Six Signs It’s Time to Quit: How to Know When to Move On

Six Signs It's Time to Quit: How to Know When to Move On by Laura Stack #productivity

"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."—Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers. Quitters never win. Winners never quit. We've had it drummed into us a thousand times to keep trying, to fail forward, to fail fast, that you really only fail when you quit, and that Thomas Edison never failed—he just found 10,000 ways that didn't work, etc. etc. I've said those things to my children myself, and for most business decisions, they're sound advice. When you quit trying, you disengage from your job. When that causes you to let productivity go into the toilet, then you really have fai … [Read more...]

Announcing the next course in Laura Stack’s Productivity University Series!

Become a Microsoft Outlook Email Cracker-Jack with Laura Stack! Managing Your Workflow and Keeping Your Inbox Empty Start 2017 with an empty inbox! Participate in five one-hour training sessions with Laura and then complete assignments in between. You’ll receive a detailed workbook for each session with screen shots and step-by-step instructions, as well as a recording of the session to review again and again. Don’t worry if you can’t attend the sessions live or miss one, because you can watch the recording any time you wish. Five Mondays starting 11/14 at 10:00 to 11:00 AM mountain (i.e., 9:00 Pacific, 10:00 Mountain, 11:00 Central, 12:00 Eastern) 11/14 11/21 11/28 12/5 12/12 You need this course if you currently: Put things to do on your calendar Use your … [Read more...]

Seven Productivity Boosting Foods and Drinks: Improving Brain Power Though Biology

even Productivity Boosting Foods and Drinks: Improving Brain Power Though Biology by Laura Stack #productivity

"You are what you eat."—Traditional English-language axiom. You probably know by now that staying hydrated and eating well are excellent ways to ensure high levels of productivity, because the better you feel, the easier it is to be productive. But did you know that specific foods and beverages can actually make you more productive than normal when eaten regularly and in moderation? ( … [Read more...]

Six Ways to Nag Without Seeming To: How to Make Sure Your Work Process Keeps Flowing

Six Ways to Nag Without Seeming To: How to Make Sure Your Work Process Keeps Flowing

"I never say 'nagging.' I think that 'nagging' is a term that men created to get women to pipe down some. But it's a trap that we've created…Nagging means to stop asking me questions." – Steve Harvey, American comedian and actor. Nagging doesn't really work well, in or out of the office—not when people see it for what it is. For one thing, most people don't care to be told what to do, especially by those at or below their level in a hierarchy; for another, they hate to be pestered, especially when they feel they have plenty of time to get something done. Some people see nagging as a threat to their freedom. They especially dislike the manager who constantly reminds them of things they need to do, because they view it as micromanaging—as it may be. That's certainly not the case when … [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Hone Your Decisiveness: Evading the Curse of Indecision

Five Reasons to Hone Your Decisiveness: Evading the Curse of Indecision

"Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all." – Brian Tracy, American motivational speaker and writer One of the productivity topics I see discussed repeatedly in the business world is the issue of decisiveness. You'd think there would be some consensus on how to achieve it by now, but every guru seems to have his or her own process. Some will tell you to trust your instincts and make snap judgments. Others insist you build team consensus first, while still others suggest you get all your ducks in a row, then take massive action. To some extent, they could all be correct, depending upon the circumstances and your depth of knowledge about those circumstances. However, the one thing they all agree on is … [Read more...]

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Six Simple Workload Tips Managing Maximum Performance Without Making Work Your Life

Ever since the Millennial generation entered the workforce, we're seen a resurgence in the idea that "work" and "life" represent two distinct things: i.e., that we can excel at our jobs and still have an enjoyable life outside the office. Although I personally belong to "Generation X," I've been in the vanguard of this movement: I've dedicated my career to teaching people how to achieve maximum results in the minimum amount of time, so they can get out of the office on time (or at least earlier) and spend more time with their friends and families and hobbies. I try to practice what I preach, too. You can be super-efficient without chaining yourself to your desk, no matter how you may sometimes feel ( … [Read more...]

Five Tips to Work Productively from Home: Whether You Telecommute Occasionally or Always

"On the fourth day of telecommuting, I realized that clothes are totally unnecessary."—Scott Adams, American cartoonist. Whether you call it distance working, telecommuting, or freelancing, technology has made working from home more effective and productive than ever before ( … [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

"Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking."—William Buell Sprague, 19th Century American clergyman. One theme I've emphasized repeatedly in my writings is that "busy" doesn't necessarily mean "productive." Just because you're staying busy doesn't mean you're accomplishing anything important. Checking 30 tiny tasks off your to-do list may not prove nearly as significant (or as profitable) as completing one high-priority project. To boost your productivity, work hard and constantly on the high-priority tasks that matter the most. ( Multilevel marketers are fond of the term "massive action." I find this a handy synonym for good, productive work, though some observers disparage the term, assuming it refers only to staying busy, rather than staying busy with i … [Read more...]

Business Culture

business culture

[TRANSCRIPT] If you have a culture of tardiness, it’s easy to spot. If a meeting is supposed to start at 2:00, it actually begins at 2:15. This culture of tardiness results in people showing up at 2:15 for a 2:00 meeting, because that behavior has been reinforced and rewarded with no penalties, usually by the leadership. And don’t just brush it off by telling me, “Oh, well that’s just our culture.” It’s rude and doesn’t respect others’ time. If you just waive it off, you’re using it as an excuse to enable unprofessional behaviors. You must work to change the culture over time. Six months to a year from now, you can have an “on time” culture if you call attention to it, create some protocols, and instill discipline in yourself and others who don’t follow the rules. Culture changes based on y … [Read more...]