



There's so much writing going on at work these days (internal emails, external emails, briefs, presentations, reports, Slack messages etc) and with so many objectives. However, most of this writing falls into two broad categories. We might aim for:

  • focused briefing, providing our readers with what they need to make a decision;
  • or to pass on information, so they're abreast of facts or events. 

Recognising our purpose lets us adapt our content to that purpose, making our writing more focused and more likely to meet our objectives.

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Topics: Productivity, Business, Critical Thinking

Constructing a logical argument

Posted on Dec 05, 2016 by Alan Gurney



Do you often present business cases in your role? How confident are you when arguing your case?

There are two main ways of constructing a logical argument, inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. Understanding the difference will help you develop solid arguments and approach complex tasks with confidence.

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Topics: Critical Thinking, Productivity

Body language for active listening

Posted on Nov 28, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Do you often find it hard to understand the messages your colleagues are trying to convey? Perhaps you're not being fully attentive?

An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

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Topics: Learning & Development, Productivity

Protect your spreadsheet

Posted on Nov 21, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Do you create and collaborate on spreadsheets with your colleagues? Want to ensure your workbooks retain all of the correct data and formulae?

The most important consideration when working with Excel is that you get the right answers. However, it only takes one user who doesn’t understand how the spreadsheet works (e.g. overtyping a formula with a fixed number), and your data will be filled with uncertainty.

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Topics: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, Productivity

Planning & estimating requirements

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 by Alan Gurney


Are you involved in analysing systems and processes at work? When looking to improve the way your business functions it's important to first make a detailed action plan.

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Topics: Strategy & Business Models, Business, Productivity