Outlook Productivity

Getting your right things done – easier, faster, and better.

“Because of implementing the Outlook Productivity System,
our clients tell us that every year their business saves time
worth one month’s payroll of people on the programme.”

Purpose of Outlook Productivity

The purpose of the programme is to put you back in control of your workload and get your right things done easier, faster, and better.

To eliminate email-overwhelm, stay on top of your priorities, stay focused, find information in a flash, and have more productive meetings.

Because of this, our clients tell us that every year their business saves time worth one month’s payroll of people on the programme.

Your team to help you make this happen

I’m Gerrit Cloete (on the left), and with Duncan Hatting have been doing this work since 2003.  I am the author of Productivity 106, 8 Ways to Productivity Mastery and have published my Monday Memo since June 2009.

Who is This Programme For?

We work exclusively with individuals and businesses that use MS Outlook. We work best in a corporate environment where the impact of our work is felt on a wider scale.

Improving productivity is important to you and your business and you want to achieve optimal productivity with minimal effort.

Our conversations usually start with  Learning & Development specialists, Heads of Department, and Team Leaders.

This is a diverse group of men and women. What they have in common is an awareness to recognise possibility, the ability to choose wisely, the urge to help other people improve their lives, and to help improve the condition of their business.

We work across industries and company sizes because our work is principle-based. And, just like gravity, it works everywhere, for everyone, all the time – whether you like it or not.

Why is this programme needed?

Everyone we work with wants to be more productive. But they experience many ‘productivity handbrakes’ that make it difficult and they get frustrated in their quest for improved productivity.

People (you as well?) use Outlook just for email and meeting management – they are not aware of the productivity that awaits them when they transform Outlook into their trusted business productivity tool.

They waste a lot of time and get frustrated – not because they are stupid or lazy. Just because they do not yet have the knowledge and skills to save both time and lessen frustration.

Our research highlights these productivity challenges:

  • Email-overwhelm.
  • Things keep changing all the time – how must I prioritise?
  • I find it difficult to stay focused in a whirlwind of distraction.
  • I waste time looking for information I know I have “somewhere.”
  • I have many unproductive meetings, really a waste of my productive time.

Our work focuses on these eight outcome-oriented practices

  1. Cultivate a productive mindset. Create and maintain a calm mind with no limiting productivity beliefs.
  2. Make your work visible and actionable with our Productivity Decision Tree. Shift from using your Inbox as a “To Do” list with reminders to managing your work-in-progress in your Calendar and Tasks.
  3. Align your actions with your priorities. Say ‘no’ to everything that will not help you achieve what matters most.
  4. Slow down to speed up. A “look before you leap’ approach
  5. Retain flexibility. Set up your workload management system so you can easily adapt when things change – as they do!
  6. Stay focused. Set up and maintain a clear set of boundaries. Minimise distractions and interruptions. Say “no.”
  7. Finish what you start. Minimise procrastination and perfectionism Manage expectations.
  8. Learn and improve. At the end of every day, review the day, see what worked, what did not work, bring everything up to date and preview the next day.

It’s the application of these eight productivity principles and practices that have proven to consistently help people get and stay even more productive.

What can you expect to gain from working with us?

You (and your team) will be happier and more productive. People are less stressed, more focused and in control. This could lead to lower staff churn and less time off. (E.g., one of our clients funded our programme from their Corporate Wellness budget.)

Your work mode changes from reactive to proactive. Respond rather than react.

Everyone on the same page for dealing with email and other communication protocols.

Meetings will deliver results. Gone are the days of fuzzy agendas en time-wasting activities. If you don’t get invited with a proper meeting invitation (you get that in the programme), request it, or just don’t go as per managed expectations.

Better decision-making as you clarify your actions and priorities.

Unlock one extra month of productive work options every year.

Life gets easier. This is the one thing we hear from every single group we have ever worked with, “This will make my life so much easier.”

Managing small projects becomes a breeze. This is not about mega-projects but everyday projects (anything that take more than one step to complete). Plan, communicate, collaborate, track using software you already have and can get for free.

How do we work together?

We work with you to create your private in-house programme so it exactly meets your needs.

We typically work in groups of 10-15 people at a time but can discuss other group sizes. The group can be cross-functional, an intact work team or special group e.g., Personal Assistants, junior management, Exco members, etc.

Our best results come from a hybrid online format using the ‘flipped classroom.” It’s more effective, less expensive, and people prefer the  flexibility of on-demand self-study combined with the structure, interaction, and discipline of six weekly online workshops.

On-demand self-study. You gain new knowledge and skills when it suits you. Our video lessons are no longer than 5 minutes, so you can easily consume, and embed your new practices in bite-sized bits. The content is yours 24/7 for 6 months.

The six weekly live, interactive, facilitator-led workshops are opportunities to learn from each other, present your progress to the group, get input and recommendations from your colleagues and the facilitator.

We enable learning in the flow of work. We have just implemented a keyword search engine. After typing your keyword, you get a list of all the places in the content it appears, and even shows the exact time(s) where you can access it.

Private individual tuition. Everyone on the programme gets a half-hour private consultation with one of our facilitators to guide them and keep them on the right track.

You can join our weekly Open Forum for as long as you want. It’s a Q&A format with an educational slot.

How do we increase your chances of success? (Hint: It’s not just in the content…)

We like to compare Outlook Productivity with a three-legged stewing pot (called a ‘potjie’ in Southern Africa.).

Outlook Productivity checks all the boxes for a successful potjie.

We customise the mix of the programme elements to suit your needs – just like you would do with the ingredients for your own potjie.

Content: Available 24/7 on all devices for 6 months. Can be extended on demand. Microlearning lessons for easy consumption and implementation in real time.

Workplace implementation: You immediately implement what you learn. In real time. And you work in Outlook every day.  A full day of opportunities to leverage the knowledge and skills you gain in the programme.

Support: The weekly live group workshops are opportunities for support and learning from others. You can contact us directly at any time during implementation and afterwards for as long as you want. Join our weekly Productivity Pit Stop Open Forum as many times as you want.

To cook a successful meal in your Outlook Productivity “Potjie,” you need the information about what to do, but that’s not sufficient. You must implement it. “Knowledge without application is simply knowledge. Applying the knowledge to one’s life is wisdom — and that is the ultimate virtue.” ― Kasi Kaye Iliopoulos.

How is our approach different?

We don’t just give you information and hope you will  do something with it.

We work with you until you achieve the productivity transformation you want.

Our approach and system have stood the test of time. Since 2003 more than 13 000 people in 320+ companies in 12 countries have relied on it to get and stay even more productive.

We learn and improve with every programme. We are like the conductor of an orchestra – we find the best practices from experts in the field of personal and team productivity and then inspire our orchestra of clients to play the most beautiful ‘productivity music.’

What does this program help you avoid?

Improving productivity can be overwhelming – so many apps, techniques, methods… It can feel you’re sucked into a digital vortex of ever-changing conflicting advice and opportunities.

So, we help you avoid confusion and overwhelm. We help you answer the fundamental question first, before asking the “which app must I use” question.

Outlook Productivity is built on timeless productivity principles – they don’t care which app you use.  If you follow these principles, your productivity will improve. Guaranteed.

We will train, coach, consult, and cajole you as we support you in being successful in achieving the productivity level you want.

What Outlook Productivity is NOT

It is not just an online course where you watch videos and read documents on your own without support or feedback. We are there for you when you want support.

It is TRANSFORMATION not just INFORMATION. We will not ‘let you go’ until you are completely satisfied that you have achieved the outcome you set out to get.

Your next steps…

If you think working with us might be for you, we’ll set up a 30-45-minute meeting to answer any questions you may have and make sure the programme is the right fit for you and your business.

This can be just you and us, or you may want to invite some of your colleagues who will be involved in the evaluation and decision to look deeper into Outlook Productivity to join you in a short online “Boardroom Briefing.”

I’ll mostly ask you a lot of questions to better understand your situation, challenges, and goals. We do not use any heavy-handed selling techniques or apply any pressure to work with us.

Set up a time for our conversation

If you’d like to explore whether our Outlook Productivity programme is a fit for you, let’s set up a time to talk. You can let me know when it will suit you.  Alternatively, please choose a time from my online calendar below.

Check my calendar and book a time.

I am eager to hear from you.

Best wishes.

Gerrit Cloete