Win Laura Stack’s new book

Win Laura Stack’s new book;

Learn how to “Find More Time”

If you’re like most people, you probably never seem to find enough time – in the office or at home – to accomplish everything you hope to in a day. The problem, says internationally recognized productivity expert Laura Stack, isn’t a shortage of time; it’s how we choose to use the time we do have.

“Productivity is my passion and obsession,” says Stack, whose Denver-based business uses the moniker The Productivity Pro. “I see how productivity tips such as those I share through my consulting practice, public speaking and writing can make a difference in people’s lives. And that spurs me to learn more about the topic and to share examples of what others are doing to fulfill their life’s dreams. It’s what makes me a voracious reader, consummate observer and life-long learner.”

Stack, who is a regular contributor to Microsoft Work Essentials, is celebrating the release of her second book, which began appearing in bookstores on June 13. It’s called, “Find More Time: How to get things done at home, organize your life, and feel great about it.”

Her first book, published in 2004, was “Leave the Office Earlier.” It focused on workplace productivity. “Find More Time” is complementary, she says, and teaches readers how to create a “fulfilling, productive life rather than wandering aimlessly, never quite being satisfied with what they’ve accomplished.”

It’s part self-help book, part autobiography and just plain fun to read. And Microsoft employees who send Stack an e-mail detailing the things they’ve done to squeeze more time out of their workdays and into their personal lives, may win one of five personalized, autographed copies of the book, thanks to Work Essentials, MS Web and the book’s publisher, Broadway Books, a division of Random House. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by July 3 and winners will be notified by July 31.

“Most self-help books focus on a single skill such as organizing, stress or time management,” Stack says. “This book takes a holistic approach and looks at everything you’re trying to accomplish at home and what prevents you from getting things done. It takes a classic study of productivity and moves it from the workplace into the home.”

The book focuses on eight pillars of personal productivity – plans, priorities, personality, pests, possessions, paper, post and play — and you can read its chapters in any order and still learn to improve your use of time, she adds. “The concept is simple. When all eight pillars support you equally, you’re better able to accomplish your life goals. It’s like a house in a flood zone that’s built on columns. If one or more of them are weak or missing, the home’s stability is threatened. In the same way, these eight pillars support your life – your personal house.”

Stack, who confesses to being a huge e-mail/Outlook junkie, says her research is as much for her personal benefit as it is for her clients. “I’m fallible just like anyone else. I’m actually fairly lazy and I don’t like to work hard. So I try to find the most efficient and least brain-damaging way to do everything.”

She averages 10 personal appearances and training seminars a month and considers herself blessed to have found a career that is fun. “I’m one of the lucky ones who can’t tell the difference between work and play. I encourage everyone to keep looking, keep trying, keep reaching – until they find the path that makes them eager to start every day,” she says.

“When you discover that magic, you won’t ‘work’ another day in your life and you’ll be able to focus your time on the things that really matter to you: family, health, happiness, spirituality, or whatever else may be on your list. The money you make will be a bonus rather than the goal.”