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...]

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...]

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...]

I intended to post an article on procrastination but didn’t get around to it

As author Jennifer Duffy quipped in her article in the Arizona Daily Star on 3/13/06, "I know I should have thought of a better joke, but I ran out of time."  Jennifer posts several quotes from me in her article on conquering procrastination, such as breaking up large tasks into little pieces, do something for only five minutes to gain momentum, etc. All those ideas are nice, but fundamentally, if you really want to conquer procrastination, you have to understand the psychology behind WHY you're doing it.  All the tips in the world won't help if you don't take time to understand your behaviors around the procrastination habit.  Then you can match the HOW with the WHY.  Not all tips work for all people. Lee Silber advocates in the book "Organizing From the Right Side of the Brain: A Cre … [Read more...]

Music, iPods, and Productivity

I was mentioned in the USA Today on 3/23 in a story called "Music hath charms for some workers — others it annoys" http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/gear/2006-03-23-ipod-work_x.htm My quote was (as is usual) taken a bit out of context.  When I said "I'm all for it," I was referring specifically to people who say they can concentrate while music is playing in their ears (look at your average teenager, listening to music, IMing with friends, watching tv, and doing homework at the same time).  Just because you can concentrate don't mean others can.  At work, you definitely should follow iPod etiquette and not blast your music through your computer's speakers or portable iPod speakers.  When you use your earbuds, make sure it's soft enough that you c … [Read more...]

Changing poor productivity habits

Changing poor productivity habits Dixie Sanner writes an article in the Washington Business Journal called Time Smart: Too busy? Trick is habit (re) forming.  (See it at http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/02/27/smallb2.html?hbx=e_sw).  In it, she outlines a 5-step process in changing your habits: 1.      Pinpoint the habit you want to change and analyze it.   2.      Describe what you'd like to do instead 3.      Develop a new routine that will help your new habit take root 4.      Be consistent 5.      Ask for help All really good advice.  But the article doesn’t do much to give you specific ideas on new routines (step 3).  If we really want to be “Time Smart,” which habits should we change?  Perhaps the article should have focused on one specific bad habit and … [Read more...]