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Forget about lists. Focus on questions

Toronto-based consultant Sam Geist has improved his productivity by changing what he does the last five minutes of each day. He used to wind up the day by deleting the things he accomplished from his to-do list, and then updated it for the next day. Instead, he now answers these questions: What success did I have today? What challenges do I still need to overcome? What did I learn today about myself and others? What do I plan to do differently - or the same - tomorrow? Quick Bites e-newsletter

Open-door policy means really open

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Irwin Simon, chairman and CEO of Melville, N.Y.-based Hain Celestial Group, insists that anyone in his company can go into any meeting they want to. He takes interns to board meetings to help them learn about the company, a leading distributor of natural food and personal-care products. The New York Times

Spend time with staff for your firm

If you know how much time your CEO spends with people outside your company and how much with people inside the firm, you may gain a good idea of how effective he or she is. Four academics - Oriana Bandiera and Andreat Prat of London School of Economics; Luigi Guiso of the European University Institute; and Raffaella Sadun of Harvard University - followed 94 CEOs of top Italian companies, focusing on the time spent with employees and outsiders. They found that time spent only with outsiders is not correlated with company performance, while time spent with insiders is. They suggest that time spent with outsiders is on average less beneficial to a company, and more beneficial to the CEO's own interests. Harvard Business School Working Papers

Can't find your files? Take a Desk Drive

Desk Drive is software that adds a desktop icon pointing to a USB thumb drive or DVD when inserted into your computer, making it easier to find those files. The icon disappears when the item is removed. Neat Net Tricks

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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