Can Daydreaming be Productive?

You’re staring out your office window…lost in thought about your upcoming dinner party…when you jerk back to reality: “Oops, where was I?” you think, as you look down once again at the report on your desk.  You’ve been daydreaming. Daydreaming can be a real productivity bandit, especially when you’re supposed to be focusing on a higher-priority project.  Excessive daydreaming can waste precious time that could be better spent on other things. But daydreaming isn’t always bad.  There’s a difference between true daydreaming as the brain’s response to overload or boredom and thinking time that may lead to promising ideas. How do you ensure daydreaming time is productive time? Don’t use daydreaming to procrastinate.  Daydreaming can be a good tool for transitioning to a … [Read more...]

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...]

Finish What You Start—Even a Bottle of Wine

I received this from a friend who knows how much I preach about finishing what you start: "During these crazy days when we're going one hundred miles per hour and stress levels are soaring, I had to stop and tell myself that I need some inner peace.  I discovered that the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all of the things I have started.  I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a package of Oreos, the remainder of both my Prozac and Valium prescriptions, the rest of the cheesecake, some saltine crackers and a half box of chocolates. You have no idea how good I feel.  I am passing … [Read more...]

Time Saving Tips for Map Junkies

Are you a map junkie? Here are some cool map features on the Web, built around Google Maps: • Zip codes: type in a Zip code and see an outline of that Zip code area on the map; or click on the map and find the Zip code. maps.huge.info/zip.htm • What time is it? Click on the map anywhere in the world (or type in a city/country name), and see the local time in the nearest big city, also international country/city phone codes. www.gchart.com • How far did you walk? Double-click on points on the map; you'll see the route traced and the cumulative length of the route in miles (with mileage markers displayed). www.gmap-pedometer.com submitted by Ken Braly ([email protected]) … [Read more...]

What’s a WIKI?

Do you wiki? What is a wiki? A wiki is web software designed for collaboration. Unlike a traditional website where pages can only be read, in a wiki everyone can edit, update and append pages with new information, all without knowing HTML. Multiple people in same or different locations can all edit the same documents and create a shared archive. I like Jot.com. You don’t have to install a thing, and if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use JotSpot. JotSpot's wiki can be used in numerous ways: Create a corporate intranet Manage projects Collaborate on documents Keep a backup copy of your email by cc’ing your wiki Maintain the department birthday calendar … [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...]

England Against Long Hours: a holiday of their own

Think Americans are the only ones concerned with long hours?  Check out http://www.worksmart.org.uk/workyourproperhoursday/   “Over five million people at work in the United Kingdom regularly do unpaid overtime.”  Sheesh, if we in the United States could only be so lucky to have such a low number.  They believe there are five main reasons why people do unpaid overtime, so take the quiz and find out if you’re a “Stay Late Sheep,” a “Beast of Burden,” a “Cat Herder,” a “Chaos Theorist,” or a “Desk Junkie.” We have National Leave the Office Earlier day, and the United Kingdom has Work Your Proper Hours Day!  According to the site, February 21 marks the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year and starts earning for themselves.  No … [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...]