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...]

Productivity, Tendonitis, and Treos

I remember reading some of the citations about "Blackberry Thumb," http://www.wordspy.com/words/BlackBerrythumb.asp years/months ago and thinking, “How ridiculous.  You mean to tell me they actually have a definition of this condition?”  Yep!  It’s "A repetitive stress injury characterized by swelling and pain at the base of the thumb and caused by prolonged use of the thumb while operating a BlackBerry or other personal digital assistant."  Well, now I’m not laughing so loud.  I went to the hand surgeon today with a severe, stabbing pain at the base of my thumb and wrist.  I left after a diagnosis for tendonitis, a cortisone shot in the joint, a wrist brace to sleep in for one month, and a strict admonishment to not hold my phone an … [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...]

Get your files organized for tax time

While you're already pulling receipts, statements, and records to prepare for tax time, take the time to get organized!  Remove bank and credit card statements, utilities, investment, and any financial records related to this tax year.  Put in a white archive box (you can get from any office supply store) and label the lid with the year and put it in your basement, attic, or closet.  Then make new hanging files for the next tax year.  If you get into the habit of pulling and replacing file folders at the beginning of each year while you're doing taxes, you will keep your files neat and purged.  Half-way through the year, also do a second purge by going file by file and removing anything outdated or that you haven't used in a year and add it to your current year's … [Read more...]