Start to build good habits

I went for a walk last weekend. A very long walk. As I sit here aching from the hills I climbed I look back on that walk and I think about what I achieved: Exercise - As well as a virtual commute around the local park for 30 mins every morning, I like to feel like I’ve pushed myself by walking up and down a lot of hills at the weekend Relaxation - I find walking in fields and woods and along quiet country lanes very relaxing Learning - I tend to spend half of each walk listening to an audio book and half listening to nature I used to go for a walk most weekends and since the pandemic started, most has turned into every weekend.

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How to respond to meeting requests

I organise a fair number of meetings and I am invited to a lot more meetings. I do have a Power Automate Flow in place to automatically respond based on whether I am available and whether there is an agenda Link, however, most other people do not. This post is intended to help people understand what response they should provide. As a meeting organiser I identify people who “must” attend and people for whom attendance is optional.

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Configuration Settings for Sharing in Microsoft 365

The ability to share content rather than send copies of content is one of the main benefits of Office 365. There are many settings that need to be configured this ability and they are distributed through multiple interfaces. This article documents the settings and their locations. It is fair to say that these settings would be much easier to manage if they were all in one location, but the evolution of different products has produced a complex set of locations and settings, which in some cases exist in multiple locations with different wording.

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Daily and Weekly Ceremonies for Productivity

I have been speaking at conferences on the benefits of daily and weekly ceremonies to help with building habits to increase productivity. I did blog about this very briefly a while back but this blog is expanding on the purpose and benefit of the ceremonies that I use to manage my tasks and my time. During one session I did there was a comment that read “Now I understand what you mean by ceremonies” so let me start by clarifying what I mean by ceremony.

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Create a To Do Task from a Teams Message

Oh, how I have been waiting for this! As I successfully get more communications in Teams, unfortunately I pick up more tasks from Teams messages. But as Planner morphs to Tasks, I see more of my To Do tasks in Teams so yet again, I have less reasons to leave Teams. Now to the issue at hand - how do I create a To Do task from a Teams message?

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Looking Forward to Ignite 2020

First up, let’s get the disappointment out of the way: I’m really disappointed that I can’t meet up with people and network at Ignite. The benefits of speaking to attendees, vendors and Microsoft staff are immeasurable at the in person event. Also, it is far easier to avoid the inevitable distractions of work when you are there. That being said, Microsoft have proven themselves as innovative and creative in the other events that have taken place since in-person events have become unviable.

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Automating Responses to Meeting Invites

A while back I was involved in a discussion about the need for agendas when accepting meeting invites. The general consensus was that agendas are required to allow the attendees to be able to understand whether they can commit to the expected time commitments and, if there is a conflict, effectively prioritise meetings. See my blog on the subject for more information. Off the back of the conversation, I have been testing some automation around agendas which I want to now share.

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My Meeting Manifesto

My Invite to You I will expect you to attend my meeting if: I provide you with the knowledge you need to make the meeting a success, which includes: What preparation do you need to complete to contribute to the meeting? What do I expect from you during the meeting? What do I expect from you following the meeting? I provide a clear agenda for the meeting?

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Ceremonies for productive work

At CPS (www.cps.co.uk, @CPS_Solutions), we have been extremely lucky to have been able to adjust our ways of working to accommodate the restrictions that have resulted from the Covid 19 pandemic. As a consultancy with staff located all over England, we have worked and collaborated remotely for many years and so for most staff it has been a seamless transition. All in all, as an organisation, we have supported each other to continue working effectively.

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Meeting Agendas - Essential or optional?

Last week I threw a question out on Twitter and I guess I hit a nerve! I have long been of the belief that if you want me to attend a meeting then you really need to let me know what you need from me so I can do you the courtesy of fully committing or letting you know that I may not able to meet your expectations. To do this I generally ask for information that sets out the following:

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