Blake Parkinson

One of the difficulties that I have encountered throughout my professional life managing work teams is the coordination of teams located in geographically distant places, what we could call “remote teams“. An example could be found in the management of European projects where a coordinator located in a country has to direct the implementation of a project (which may or may not have co-designed with its partners) with partners dispersed by the European “orography”. This is the most typical case where not only the distance is critical but the cultural differences (although the recommendations that I include can be perfectly applied to local computers, in the case of remote communication equipment is crucial)

In some occasions we may be able to choose our own team but in others we will have to accept people in the team that we do not know or have worked with previously that the relationship is complicated.

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It is not always easy to find the best tools to be productive in the management of your tasks and therefore of your time.

I have been for a long time testing different applications that would allow me to:

  1. Register any task (short or long duration) without having to spend a lot of time writing it, allowing me to show it on a calendar, assign it to a member of the team and prioritize it.
  2. To be able to record the time incurred in the task
  3. To be able to follow up on activities under a GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology or simply to eliminate them once finished because they did not interest me to maintain them.
  4. Integrate with my email to generate tasks from a specific email without having to open them on purpose for it
  5. That the combination of the tools is the cheapest possible.

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One of the topics that most interest usually generate between companies and work groups is productivity. In fact, it is one of the queries I most often receive in the management of the Science and Technology Park at the Universitat Jaume I.
How can I be more productive with my team? Are we talking about working harder or working smarter? (As Kevin Kruse said, “Work Smarter, not harder”). Spain is one of the countries with the lowest productivity per hour worked, however it is where more hours are worked (it seems that people confuse productivity with working every day 10 hours …). Some blogs mention an OBS Business School report that assures that in Spain 55% of the working time is unproductive and that 20% of the day produces material losses

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