Tips To Be More Productive

productivity, growth, increase, income

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.

You know, sometimes I worked all day like crazy and at the end of the day, I felt like I haven’t progressed. Maybe you have already experienced this? That’s why I’m always learning new things to be as productive as possible. There are 2 books that help improve productivity and time management, it’s “Getting Things Done” and “Cut To The Chase” .

Here are tips from these 2 books to improve all this.

If a task can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right away

Immediately make a task that requires less than 2 minutes has several benefits:

  1. Adding a task on your To-do list requires less than 2 minutes, it’s the same number of minutes as for a task that can be done right away.
  2. It’s more efficient to add the task that require more than 2 minutes on the To-do list, otherwise this list will be endless and unmanageable.
  3. Don’t make a task that requires less than 2 minutes right away can have disproportionate consequences in relation to the time needed to achieve it (like sending a confirmation or cancellation message).

So remember, if this task takes less than 2 minutes, do it now.

Warning

Sometimes you have to plan moments to focus only on a task or an important project. These specific moments shouldn’t be interrupted, even by a task than requires less than 2 minutes.

Try it so you don’t have any insomnia

Insomnia reduce productivity. Often the source of insomnia is malaise, bad mood, stress, poor sleep hygiene, etc. Insomnia can have serious consequences in the relation with others and can also cause road accidents, drowsiness, memory loss, absenteeism and the list goes on.

For chronic insomnia, it’s advisable to see a doctor for treatment. For transient insomnia (up to 3 months), there is an tip to free your spirit of thoughts that obsesses you.

Put a paper and a pen next to your bed. When you have a thought that obsesses you, you write it on the paper and beside you write the action you have to do to erase this thought.

Here is 2 example:

  • If the thought is: “I have to send a quote to this client”. You note on the paper: “Client quote => Look for supplier prices”.
  • If the thought is: “I have to lose weight”, you note “Lose weight => Look for a personal trainer”.

As you write down your thoughts and the action you should take, you should feel more peaceful.

Have an attitude “Let’s go see”

Sometimes, going on the field can help you learn more than analyze data on your computer. So the next time there is a problem, go see for yourself on the field. This may allow you to have ideas for finding a solution more quickly.

Don’t use a foul language in the workplace

foul, language,

It may sound like grandparent’s advice but it’s common sense. When you use a foul language, you can offend a person without knowing it. A person who doesn’t feel offended in the workplace is a serene and productive person. An offended person doesn’t want to work and wants to find another job. Many entrepreneurs have lost talented people because of their foul language without knowing it.

Not using foul language avoids conflict and difficult situations to manage.

When you do something, ask yourself why you do it

Often we do things out of habit, without wondering if it’s worth doing. This can waste time and energy and it would be better to stop doing this task or delegate it.

So regularly, ask yourself this question: “What happens if I delete this task?”. If the answer is nothing, stop doing this task. If the answer is something else, look if you can delegate this task.

Do it

No matter what dream you have, do it realize in your life. Here is a quote from Goethe: “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”.

Close the loop

has anyone ever told you, “Well call you back if there’s a problem”. And 2 week later you have no news and you wonder if everything works well. I know there is this quote: “No news is good news” but it’s frustrating t be in uncertainty. When a person doesn’t close the loop, it leaves others waiting and this can complicate relations. Don’t be like these people, stay in touch to avoid complicated situations.

Don’t let your smartphone become your master

With new technologies, we can stay in touch 24h/24h. But that’s not a reason for every smartphone notifications to be a priority. Sometimes I see people, every time there is a notification, they take their smartphone as if it was the end of the world. No matter where they’re and no matter what they do.

Define time slots and limits for the use of new technologies. Turn them off when you need to be focused for a task or meeting. Let others know that you no longer look at your emails and messages after a certain hour or weekends.

With that, you create a clear border between the moment you work and your private moments. It allows you to destress.

Personally, I turned off the sound for notifications from my smartphone. It’s really cool to do that, I’m more serene.

Save your computer file regularly

There are 2 types of users:

  • Who often back up
  • Who don’t back up until the day they lose important data

Losing files on a job you’ve been working on for months is very annoying. So backup often and take advantage to make copies at different locations (such as an external hard drive). With Cloud, you also have access to Google Drive and Dropbox which are very effective. Better to save than not enough.

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-Steph

Add Color

colors

I have just enrolled in a Data Science course on Udemy and I learned good stuff.

Podcast:

In the last article, we created our calculated field « TotalSales » that you can see in «Measure » zone.

In Tableau, the calculated field is very used (almost every time) because in most case the data don’t give the value you want to show.

The calculated field « TotalSales » is a simple example to make you understand how it works but know that you can do things more complex. I’ll show you that later.

In this article, I’ll show you how to manipulate colors because it’s an important element to communicate. With colors, people will understand more quickly what you want to explain to them.

Imagine that you have to show this bar chart to the manager who handles the bonuses. By putting a little color, a little art, you could improve the reading of this bar chart.

To use colors, click on this button.

data science tableau color

You can change the color with the basic colors.

data science tableau color

Or you can have more colors by clicking here.

data science tableau color

If you have a picture in the background, you have the possibility to change the opacity to have a transparent effect of colors.

data science tableau color

You can add a border, change the border’s color, etc.

data science tableau color

But what would be nice to do is to have bars with different colors.

To start, take « Rep » and move it on « Colors ».

data science tableau color

With this, there is a unique color for each representative.

data science tableau color

There is also another method to do that. Instead of taking « Rep » and moving it to « Color », you can click « Rep » here.

data science tableau color

If you move it to « Colors », you’ll break everything because « Rep » will no longer be in the « Columns » zone.

data science tableau color

To avoid this, press Ctrl or Command on your keyboard and click « Rep » to make appear the sign « + ». Now that you made a copy of « Rep », move it to « Colors ». It’s like making a copy/paste from « Rep » to « Colors ».

data science tableau color data science tableau color

With this method, « Rep » is always in the « Columns » zone. This is a method that is very practical when there are many dimensions.

It’s possible to change representative’s colors by clicking here.

data science tableau color

As you can see, there are several choices of palettes.

data science tableau color

You can test the « color blind » palette which is very useful for color blind people. To select this palette, click « Assign Palette » and « Apply ».

When a palette has fewer colors than representatives, you will have a message saying that some colors will be duplicated. But this is not a problem because there are names below the bars.

data science tableau color

Now we want to see something else with our bar chart. Press “Ctrl” or “Command” on your keyboard and click on SUM(TotalSales) to display the « + » sign. Then move SUM(TotalSales) to « Colors » to replace « Rep ».

data science tableau color data science tableau color

As you can see SUM(TotalSales) has different colors. The colors are on a continuous basis which means that the more sales there are, the darker the color.

For our case, this is not useful because the size of the bars represents the sales number but for other situations, this is useful.

The problem now is that there are duplicate colors and because of this, the Manager could misinterpret the results. An alternative approach would be to ensure that the Manager understands the results.

The solution is to take « Region » (by pressing “Ctrl” or “Command” on your keyboard) and move it to « Colors ».

data science tableau color

You can also take « Region » (with “Ctrl” or “Command”) and move it to SUM(TotalSales) to replace SUM(TotalSales).

data science tableau color

With that, the bars are colored by region.

data science tableau color

That way, you can clearly see the 3 regions through colors that are unique to each region and you can see the total sales per representatives with the size of the bar.

This is a small example so that you can understand the basics to manipulate colors in Tableau. There are still more complex techniques to manage the colors that I will show you later.

Plays with the colors so you can fully understand how it works. You could find your favorite palette and find your style. Have fun.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph