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OAO – An Unpronounceable Acronym

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Generally when approaching personal or business tasks a lot of time can be wasted in preparation or research. For example if you wanted to book a hotel for a holiday, you would spend time going through Trip Advisor reviews, looking at maps, and comparing different hotel profiles. Here at Less Doing we have devised a simple three step plan to help you get through logistically challenging tasks more quickly.OptimizeFirst you should break the task down to its simplest form, where it is as complication free as possible. In the case of the above analogy of booking a holiday, this will…

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Interpersonal Relationships: Monthly Clubs

Interpersonal Relationships: Monthly Clubs

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Cheesy…as in Corny…as in… Most people have weird images of what a “something” of the month club is. Honestly, the first thing of think of is when Clark Griswold got a “Jelly of the Month” club instead of a bonus in the movie Christmas Vacation; seems corporate and unnappealing. But things have changed. Now you can get everything from cheese of the month to popcorn of the month, hot sauce, dog treats, etc., and the quality and thoughtfulness is there. How Is It Less Doing? A big part of Less Doing is delegation. To effectively delegate we have to recognize the things…

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Things We Like: Boomerang for Gmail

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy9ep56lucw?rel=0&hd=1] What Is It? Similar to previously reviewed LetterMeLater and Followup.cc, Boomerang is a plugin for Gmail that makes it easy to follow up on and delay certain emails.  What Do I Do With It? Delayed Sending – Write an email now, send it later. Perfect for sticking to your shortened workweek. If you get an email you want to deal with on Monday, but you have chosen a Tuesday through Thursday workweek, and you want people to respect that, write it Monday and set it to be sent first thing Tuesday morning. You can also use it to set…

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Stop Wasting Resources - Reciprocal Uses

Stop Wasting Resources – Reciprocal Uses

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The Concept I’d like to introduce this concept that I refer to as Reciprocal Uses as in R U using that right now? Basically you take the idea that most resources in life are fixed. You can’t magically produce more time, or more space, you’re kind of stuck with what you’ve got until the laws of physics say otherwise. We have talked a lot about how to maximize your time and your efficiency to get the most out of those limited resources. Reciprocal uses takes another approach toward efficiency by examining how you allocate the same resources to different uses…

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This Is How We Do It: Testing Your Systems

This Is How We Do It: Testing Your Systems

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The Setup We have said before that there is some element of trial and error whenever developing a Less Doing system. Whether it’s paperless billing or automated e-mail responses, you’ll rarely get it perfect the first time, and even if it is, your needs might change over time. If you enjoy the game aspect to this lifestyle as much as I do, you constantly want to do it better. I am always looking for ways to shave time off an activity and make a process smoother because I think it’s fun and rewarding. You need to test your systems to…

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Things We Like: Fancy Hands

Things We Like: Fancy Hands

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I had a very weird thing happen to me a few months ago. Upon the one year anniversary of working with my virtual assistant Christy, she got a promotion and would no longer be an assistant. I immediately panicked. She knew every credit card, everyone’s birthdays and even though we had never met in person, she knew how I like my coffee. This was also before Jameson and I had crystallized the principles of Less Doing. I didn’t even consider replacing her with another assistant. I was in too deep, and to have someone else do even half as good of a…

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Fundamentals of Less Doing: Finances

Fundamentals of Less Doing: Finances

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Fundamentals of Less Doing is a series of articles detailing how we think about productivity from a conceptual level. If you are new to Less Doing, the Fundamentals series is a great place to start. The Less Doing lifestyle is obviously about efficiency, and we believe that should translate to financial savings too. It’s not enough to simply manage your finances, we want you be a financial sushi chef, cutting out all of the fat and leaving nothing but the tastiest bits….now I’m thinking about sushi….anyway, to accomplish these goals you need a clear picture of where your money is…

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Fundamentals of Less Doing: Customization

Fundamentals of Less Doing: Customization

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Fundamentals of Less Doing is a series of articles detailing how we think about productivity from a conceptual level. If you are new to Less Doing, the Fundamentals series is a great place to start. We live in a society that offers options for customizing just about everything you can imagine. Food, clothes, vehicles, and even a box of LEGOs can be designed and manufactured for no one other than you. This is not a pursuit in narcissism; there is tangible value in getting exactly what you want and leaving out what you don’t. The basic principles behind customization are to save…

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Fundamentals of Less Doing: Doing What Matters (The 80/20 Rule)

Fundamentals of Less Doing: Doing What Matters (The 80/20 Rule)

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Fundamentals of Less Doing is a series of articles detailing how we think about productivity from a conceptual level. If you are new to Less Doing, the Fundamentals series is a great place to start. Take a moment to think about your day. Think about what you did. Now, think about what you actually accomplished. Are you satisfied with what you accomplished? More importantly, did the “things you did” contribute significantly to that accomplishment? Did they contribute to your overall goals for your job? For your business? For yourself? I’m going to guess that for most of you, that the…

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Tips & Tricks: Progressing Beyond A Dedicated Virtual Assistant

Tips & Tricks: Progressing Beyond A Dedicated Virtual Assistant

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My virtual assistant, Christy, who has worked with me for over a year, recently got a promotion at the outsourcing company she works for and would no longer be a virtual assistant. I immediately panicked and started figuring out how I would work with a new assistant so I worked with Christy to come up with a list of all the tasks she does for me on a regular basis. In coming up with this list I realized something remarkable, 95% of the tasks could be completed without an assistant through the use of web apps or mobile applications, 4%…

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