OctoberHow are you? It is a simple question and at the same time pretty powerful. It is often asked without much thought and more a greeting than a sincere expression of concern. We often get a quick “Fine” or “Good” and the life goes on.

So I am asking you to sit back for a moment and think about how you are doing.
Are you content with you life right now? Do you feel rushed, passively pushed through your day? Are you worried or are you absolutely happy right now?

Regardless of what your answer is, I found out that it is a great way to consciously live a positive life, when we just stop for a second and think about the things we value in our life right now. Think about what is great, something you like. It may be something small like the haze in the morning, the yummy juice in the fridge, the shower at night, your favorite show, a nice comment on Facebook, a good book to read, or anything else that you may easily miss. Acknowledge it. If you are happy right now, acknowledge it. If you have a crappy day ahead of you, acknowledge now that it’ll be over in 24 hours AND make sure to acknowledge it the moment it is over. Try to see the nice things.

In our minds we tend to go from problem to problem rather than from solution to solution. That of course makes sense, because we don’t know whether we’ll find a solution or not. “Will I be able to get the report done tomorrow?“, “I need to pick up my son at school, rush home and make it to the doctors appointment in time. I am not sure if it’ll work out“.”What if need to get gas?“…

Similar to the fears about things we cannot change are these worries about problems that sometimes costs us more time thinking about having, than actually solving when they come up. Both are unnecessary.

But of course are we bothered by problems. It is in our nature to avoid them, and if we cannot, we want to make them go away, at best by solving them somehow.

“Houston, we have a problem”

The events of Apollo 13‘s flight that followed the famous quote (which btw is a slight misquotation) are a historic example of excellent problem solving.

Fortunately our problems tend to be much more mundane. They may be of technical, financial, political, scientific, social, or creative nature and still can be solved using the similar strategies.


Problem Solving Course

Through my experience as Researcher and Project Manager I realized problem solving is like a craft, with specific techniques you can learn. Solving problems is such a crucial part of my work that over the years I had the chance to test numerous different approaches to solving problems. My goal with this website not only to help you do things more efficiently and effectively, but most of all to help you solve your problems. So you can move your roadblocks out of your way and focus on what is important.

And thus I decided to launch a problem solving course, with the basics, different approaches and examples about and around solving problems. My hope is to give you some inspiration to help you solve some of your problems, no matter what nature they are. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the start.
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Quick Tips

You may also have noticed the weekly Monday Quick Tips. In these Quick Tips I am describing short actionable tricks or hacks that work well for me; something you can (mostly) test immediately. So far these Quick Tips appeared Darn Office:



But the best part is, you can contribute!
Just contact me with your most useful tip. The tips should be actionable and relate to business travel, office problems, business events, work related software hacks, etc. I think you get the gist. The articles should be between 200 and 600 words, not contain video and not more than one or two images. You will be featured with a photo (optional) or a link to your homepage or your cause and a short description, if you want. Please understand that I retain the right to decide about if and when your tip is published.


Posts of the Third Quarter 2013

I thought this post is a good opportunity to draw a brief balance of what happened on Darn Office. I finally managed to get into a weekly posting schedule in late August. These are the posts (without Quick Tips and Help-Desk posts) that appeared in the third quarter of 2013:


The Five Most Read Help-Desk Posts of Q3-2013

I am also glad I could help with some specific problems. Here are the Five most read help-desk posts of quarter three.

The post about the Alt codes is what I call a bookmark post. I’ve heard some of you found it so useful that they bookmarked it. I, myself keep getting back to it, because I still can’t remember all the codes. I am currently also working on another post you’ll probably want to bookmark because it contains so much useful content. [comment: this post is now live: The Best And Most Popular of Productivity Blogs]
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photo credit: syuu1228 via photopin cc