The pickle jar theory of time management

If you occasionally find yourself busy at work with lots of tasks but feel you are getting nothing done try thinking of your day as a jar with … pickles in it. Even though this article mixes its metaphors (it talks about pickles then goes on to talk about “big rocks”) it offers a really interesting technique to visualise your work day, in this case as a jar, and prioritize your day, by filling it with the biggest tasks first. Email can wait.

Telecommuting – the future ain’t what it used to be

Productivity versus collaboration. Isolation versus distraction. The pros and cons of working from home and “telecommuting” were making the rounds last week with articles about Google and Yahoo policies. Google, despite enabling its users to collaborate remotely doesn’t favour the practise itself. The positions of these companies on the matter are summarised by Asher Moses and Ben Grubb with some additional research facts, stats and links. Here’s a sample:

A New Hiring Manifesto: Your Fancy Credentials Are Worthless | Fast Company

Speaking as a graduate of one, top schools teach you credentialing and ladder climbing. If you’re lucky, you might learn how to create a financial model or craft a solid argument. They don’t make you a great UX designer or programmer. Your passion for learning and gaining more and more experience are what make you great. The nights you stayed up until 5am coding make you great. Your love of building things makes you great.

Bank of America to its 270,000 employees: Be nice

Bank of America sent a letter to each of its 270,000 employees with the simple message to “Be Nice”. This is after woeful customer satisfaction ratings. Is a letter enough? No, according to Customer Experience consultant Colin Shaw of Beyond Philosophy who stresses the need in the story for matching incentives and guidelines for how much time managers spend with customers and in branches. Apparently a more comprehensive plan to address customer satisfaction performance is to follow.

Why Perks Aren’t Company Culture

“When you start developing a product or a company you never know if it’s going to work or what’s going to work. But you do know what you want to do and how you want to do it. So do that. And when (not if) that doesn’t work, do something different and try again. Repeat until something good happens. Then, and only then, should you look back and consider what you did that worked and find ways to reinforce that behavior.”