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Use your phone to clear out e-mails and check your schedule.

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Smartphones give you the ability to fritter away time on highly unproductive activities, consultant Mark Shead notes. Use yours wisely to clear tasks out of the way, like scanning e-mails for urgent matters, deleting unnecessary e-mails, and checking your schedule. Save work better handled on a desktop computer, notably typing, for the office. Productivity501

Let candidates see questions in advance

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Recruiting expert Lou Adler suggests giving job candidates the questions before their interview. Describe the job to them as a series of performance objectives, listing skills and competencies in order of importance. Then, during the interview, get the candidates to talk about their most comparable accomplishments. Inc.com

Why math nerds have it made

Ram Charan, the high-profile counsellor to top executives, says we're in the era of the algorithmic CEO, as "mathematical corporations" that rely on data smarts such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple develop a huge competitive advantage. Every organization will have to make use of algorithms in its decision-making. Fortune

Can't focus? Just try for 10 minutes

When you can't focus at work, tell yourself you are going to work on a project for 10 minutes and then take a break. Consultant Alison Green says that committing for that time is fairly easy, and often you'll find once you've started, you're able to keep going. The Fast Track Blog

Adjust slides for colour-blind viewers

Mississauga-based presentations expert Dave Paradi recommends testing how your slides look to individuals who have a colour-vision deficiency by using the Colblinder colour-blindness simulator. Check for these four weaknesses: red-weak, green-weak, red-blind, and green-blind, and adjust the slide colours where necessary. Think Outside The Slide

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Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, 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 work-life column, Balance. E-mail harvey@harveyschachter.com

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