Microsoft Interviews Laura Stack

MSFT: How many books have you written? [Laura Stack] Two published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House.  The first was Leave the Office Earlier (2004), and the newest is Find More Time. MSFT: Why did you write “Find More Time” and how will it help people? [Laura Stack] My readers asked me for it.  After reading my first book on workplace productivity, they said, "Okay, now that I'm more productive in the office and getting out of work on time, now what?  How can I be more productive on my 'second shift' at home?" MSFT: Is it complementary to “Leave the Office Earlier?” [Laura Stack] Yes, it's the next step.  This book picks up where Leave the Office Earlier leaves off. Now that you’re more productive during your workday, this complementary book teaches you how to get thin … [Read more...]

England Against Long Hours: a holiday of their own

Think Americans are the only ones concerned with long hours?  Check out http://www.worksmart.org.uk/workyourproperhoursday/   “Over five million people at work in the United Kingdom regularly do unpaid overtime.”  Sheesh, if we in the United States could only be so lucky to have such a low number.  They believe there are five main reasons why people do unpaid overtime, so take the quiz and find out if you’re a “Stay Late Sheep,” a “Beast of Burden,” a “Cat Herder,” a “Chaos Theorist,” or a “Desk Junkie.” We have National Leave the Office Earlier day, and the United Kingdom has Work Your Proper Hours Day!  According to the site, February 21 marks the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year and starts earning for themselves.  No … [Read more...]

Using Technology to Stay Connected While Traveling or at Home

As a general tip, use your down time productively while traveling, especially on planes.  Most travelers waste hours of productive time on the airplane sleeping, watching movies, or listening to music. You, however, are going to work. Unless you’re exhausted and need to take a nap, take advantage of the uninterrupted time and get some work done.  The more you get done while you’re traveling, the more time you’ll have available to be with your family you return. Before you leave, do some planning and determine what you can complete while you’re away from home. Read business journals and trade magazines, answer emails, write thank-you letters, complete routine paperwork, review large reports and board materials, or do project and advance planning. If you feel good about what you’ve accomplish … [Read more...]

Ten Ways to Find More Time for Your Life

“Where does the time go?” you lament. “I just need to find more time!”  Here are some ideas to get you started on your quest: 1.      Reduce waiting time. If your doctor or meetings always run late, plan ahead.  Make good use of this time and carry note cards, bills, and magazines in your tote. 2.      Limit your television watching. Reduce the amount of time you spend each day.  Sensible limits may relieve any guilt you may feel after overindulging in television time, while freeing up time for more worthwhile pursuits. Or perhaps tape your shows and skip the commercials. 3.      Say no to yourself. If you’re not excited about attending a social function, then don’t go! That way, you’ll have time to relax. O … [Read more...]

Employee Obesity and Productivity

I just read a white paper by Leade Health called "Employee Obesity is Number One Factor in Productivity Loss." The organization is of course trying to get businesses to sign up for its "health coaching" program for weight management, which I'm sure has merit, BUT...is obesity REALLY the number one factor in productivity loss?  I mean, come on!  More than useless meetings?  Hundreds of emails every day?  Co-workers "dropping in" to chat?  Surfing the Net and doing personal business?  Those things affect all of us, regardless of our shape and size. The paper cites research that a Body Mass Index (BMI) at risk (>27) yields an average productivity loss of 5.79 hours per week in absenteeism, disability costs, and worker productivity, which is even higher than productivity loss related to s … [Read more...]

Leave Early Fast Company blog

Keith Hammonds posted a comment on the Fast Company magazine blog: "Are you still in the office? In New York, it's nearly 6 pm on the eve of a holiday weekend. What are you doing there? (What am I?) What's keeping you from going home? Right now? Do you really have so much work that has to get done, or did you spend too much time in useless meetings, or responding to needless emails? Or, you know, checking the stats for your Roto league? I got a note from the PR rep for someone named Laura Stack, who calls herself "The Productivity Pro." Stack apparently "has declared June 2nd as National Leave the Office Earlier Day. This national holiday encourages workers to eliminate time wasting behaviors and improve productivity habits. With better behaviors, workers can leave the office … [Read more...]

Laura Stack’s newest book available June 13, 2006

Mark your calendar now for June 13, 2006!  My newest book Find More Time: How to Get Things Done at Home, Organize Your Life, and Feel Great About it (Broadway Books) hits bookstores that day.  If you order it on www.Amazon.com that day (where it’s cheaper than the bookstore price) and forward your receipt to me at [email protected], I will send you a bundle of other goodies!  You must purchase the book on that day to get the freebies, so ask a co-worker to purchase it for you if you’ll be out of the office. Offer does not apply for purchases made at any other bookstore.  Laura’s new book has already been picked up by four book clubs and will be printed in an exclusive hardcover edition, which will be available to members of those book clubs only. … [Read more...]

Productivity Tips Offered by Readers

I'm looking for information on cool, hip, useful, inventive, fresh, efficient products, processes, and services to help average Americans save time and money.  Please comment with tips, Web sites, examples, press information, photos, how you’re using it, etc., for possible inclusion in an upcoming story.  Here's one submission from a reader to get your creative juices flowing: << Laura, I've started making my own list of time savers (some of which inspired by your first book): 1.      Ordering groceries via www.Freshdirect.com the last Saturday of each month. 2.      Ordering sundries/household items and pharmacy item via www.drugstore.com the last Sunday of each month. 3.      Get laundry picked u … [Read more...]

Productivity, Tendonitis, and Treos

I remember reading some of the citations about "Blackberry Thumb," http://www.wordspy.com/words/BlackBerrythumb.asp years/months ago and thinking, “How ridiculous.  You mean to tell me they actually have a definition of this condition?”  Yep!  It’s "A repetitive stress injury characterized by swelling and pain at the base of the thumb and caused by prolonged use of the thumb while operating a BlackBerry or other personal digital assistant."  Well, now I’m not laughing so loud.  I went to the hand surgeon today with a severe, stabbing pain at the base of my thumb and wrist.  I left after a diagnosis for tendonitis, a cortisone shot in the joint, a wrist brace to sleep in for one month, and a strict admonishment to not hold my phone an … [Read more...]

Never Check Email in the Morning? Who made that rule?

Karen Hoffman asks “Okay, readers… on the 17th I said I had bought Julie Morgenstern’s latest book, “Never Check E-Mail in the Morning and Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work.“  …on page 97… she suggests we resist e-mail for the first hour of the day… why? She states that e-mail is the world’s most convenient procrastination device. She says the most dramatic, effective way to boost your productivity is to completely avoid e-mail the first hour and instead devote that first hour every day to your most critical task. According to Julie, by concentrating on a critical task the day starts with you in charge of it, rather then the other way around. Thoughts? Comments? “ Answer: whether you should check email in the morning depends on a myriad of factors, so it’s not p … [Read more...]