Connect with us

Tip Sheet

Ask This Question to Be as Productive as Possible

Plus more tips to better your pet business.




MANAGEMENTShrink Your Meetings

It’s estimated that American workers attend 55 million meetings each day. And most of these meetings run for an hour. Why? Because that’s what the Outlook scheduling tool dictates. It’s an illogicality made worse by Parkinson’s Law, which says that work expands to fill whatever time is allotted to it, so a meeting scheduled for an hour will, sure enough, consume one hour. But you can also use that adage to your advantage, says Steven Rogelberg, author of The Surprising Science of Meetings and a professor of organizational science at UNC Charlotte. “Schedule a meeting for 48 minutes, for example, and then it will take 48 minutes,” he says, urging bosses to be purposeful in thinking about how long the meeting should be and then dialing it back a bit to create some time pressure. “Research shows that teams perform more optimally under some levels of pressure.”

HIRINGKnow From the Get-Go

Want to ensure any job applicants are true animal lovers? Ask about their pets right from the start. “Our job application says, ‘Tell me about your dog’,” shares Mary Hardin, owner of Woof Gang Bakery in Fleming Island, FL. “This is because we only hire very passionate dog lovers. We employ staff who love to come to work every day and are genuinely excited about seeing the furry customers walk through the door.”


PRODUCTIVITYLeverage the Dread

One of the ironies of procrastination is that it often stems from the mildly discomforting things in life, such as doing taxes. In contrast, you don’t indefinitely put off a root canal. You want to get it over with. According to a trio of new studies out of the University of British Columbia, you can use this psychological quirk to your advantage when you find yourself avoiding a task: Tell yourself that it will be horrible, the absolute worst. “The key to getting tasks off your to-do list is to harness the psychological discomfort of dread, which is negative and unpleasant — and therefore a feeling that most people seek to relieve,” noted an article about the finding in Fast Company.


Email is great, at least compared to what came before it. But it still takes too long to respond to, resulting in continuous inbox overflow for those who receive a lot of it. The solution? Treat all email responses like tweets, but with a set limit of five sentences, web designer Mike Davidson told Entrepreneur Magazine. Add the rationale in your signature — that your policy is designed to save everyone time — and you may find everyone in your email circle getting to the point faster.


Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master the Art of Selling, claims that what you’ll read at the end of this paragraph is the secret to a life of productivity. But there’s a caveat. “I’ll tell you, but you’ll never look at what you’re doing in the same way ever again,” Hopkins quotes his own mentor as telling him. “You might even get angry at me for telling you, because you’ll never get it out of your head.” Bet you can’t wait, huh? OK, here it is: Hang a sign in your workspace that asks one question, and ask that question of everything you do. The question? “Are you doing the most productive thing possible right now?” Yep, that’s it.

MANAGEMENTApply an Immediacy Filter

Life is an exercise in prioritization, but it can be hard to remember that when it comes to some vague unfilled time slot weeks away. “When you get an invitation to do something in the future, ask yourself: Would you accept this if it was scheduled for tomorrow? Not too many promises will pass that immediacy filter,” notes Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly on his blog.


SECURITYAdd Screen Time to Online Sales

If you have suspicions about a large online order, ask the customer to join you on FaceTime or Facebook Messenger. “Scammers will not do video chats,” says Mark Fenton, an online private investigator. The former Vancouver detective credits much of the work he gets now to “user idiocy.” Don’t be that person.

MARKETINGNot-So-Humble Brags

The Internet is no place for modesty. Consider posting on your website everything that will enhance your image or inform. That means: your credentials, your experience, your location, hours and after-hours contact information, links to articles about you, volunteer efforts with which you’re involved, your socials, blog, and updates and insights on news.


This is one of those, “How come nobody told me” tips: If you want to send an email to a large group while ensuring that only you receive the replies (so your inbox doesn’t fill up with witty but irrelevant banter just for show), don’t type “PLEASE DO NOT REPLY ALL.” Make it impossible for your employees to do so by putting them in BCC, from where they are only able to reply to you and not the group.



Sponsored by Cogent Solutions Group

Reduce Your Pet’s Hip & Joint Discomfort with the Most Researched Hyaluronan on the Market

Nearly 60% of dogs and 90% of cats suffer from joint discomfort. Trixsyn joint supplement contains a patented and proven hyaluronic acid molecule for maximum efficacy to promote joint, bone, soft tissue, and cartilage health, keeping your pet feeling comfortable, for longer. Trixsyn is veterinarian recommended, safe and all-natural, and contains research-proven ingredients. Get your paws on the most-researched hyaluronic acid on the market. Learn more at

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular