Man at desk with a keyboard, reading from papers in one hand, about to write with a pen in the other.

Top Tips for Greater Productivity

Time management:
* As time is fixed and energy isn’t, managing energy is far more effective than managing time;
* we are at our most creative when we are most relaxed;
* Most adults need 6–10 hours of sleep per night.

Productivity tip: Manage your energy rather than your time.

* We don’t multitask, we really just switch between tasks;
* We lose momentum every time we switch tasks;
* We lose 20 minutes each time we switch tasks.

Productivity tip: Do one thing at a time, and remove all distractions

Task lists:
* 80% of the tasks on our lists shouldn’t be there;
* The most important tasks aren’t necessarily the most urgent ones;
* Don’t spend more time managing the list than doing what is most important;
* If a task will take more than 2 minutes to do, don’t add it to the list, but just do it.

Productivity tip: eliminate, delegate or automate as many tasks on your list as possible.

* Disorganised workspaces, hard drives and inboxes increase stress and decrease efficiency and productivity;
* Order makes us feel good, and increases productivity.

Productivity tip: Restoring order, while taking time in the short run, will save time in the long run.

* Being constantly accessible leads to constant distractions;
* Turn everything off when you need to focus – this is only temporary;
* Giving access to everyone reduces your accessibility to those who need it most, so prioritise your accessibility.

Productivity tip: Set aside periods of the day when you are not accessible.

* Prioritise who to respond to, and resist the pressure to answer immediately;
* Periods of unresponsiveness are necessary for focus;
* A study conducted by Adobe showed that US workers spend 6.3 hours per day checking email.

Productivity tip: Set aside periods during the day especially for responding to email and social media, and limit responses to these times.

* It takes time to adopt new technology , as there is always a learning curve;
* Constant switching can limit productivity;
* If your approach to productivity is broken, new technology won’t fix it;
* New technology doesn’t guarantee improved productivity.

Productivity tip: Evaluate your approach to productivity rather than the device that supports it.

Illustration of LinkedIn Button

Top Tips On Updating Your LinkedIn Profile


  • This should be a current, professional headshot, if possible.


  • This is very important, as employers won’t read any further if they don’t like your summary;
  • The summary should be concise but should give a good overview of you;
  • LinkedIn doesn’t allow for formatting of headings or bullet points, but you can use asterisks, grater than signs or other symbols at the beginning of headings, or to make bullet points stand out;
  • Include links to relevant videos and documents that demonstrate your achievements.

Employment history

  • as with a resume, employment history should be in reverse chronological order;
  • Include relevant skills developed during each job, and include a maximum of 3 achievements for each job;
  • An achievement is not something you are being paid to do e.g. meeting a target;
  • Use verbs;
  • include any awards received, significant projects, any voluntary work you’ve undertaken, and anything you’ve published in the appropriate sections of your profile.


  • This should be in chronological order;
  • Remember to include TAFE courses, industry related training and in-house courses;
  • If you have obtained any certificate qualifications, include these in the certificates section of your profile;
  • if you are fluent in more than one language, include the additional languages in the appropriate section of your LinkedIn profile.

Skills and endorsements

  • There is debate as to the value of these, as LinkedIn can recommend that your connections endorse you for particular skills;
  • You can invite your connections to endorse you for particular skills, and you can choose whether to accept endorsements from your connections.


  • You can ask your connections to write recommendations for you;
  • If you don’t like a recommendation, you can ask the person who wrote it to amend it, or you can choose not to make it visible on your profile.

For the latest character limits on LinkedIn, ee–2017-andy-foote-?

Man at desk with a keyboard, reading from papers in one hand, about to write with a pen in the other.

Top tips for updating your resume

These are the things you should pay particular attention to when updating your Resume.

Contact details

Career objective/career overview

Career history

  • this should be in reverse chronological order;
  • don’t go beyond 10 years, or the last 3 jobs;
  • You can include a sentence about other previous employment, that further details can be provided on request.


  • meeting a target is not an achievement, but what you are paid to do;
  • Use verbs;
  • include any awards etc;
  • limit to three per job if possible.

Plug all resume gaps

  • These are a normal part of life, so don’t worry about being honest about these;
  • Be brief about the reason for the gap, and focus on any skills you may have obtained.

Education and training

  • This should be in chronological order;
  • Don’t include secondary school, unless this is your first job;
  • include industry related training, TAFE courses, and in-house training.

Professional memberships


  • These will give the employer an idea of whether you will fit the culture of the organisation.


  • If at all possible, include your current supervisor;
  • Include phone numbers and email address;
  • Don’t attach written references, but include a sentence saying that written references will be provided on request.


  • Use an easy to read font
  • consider including contact details at the top of each page;
  • If using bullet points, keep them all the same;
  • Consider centering your career summary and contact details, and keeping everything else left justified;
  • You could use a table layout, as I did, but this can take up more space;
  • Limit to 4 pages if possible.

Customise your resume for each job application.

  • Write a general resume, and then tweak it for each job application to give the employer what they want;
  • Customise your career summary to include the top credentials that you have that the particular employer requires;
  • Modify your job history so that you highlight the duties that best fit with those in the job description;
  • Similarly, modify your strengths and skills sections to highlight those that best fit the job description.

Further Reading

Resume writing – Australian Style
What do hiring managers look for in a resume?
Four tips for explaining gaps in your resume
Customize your resume for best results

Last edited on 15/9 to fix broken link.

8 people carrying an arrow with a 9th standing on the tip pointing ahead

5 Things You Never Knew About Leadership

This is the first in a series of podcasts that I’m calling from Management to Leadership.

    1. Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.

Leadership is not dependent on whether you:

    • hold a title or position;
    • are a manager;
    • are an entrepreneur;
    • are highly intelligent and knowledgeable;
    • are a pioneer or trend setter.
  1. Your potential can never exceed your leadership ability
  2. Leadership must be built on a foundation of trust and respect
  3. Leaders must be able to connect with others.
  4. Leadership can be learnt.

If you would like to learn more about leadership or how to improve your leadership skills, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you would like to be added to my email list, please visit and enter your name and email address in the box. As a thank you, you’ll receive a copy of a podcast I did on the things that I recommend that you do before even thinking about changing your job, and you’ll also get a checklist that you can tick off while you’re doing them.