8 Maids a Milking

by Rocket Finance

is really not very efficient. First of all, who milks cows by hand anymore? We all know that automated robotic milking is the wave of the future and milking parlors are run by two people and a computer tech. Furthermore, is it really wise to hire eight maids for anything? Somtimes women. . .well, you know. . . talk a lot. I am sure that Plonkee and Lynnae are task oriented and focused, but shouldn’t they have at least one token man just to even the balance just a little?


Actually this is post #8 in the series the 12 Days of Christmas, Personal Finance Style started by Lynnae at Being Frugal. Day #7 was hosted by Working for Financial Freedom. My contribution is eight tips for better productivity in the New Year:

  1. Keep a list. You don’t need a PDA. I use a yellow legal pad to record everything I need to accomplish. I bring it to meetings and sits next to my computer at work. I sometimes even file a day’s worth of tasks and notes so that I can check back on them later – I just stick them in a file folder that is labeled “task lists”.
  2. Learn to use software. If your workplace offers training in Outlook, Word, Excel or Powerpoint, take advantage of it, you will become a valuable resource for your office if know how to format documents, insert formulas and plan meetings with the click of a mouse. I just figured out a function yesterday that will save me 10 minutes a week in Word. Sometimes we just start using software without reading the directions or doing online tutorials that will save us time in the long run. You can also impress your boss if you know how to use Outlook effectively.
  3. Use your lunch break to network or discuss policy. I know that most of you view lunch as a break, but somtimes lunch is a place where new ideas evolve in a “de-stressed” environment. Also, lunch can be a place where a superior or co-worker will start to see things from your point of view. In a meeting they might be threatened or defensive, but at lunch. . .
  4. Don’t read, forward or create chain emails. No matter how heartbreaking or inspirational.
  5. Finish one small task each day before looking into your email inbox.
  6. Don’t answer the phone every time it rings. Don’t let the phone set your priorities for the day – that’s why voice mail and caller ID were invented.  
  7. Encourage ideas from those around you and don’t be afraid to let them take the credit.
  8. This one is from my dad – don’t waste the last 15 minutes before lunch and before you go home for the day. Instead, get one more thing done, push yourself. You will have less stress when you get back and your career will take off. Wasting 30 minutes a day works out to 10 hours a month.

This is hardly an exclusive list, but if you (and I) can apply even half of these ideas, 2008 will be a more productive year than the last. If you don’t care to increase your productivity. . .get a new job.

Look for the 9th Day of Christmas at Cash Money Life.


  1. 26 Responses to “8 Maids a Milking”

  2. By Patrick on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply

    I think #4 is a big drain for a lot of people. I took a step further and created a filter to separate all the e-mail announcements I get at work each day (anywhere from 10-20; most of which do not apply to me). At the end of the day I scan them and delete 95% without even having to open them. Keeping the clutter out of my inbox saves me at least 15 minutes every day.

  3. By plonkee on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply

    You’re right, I can be task oriented and focussed, but only when I stick to doing things the productive way.

    I’m a big fan of using index cards for task lists at work – if the card is full up on both sides then I’m probably too busy to take on anything more.

    And I am, for my sins, the Office expert on Word and Excel – it does mean that other people ask me for help, but more importantly I save a bunch of time because I know how to do things. It’s kind of a win-win for me and the rest of the team.

  4. By rocketc on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply

    Being the typical male who does not want to ask for directions, I just jump into software and try to figure it out by using it – and usually end up wasting a lot of time in the process.

    I remember when I slowed down and actually figured out how to use Excel, it was like new worlds were opened to me. . . okay maybe that was a little hyperbole. . .but you get the picture.

  5. By Lynnae @ beingfrugal.net on Dec 18, 2007 | Reply

    Does that mean I’m the atypical female? I hate to read directions! LOL Maybe that’s why I’ve never figured out how to use Excel. 🙂

    Great list!

  6. By glblguy on Dec 20, 2007 | Reply

    Great list. Email for me is the big killer. At work I get more than 100+ emails per day. I only check email in the morning and in the afternoon. When working on tasks, I exit out of our email software.

    I irritates people sometimes, but it’s the only way I can get things done.

  7. By rocketc on Dec 20, 2007 | Reply

    It is kind of scary to just ignore email. . .kind of like turning off my cell phone. Yet somehow we got by without either one for many years. . .

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