Tag Archives: Office

Post-it Leaves the Office With New Extreme Notes

Have you ever looked at a Post-it Note and thought, “this is fine, but I wish it was more rugged.”

Read more…

Slyly Nudge a Lazy Coworker to Get Back to Work by Offering Your Help

Slyly Nudge a Lazy Coworker to Get Back to Work by Offering Your Help

If a lazy coworker is dragging your productivity down, a genuine offer to help might be enough to light a fire under them.

It’s frustrating when a coworker doesn’t pull their own weight, but you can’t tell them what to do and going over their head will just cause workplace drama. That’s why Alyse Kalish at The Muse suggests you bring your coworker in instead of calling them out. It might sound counter-intuitive, but offering to help can snap them into gear:

There’s always a chance the reason he’s slacking is really because he’s stuck on an idea, or maybe confused about an assignment, or overwhelmed to the point of giving up. Simply saying, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been staring at your computer all day—I’m free for a bit, anything I can help you out with?” could be all he needs to get back on track or to open up. Or, best-case scenario, he might just say back, “No, sorry, just got distracted. Thanks!” and refocus on his own.

You’re also, in a non-confrontational way, letting them know that your part of the work is at a good place and they might need to step it up. The trick, however, is to avoid being passive aggressive when you offer your help. Genuinely offer assistance and be polite, but at the same time don’t let them hand off all of their work either.

http://lifehacker.com/5929218/the-wo…

How to Stealthily Motivate Your Lazy Co-workers to Pull Their Weight | The Muse

Photo by genpink.

Ask for a Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job

Ask for a Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job

When leaving one job for another—and leaving on good terms—you might not be thinking about needing a reference letter. After all, you already landed the other job. This is, however, the best time to ask your manager for a reference letter.

LiveCareer explains:

It’s a good idea to get a reference letter from your manager as soon after leaving a position as possible. Getting a reference letter right away makes it easier for your manager to recall specific contributions you made to the team. Even if you don’t end up needing a reference right away, having the reference letter provides you with something to fall back on in the event you are unable to contact your former manager at a later time. Plus, if you decide to go back to the manager a year or more later to ask them to provide a phone reference, you can remind them about the reference letter they wrote for you.

In some of our previous job search-related posts, commenters have mentioned trouble tracking down former managers who could vouch for them—a real problem when you’re applying to new jobs. That’s why it’s best to try to keep in touch with former bosses and co-workers. Either way, though, a written letter of recommendation now could help you greatly down the road.

Making Sure You Have Good Employment References | LiveCareer via Lindsey Pollak

Photo via tribbles 1971.

How to Deal When You’re Overcommitted at Work

How to Deal When You're Overcommitted at Work

You’ve said yes to one or two too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver. Now’s not the time to wallow in regret. Here’s how to get out from under your overwhelming workload.

First, Take a Deep Breath

Most of us have overcommitted before, whether because we didn’t want to be jerks by saying no or because we underestimated how much time or effort our projects would take. We dug this ditch ourselves, and knowing this can make the stress and guilt even worse.

However, you can’t do anything now about having taken on too much, and stressing about your work stress just multiplies it. So the first thing to do is take a step back and get calm. I’ve had panic attacks recently at the mere thought of the mountain of work I had committed to. Often, I felt paralyzed. After researching coping strategies, I found that breathing exercises and other anxiety-busting strategies helped me get focused enough to start fixing the situation instead of fixating on it. It also helps to remind yourself that this period will pass, and you’ll get through it. Now let’s get to work.

Prioritize Your Projects

The next thing to do is take stock of what’s on your plate and those dreaded deadlines. What do you have to do that’s truly important and urgent? Sort your tasks and projects using the Eisenhower matrix:

How to Deal When You're Overcommitted at Work

Everything might seem important, but not everything is of equal importance. Find out what’s really important by grilling your boss and asking your co-workers.

http://lifehacker.com/5877111/how-to…

As for urgent, that’s all the things that have a deadline—and a reason behind the deadline, not just a made-up deadline. For example, filing your taxes is urgent (and important), whereas filing your bank statements isn’t urgent.

Anything that’s not in that number 1 “urgent and important” box can wait, be delegated, or ditched. You can explain those decisions to your boss by emphasizing that you need time to work on the projects that will make the biggest difference to the company.

Then, pick your top priority project and focus just on that. Don’t think about the other tasks until you have to, so you can keep your inner calm.

What if everything on your to-do list is urgent and important and you still don’t have enough time? Read on.

Delegate What You Can

Break projects down into the smallest tasks possible and see if there’s any part that can be delegated. If someone can do the job to 70% perfection, delegate it, unless the task is primary to your job. They might not do the job as well as you can, but you need help to get the rest of your work done.

Also, if anything can be done in 2 minutes or less, delegate it. For example, for writing this post, I couldn’t have someone else write my outline or finish my draft. However, once I knew which specific examples I was going to include, I could’ve asked someone to grab me the links on Lifehacker that I needed to insert. It’s a minor task, but every bit of help counts.

If you don’t have anyone to delegate to, consider using a service like Fancy Hands, TaskRabbit, or other outsourcing services. Use them for your personal life as well if your overcommitment at work is causing strain or a time crunch when you’re at home.

http://lifehacker.com/5670934/three-…

Ask for a Deadline Extension

Missing a deadline sucks, but it’s better than not completing the task at all. Ask if the deadline can be moved. Some deadlines probably can’t, if they’re critical projects or other projects depend on the strict timeline. However, you might be surprised by how flexible other deadlines might be. (I had a boss once who created artificially short “deadlines” because he thought the stress was motivating. Once I found that out, the deadlines became much less stressful—because I stopped thinking about them.)

Give your boss as much advance notice as possible that you’ll need an extension, and briefly explain why. You might also offer to hand in the portion of the project that’s already finished.

This applies to freelancers and small business owners too. As a freelancer, I hate breaking promises I’ve made to clients, but thankfully the people I’ve worked with have been understanding. Just don’t do this too often.

http://lifehacker.com/what-to-do-whe…

As a Last Resort, Cancel a Project

If you can’t get a deadline extension or you can’t imagine any other possible solution, it’s time to quit. Maybe you’re just in over your head, but for the sake of your work or well-being, you might have to ditch a project.

Quit gracefully with a sincere apology, taking responsibility for having to cancel. Perhaps offer to make up for it—but only if you actually can, because otherwise you’re just restarting the overcommitment cycle.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-ways-…

Learn from the Experience to Balance Your Commitments in the Future

Once you get through this rough patch, it’s time to take stock so you can prevent it from happening again. Avoid overcommitting with these three steps:

  1. Estimate time better: Most of us underestimate the amount of time we think a task will take, even if we’ve done the same task before. To make up for this “planning fallacy,” estimate the time for the task, and then double it or even triple it. This will also leave room for any possible setbacks you might encounter but can’t foresee now.
  2. Negotiate your deadlines or buy yourself some time: Your boss or your client might set your deadlines, but that doesn’t mean they’re written in stone. Tell them how much time you can realistically complete the project. If they insist on a given deadline, deal with the deliverables rather than the deadline: Ask what you can deliver by that deadline and what can be moved to later.
  3. Learn to say no: This is the hardest but perhaps most important part. Turn down new responsibilities if they would stretch you too thin or they’re not really worth it. Remember: “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” Even people pleasers can learn to say no more often, politely of course. When you point out how heavy your workload is, most bosses will understand if you have to say no—doing so won’t necessarily wreck your career. It could actually save it. You’re better off saying no than committing to something and then letting others down.

You might be feeling overwhelmed now, but by whittling your workload as much as possible and plowing through your priorities one at a time, you’ll overcome this predicament. And then for next time, be brave and selective with commitments you can realistically keep.

Illustration by Sam Woolley.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

This week, we walked you through how to get started quickly with, make the most of, and master every app in Microsoft Office. Maybe you missed one, or want a quick guide to all of them. Well, here you go.

This post is the last one in Microsoft Office Week, a series at Lifehacker where we offer tips to get started with or master Microsoft Office. Miss a post? Check back on the Office Week tag page to catch up.

How to Master Microsoft Office Word

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word is easily the biggest, most popular word processing program available, but it does a lot more than just edit text and TPS reports. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’ll finally learn Word’s ins and outs, now’s the time to actually learn how to edit styles, add a table of contents, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Excel

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Spreadsheets are a nerd’s data-driven dream. For most regular people, though, they’re a complicated mess. Fortunately, they don’t need to be. Here’s how to bend data to your will with Microsoft Excel 2016.

How to Master Microsoft Office PowerPoint

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

PowerPoint lets you put presentations together in a snap, but your slide shows can be dull and boring if you only know the basics. It’s time to learn how to customize templates, add animations and slide transitions, make slide notes, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office Outlook

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft Outlook is the de facto email and calendaring client in most offices—and it can help manage your tasks and notes as well. Beyond just clicking Send and Receive, there are lots of things you can do to improve your Outlook workflow, such as sharing your calendar, auto-filtering emails, and more.

How to Master Microsoft Office OneNote

Everything You Need to Master Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneNote has been one of our favorite note-taking apps for years, and it keeps getting better. The app is completely free to install on your Mac or Windows desktop and lets you format notes any way you wish in an intuitive digital notebook interface. Here’s how to get started with OneNote and take your notes to the next level.


That’s it for Microsoft Office week! Whether you love it or hate it, are a proud spreadsheet ninja or use something other than Outlook behind your boss’s back, Office is the biggest productivity suite in the world. With luck, and with these tips, you can work smarter, be more productive with it, and get more done so you have time to do the other things you actually want to do.