What Saps Your Energy?

I’m doing some primary research on productive energy.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that fatigue and lack of energy affect more than 14 million people between the ages of 17-69.  Nothing sounds more attractive to you than putting your heads down for a quick nap, and you sleepwalk through the day, fuzzyheaded and lethargic.  People who lack energy can’t work on big projects at work or home without the drive or desire—the oomph—to be productive.  Just think of all the wonderful business and personal goals people could accomplish if they just had the energy to get up and go! If this sounds like you, I’d like to hear from you!  What saps YOUR energy?  Fill in the blank..."I could be more productive if __________."  &n … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Improving Your Concentration Span

Rinoa posts, “Could you post something about improving your concentration span? I know the reason why I procrastinate is because I know I won't be able to concentrate long enough to finish the task. Please help.” Inability to concentrate comes from three main sources: 1.      Technology 2.      People 3.      Your brain 1.  TECHNOLOGY.  First, you must disable your global email alerts, so you don’t receive a notification for every garbage email coming into your in-box but still be able to receive an alert for “important” people.  Turn off your global desktop alerts in Outlook: Under the Tools menu Select Options In the Preferences Tab, select Email options In the Email Options dialog box, … [Read more...]