Get Away From It All to Improve Your Productivity

  Want to know a sure way to improve your productivity? Take a vacation! Working non-stop without breaks is counterproductive, as is focusing on work to the exclusion of family, friends, and fun. Some people claim to be so swamped they don't have time for a break— not for vacation, not for a social life, not for anything. I am severely unimpressed by people who brag about the long hours they put in each week. All this tells me is they're not managing their time well. You have to figure out how to get the results your job requires, leave the office on time, and get home to your life. If you're working too many hours, perhaps you're not delegating properly…or you haven't hired enough people…or you don't trust your assistant…or you haven't learned to use your email program correct … [Read more...]

Are You Stuck to Your Schedule?

Feel like your're in a rut? Feeling over-scheduled? Do something off-schedule that brings you joy. Drop into a bookstore. Take the long way home so you can drive around a beautiful lake. Your wellness is important. Take some time for yourself. No guilt! Recharge YOUR battery! Even the most productive among us needs to take the time to recharge our batteries. We need recreation to re-create, restore and renew. Another name for down time is your LIFE. We're not "human doings" after all—we're "human beings." No wonder we feel tired when we're scrimping on our own lives! Some people are so used to living on the hamster wheel that they don't know how to be on vacation. It’s not fair if you only take "working vacations." A real vacation doesn't involve your laptop by the pool, a Bla … [Read more...]

Life Balance: Running on Empty

Life Balance: If you're running on an empty tank and fumes of habit, everyone around you loses. So rid yourself of the guilt you feel when you relax. More on life balance: The word ‘guilt’ starts with a “G” for ‘garbage.’ We all need to stop and smell the roses on a regular basis, but for some reason, we seem to feel guilty about resting. This can be particularly true of mothers who work outside the home. I promise you no one's head is going to burst into flames if you take a hot bath. Your life won't fall apart if you sit on the porch swing and enjoy the spring air. It might, however, fall apart if you don't. Your ability to take care of others decreases when you don’t care for yourself! Time is valuable. You have to savor it and make time for the things that electrify your life … [Read more...]

The “Work Less, More Success” Guide to Time Management – Step Six

The final step in our series on the Productivity Workflow Formula™ (PWF) Step 6: Manage Your Capacity: REDUCE ENERGY EXPENDITURES The best-laid workflow plan will fall apart if you don't have the energy to sustain it. Therefore, Step 6 focuses on keeping yourself physically and mentally fit, through a combination of good sleep, diet, exercise, and preservation of personal happiness. Taken together, these form the hub that links and strengthens the other PWF steps. Begin by recognizing the limits of your personal "battery." You can only go so far before you run out of energy, so know when to slow down and recharge. Don't skip your scheduled breaks—stretch breaks, meals, personal time, weekends, and vacations—or fatigue may eventually overwhelm you. You can't stay productive if you don … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: Get Away From It All To Improve Your Productivity

Sometimes you need to get away from it all in order to get things done. Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), explains why it's important to do this from time to time. (C) 2012 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]

Increasing Productivity: Adequate Sleep

One of your greatest productivity resources is adequate sleep—especially when you find yourself facing an extreme work week. But knowing you need a good night's sleep and actually getting one can be two different things. What if you just can't get enough sleep, no matter what you do? If the problem persists long term, I recommend you have yourself tested at a sleep center in order to determine whether you have an organic problem interfering with your sleep habits. However, you can often handle short-term sleep issues "in house," so to speak, by changing certain aspects of your behavior. In this tip, I'll outline a few simple practices that can help you get the sleep you need. First off, never watch TV, work, or even read while you're in bed. Use your bed for sleeping only. Otherwise, y … [Read more...]

Get Out of Town! 5 Tips for Lightening Your Workload So You Can Take a Vacation

You work hard. You covet every day of vacation you’re entitled to. So why aren’t you using them? According to Expedia.com’s annual “Vacation Depravation” survey, nearly one-third of Americans do not always take their vacation days. In fact, Americans are likely to give back more than 421 million unused vacation days in 2005.  Before blaming your job for forcing you to surrender your precious time off, take a look at your own habits at work and home. The best way ensure that you don’t forego a single well-deserved day on the beach, on the slopes or just relaxing at home, is to increase your personal productivity. By tweaking the way you work and structure your day, you can get more done in less time and feel good about it. Best of all, you will never have to say no to a vacation again. Here … [Read more...]

How to Leave Work Early and Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day

A few tips from expert Laura Stack to help you enjoy more time with your loved ones on Valentine's Day. Hectic work schedules have probably ruined more Valentine Day celebrations than we care to think about. It is easy to schedule business dinners for February 14th without a second thought…until the day before…when it finally hits us. More so than expensive jewelry or chocolates, many people are satisfied with having the undivided attention of a loved one for the evening. Laura Stack, Productivity Expert and author of Leave the Office Earlier, has these tips to help you create an unforgettable Valentine’s Day: Plan before you leave work. Double-check your planner and organize activities for the next day before you leave the office on Valentine’s Day. Getting tomorrow’s tasks out of your … [Read more...]

Lessons from the 2010 American Time Use Survey

"The business of the United States is business." -- Calvin Coolidge and several other American presidents "Last year continued to show the effects of the weak economy. The amount of time spent watching T.V. and other nonproductive activities remains extraordinarily high." -- Alan Krueger, American economist, in response to the 2010 American Time Use Study. "On an average day, 20 percent of men did housework -- such as cleaning or doing laundry -- compared with 49 percent of women." -- Citation from the 2010 American Time Use Study. On June 22, 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the results of its annual American Time Use Survey (ATUS) for 2010. A yearly tradition since 2003, ATUS offers a fascinating glimpse into the ways that Americans spend an average day. This time … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: No Nosing In on Family Time

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses the importance of getting things done at work so your family time is not compromised. (C) 2011 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved http://www.TheProductivityPro.com … [Read more...]