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Friday, August 17 12:00 AM ET

Five Productivity Tips the Pros Use

By Ivan M. Rappid

Here are my top five productivity tips for getting more done in less time at the office:

1. Random e-mail deletion - Studies show that 50% of email is a waste of time, but you still have to spend time going through it all to find out what isn't. Randomly pick half the messages in your Inbox and delete them. Don't worry if they're marked "URGENT" or "Trip to Seattle Canceled," just get rid of them. This strategy will not only cut down on your email processing time, it will also get you out of boring meetings and other tasks sent to you by email. Don't worry about missing anything important, you can always blame the spam filter. If you're using Thunderbird for email it even has an extension which will delete half your email automatically.

2. Regular Stapler Maintenance - American workers spend two hours a week dealing with stapler problems that could've been prevented by proper stapler maintenance. That's more time than they spend forwarding kitten pictures. Get yourself a tube of Franco's Stapler Grease and a laser stapler alignment kit, then set aside thirty minutes every Monday greasing and aligning your stapler. If you really want to impress the boss, host a Stapler Maintenance Workshop for your whole office. The money saved when the company fires their Stapler Maintenance Technician will come in handy when they give you that raise.

3. More Airhorn - Sure, "more cowbell" is funnier, but we're serious about productivity. A clanging cowbell won't get the blood pumping fast like a nice long blast from the airhorn. Use it whenever you complete a task, and to signal your movement to another part of the building. Not only will it keep you alert, but the rest of the office will be able to enjoy the medicinal benefits of the airhorn too. A racing heart means you can get more done.

4. Machete and eyepatch - We've all been in this situation. You're trying to get something done, and people keep dropping by your office interrupting you with stories about their kids, or worse yet, with more work to do. Nothing says "I'm busy" like a machete and an eyepatch. The beauty of the machete is you don't have to be too accurate to do a lot of damage. Set a few examples with a few of the less popular folks and you'll be interruption free for days. The eyepatch doesn't serve much purpose except to make you look cool, but it's essential.

5. Make a Clone - Sure, it always turns out disastrous in the movies, but that's Hollywood. In real life, a clone can be a boon to productivity. Just ask some of the most successful people in business like Bill Gates or Ted Turner, and they'll tell you that clones are the secret behind their success.

Ivan M. Rappid is the "productivity expert to the stars." Countless entrepreneurs and business tycoons have used his secrets to increase productivity beyond human comprehension. His book "Get Stuff Done: The Rappid Way" is a New York Times Bestseller.

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