Hi guys, I’m really excited as this week we’re publishing our first interview.
Our guest today is Sean Huggett, Managing Director at Voyager Networks, specialists in Cloud, Mobility, Communication & Security Solutions and Managed Services. Father, Husband Dog & Cat Owner (make sure you follow Voyager on Twitter and Facebook).
Sean - Meetings can unproductive, no doubt. To key is to maintain focus on the key topics and the target outcomes – begin with the end in mind. If in doubt ask yourself and your fellow attendees why the meeting is taking place and what the desired outcomes are. Do you need agreement on something, is it a update you are looking for or are you seeking to close an order. Then it is important to manage the meeting effectively. This can come down to the personalities around the table but someone needs to formally or informally chair the meeting and keep it on-topic and with progress to the desired outcome in-mind.
Lily - How often do you check email a day? Are you a fan of Inbox Zero ?
Sean - It varies – no two days are the same. Sometimes it is always running on my PC in the background and other days I close Outlook and divert my phone so I don’t get any distractions. When I’m out seeing clients or on the move, I’ll keep an eye on my phone for urgent emails and ask colleagues to pick them up if I can’t respond. I tend to take a pragmatic approach to email management. I’m not a fan of Inbox Zero and I don’t use subfolders either. That might sound strange but I find it easier to manage my Inbox using recipient names, dates and keywords. It’s no perfect but I find it works best for me. I know people who have embraced (or tried to embrace!) Inbox Zero and structured email management. In some cases the challenge of achieving and empty inbox has started to take more importance than the subject or importance of the emails themselves and their productivity has gone down! The key is to find an approach that works for you – none of us are the same. If Inbox Zero works for one of my colleagues but not for me then they should embrace it and I won’t.
Lily - What are your favourite productivity Apps ?
Sean-Our business specialises in unified communications and workplace collaboration solutions so I’m spoiled in that we use the professional Apps and solutions that we sell. I couldn’t live without Email but I’m also a great fan of Instant Messaging, Presence, Peer-to-Peer and Group video and Web Conferencing and Desktop Sharing. In terms of professional Apps I’m a big fan of Cisco Jabber, ShoreTel Mobility and Cisco Webex. In the consumer Apps space I couldn’t live without the sharing functionality of Dropbox and I use WhatsApp on a daily basis.
Lily - How do you manage your own personal workload?
Sean - It’s a juggling act! The most important part is to identify priorities and focus on those. They’ll change regularly and you need to be brave enough to replace your number 1 priority with something else even if that means moving your diary or deliverables and having difficult conversations. I find that it’s also important to be realistic about what can be achieved and by when. All too often we’re optimistic about how long things will take (we tend to under-estimate) and how much we can get done by a certain timeframe. Setting realistic expectations is important.
Lily - If you had to give one tip to small companies, what would it be ?
Sean - Start with the end in mind and keep that as a priority at all times. It’s all too easy to get distracted or be side tracked and to see a downturn in productivity.