Get Things Done Without Doing It Yourself

An efficient way to get something done is to NOT do it! How does that work? (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

Emphasizing Life in Your Work/Life Balance

Emphasizing Life in Your Work/Life Balance by Laura Stack #productivity

"It's just like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won't have any/Lend it, spend it, and you'd have so many/They'll roll all over the floor!" —"Love Is Something If You Give It Away," a classic children's song.   The whole point of being more productive is not stuffing even more work into your extra time. American workers have already achieved their most productive levels in history, thanks to the Industrial and Electronic revolutions. One of the core values that drives me, both at work and #OutsideWork, is the belief that the best way to show your love is with your time—both to others and yourself. What does it profit you to earn a million dollars, if you destroy your health and your family in the process? There really are some things money can't buy, though you do pay for th … [Read more...]

Rest Your Way to Success: The Value of Productive Relaxation

Rest Your Way to Success: The Value of Productive Relaxation by Laura Stack #productivity

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." -- Chinese proverb. When I first read that the average American worker left 9.2 vacation days unused in 2012—three more than the year before!—I was shocked, but not surprised. Even in the waning days of the Great Recession, workers were still overstretched. They worried about taking all the time they were owed, lest they be replaced with hungrier workers while gone. Even today, half of us expect to work during vacations, and a third of us eat at our desks. It might be nice to return to the old days, when office life seemed easier, but I doubt that will happen. The business world is normalizing at a new level, one based on agility, speed, flexibility, and on-the-spot execution. This means that things will never be the … [Read more...]

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout by Laura Stack #productivity #rest #balance

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." -- John Lubbock, British scientist and politician. By nature, most of us in the business world feel driven to prove ourselves—by working hard, generating massive productivity, and moving up through the ranks. Before long, it becomes second nature to work long hours with a tight focus on work, often to the exclusion of other things in life. Some of us willingly sacrifice exercise, a decent diet, vacation, weekends, and even family time to get ahead. But what are we getting ahead for? If you really care about your work, you'll want to do what's best and most productive for the o … [Read more...]

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits by Laura Stack

"Make sure you take the time to feed yourself with what your spirit has to offer." -- Darren L. Johnson, American author. No doubt about it: you have to keep your wits sharp to successfully lead a team. Some experts claim that doing tough mental exercises will help you sharpen your mind: the New York Times crossword, Sudoku, logic puzzles, reading, learning new tasks, taking classes, and so on. While there's nothing wrong with any of those activities, some scientists say these studies are flawed—the jury's still out on that. I tend to intuitively believe the studies that show dementia and Alzheimer’s have large genetic components, so I’m always eager to know how to keep my wits sharp. But the way I look at it, I’m getting plenty of mental stimulation from the challenges of running a … [Read more...]

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: Five Enablers of Productive Achievement

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy - Five Enablers of Productive Achievement by Laura Stack #productivity

"Without rest, a man cannot work; without work, the rest does not give you any benefit." -- Abkhasian proverb. "Getting in shape isn't just about looking and feeling better, it’s actually smart business." -- Susan Solovic, American small business expert. We all know we do better, more productive work when we feel well. And yet, we’re stuck in a vicious cycle: when we work long hours and run short on time, we cut into our precious free time—the time it takes to do the things that keep us healthy: exercise, eat and drink properly, and sleep enough. So we find ourselves in an unproductive, unhealthy rut. Clearly, productivity alone doesn’t keep us healthy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. As psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden points out, "Productive achievement is a consequence and a … [Read more...]

Worn Out On the Way to Great Thoughts: Dealing with Overwork, Overwhelm, and MDD

Worn Out On the Way to Great Thoughts: Dealing with Overwork, Overwhelm, and MDD by Laura Stack #productivity

"Man was made at the end of the week, when God was tired." Victorian novelist George Eliot once wryly noted, "It is very difficult to be learned; it seems as if people were worn out on the way to great thoughts, and can never enjoy them because they are too tired." No doubt she was poking fun at the celebrities and politicians of the day, for she had a keen eye for politics and social intrigue, and an astute knowledge of the tendencies of her fellow Britons. I say "she" and "her" because despite her penname, Eliot was actually Mary Anne Evans, a woman who dared write serious novels in a period where most women limited themselves to bucolic romances. Lacking a formal education, she read widely and was heavily influenced by the Greek classics and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. She … [Read more...]

Walking the Tightrope

Walking the Tightrope by Laura Stack #productivity

I realize all you young go-getters would work 25/8 if possible; however, heed this advice from a 20-year business veteran who tried that: 1. You can't maintain a breakneck pace forever. Sure, you have to invest plenty of time getting your business aloft, but you shouldn't still be working so hard three years later. Something's gotta give—don't let it be you. 2. Protect your time. Keep external challenges from destroying your focus and eating your precious time. Block out time to concentrate on your strategic priorities and erect barriers against interruptions. 3. Know when to unplug. If you don’t take care of yourself and get the R&R you need, you won’t have the energy to take care of your business and other people. Carve out personal time to do the things you enjoy, away from … [Read more...]

Snoozing Your Way to Personal Productivity: How Much Sleep is Right for You?

"Sleep that knits up the ravel'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast..." -- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II  Do you get enough sleep at night? At first glance, you may wonder what this question has to do with personal productivity. But think back to the last time you missed a significant amount of sleep. How did you feel the next day? Were you able to get your work done efficiently and professionally? Probably not. I'll bet you felt tense, irritable, red-eyed, edgy, and drowsy—in other words, TIRED. Insufficient sleep can also leave you moody, lethargic, and unmotivated, damage your creativity and problem-solving skills, and make it difficult for you to make de … [Read more...]

The word guilt starts with a G – Productivity Minute Video

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, talks about guilt and how important it is to take care of ourselves. (C) 2012 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. http://www.TheProductivityPro.com   … [Read more...]