The Sunny Side of the Street: Four Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Positivity

"For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7, Holy Bible. Let's talk about brainwashing yourself. Okay, I'll admit that sounds a little strange; but when you get right down to it, brainwashing is a kind of pounded-in, acquired training you find very difficult to break. That's not always bad. I'm not talking about Manchurian Candidate-level conditioning, just self-teaching that helps you succeed. This involves simple, practical ways of rewiring your subconscious mind from negativity to positivity, so instead of being what a colleague of mine calls a "PITA negatron," you automatically look for the best side of any situation. Every affirmation you tell yourself each morning, every photo you look at to motivate yourself, every mantra you consider, every firm belief in … [Read more...]

When Good is Good Enough: Five Situations When Perfection Is Counterproductive

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.— Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Author of The Little Prince Ever heard the term "Good enough for government work?" I heard that a lot growing up in a military family. Despite how it may sound, it's neither a low-bidder type of comment, nor an excuse for poor work: It just means you've done the work to the required specifications and can move on. This is crucial when you've got a lot of non-critical tasks on your plate. There really are times when good enough is good enough—when perfection just gets in your way. You don’t always have to do a job perfectly! In this blog, we'll consider a few common cases where perfection is a waste of time and becomes the enemy of good. You don't want to … [Read more...]

Stress is Only Bad If It’s Bad: Five Instances When Stress Is Good for You

"Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one." Hans Selye, Austrian-Canadian endocrinologist. Stress gets a bad rap it doesn't always deserve. Like millions of us, you're probably wary of any stress, especially when trying to juggle a reasonable work/life balance. But stress doesn't get you in the end: what does is strain, the unrelieved result of too much negative stress. According to mental health researchers, stress isn't always bad for you. They divide it into good and bad categories: eustress and distress, respectively. And you can even convert distress into eustress sometimes. Let's see how stress can sometimes help you. 1. When it triggers positive action. Low levels of stress—or even brief high levels of stress—can spur you into bursts of … [Read more...]

Six Ways to Ensure a Restorative Workspace: Translating Comfort to Productivity

"A change is as good as a rest." – Old English language saying, attributed to British poet Andrew Leach. Most of us realize the value of taking care of ourselves. Taking care of, cherishing, and loving ourselves translates into greater productivity. But often, we think of this as something we do only in our down time or during our breaks. Taking breaks is certainly a good start, but you can also boost your productivity by making your workspace a more pleasant place to spend time. I'm not talking about ergonomics here; I’m talking about mental and emotional comfort. In many cases, comfort has more than a physical element; it's psychological as well. (← click to tweet) When you're mentally and emotionally calm and fulfilled, even at a subconscious level, you'll feel better physically, and … [Read more...]

Three Simple Family Routines to Make You More Productive at Work: Striking the Ideal Work-Life Balance

"The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." – Harold B. Lee, American religious leader and educator. I find it amusing that some of my colleagues claim the concept of work/life balance is dead. It's not that they all believe you should give up on having a personal life if you want to get ahead at work, though this sometimes seems to be the subtext. Most simply believe work and the rest of life have become so intertwined we can't pull them apart, so we have no choice but to respond to email and Facebook requests on the beach or while doing laundry or dining with the family. Hogwash. Having boundaries and balancing work and the rest of life is absolutely crucial for your sanity, especially when you want to have a life once you retire. Besides, … [Read more...]

Six Signs It’s Time to Quit: How to Know When to Move On

Six Signs It's Time to Quit: How to Know When to Move On by Laura Stack #productivity

"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."—Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers. Quitters never win. Winners never quit. We've had it drummed into us a thousand times to keep trying, to fail forward, to fail fast, that you really only fail when you quit, and that Thomas Edison never failed—he just found 10,000 ways that didn't work, etc. etc. I've said those things to my children myself, and for most business decisions, they're sound advice. When you quit trying, you disengage from your job. When that causes you to let productivity go into the toilet, then you really have fai … [Read more...]

Success and Life Balance

[TRANSCRIPT] If you really want to be successful, you have to touch home. You have to pay attention to the people who are right there in front of you. You have to love your work AND love your family equally. How do you have great satisfaction in both, without sacrificing one for the other? I love my career and try to work at my productive best. I’m always asking myself how can I execute, how can I leverage my time, and how can I focus on tasks that are central to my work and get rid of the extraneous things. How can I be disciplined, not procrastinate, focus on things in order of importance, or set boundaries with other people? By being productive in this way, I achieve the greatest results possible in the least amount of time. THEN I can get out of the office on time and go home to the p … [Read more...]

Four Reasons Why Work/Life Balance is Still Valid

Four Reasons Why Work/Life Balance is Still Valid

"Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."—Dolly Parton, American singer, actress, and businesswoman. Recently I've seen a lot of "RIP Work/Life Balance" claims, arguing that the concept is dying, if not already dead. Some people state outright that you can no longer expect much of a personal life if you ever want to reach the C-Suite. Most, however, just claim there's simply no longer a reasonable difference between work and personal life. Smartphones, Wi-Fi, and related technology have made it possible for work to intrude upon your private life anywhere, anytime… so, they say, you may as well give up on the idea of having any sort of work/life balance. I'll concede that technology has blurred the line between work and personal life, so that work can in … [Read more...]

Five Ways to Maintain Your Most Important Asset: YOU!

Five Ways to Maintain Your Most Important Asset: YOU!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival."— Audre Lorde, American writer and civil rights advocate. In your rush to adopt the latest tools to maximize your productivity, you may have forgotten to take care of your greatest asset—the one you got free at the beginning of your career. It's unusually durable and self-repairing; with even minimal care, it can last for decades. With moderate care, it'll last even longer. While it comes more or less for free, you do have to maintain it, making sure you give it the fuel and preventative maintenance it needs to work at maximum efficiency. No, I'm not talking about the company car. I'm talking about you. As long as you get it the few things it needs in the right qua … [Read more...]

You Can Not Be Productive While Falling Asleep

We don't do our best work while exhausted. Self-care is key! (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]