The Crackberry: A Corporate Noose or Time Leveraging Tool: Time Management and Blackberries

I enjoyed this post about how to be more productive with your Crackberry, I mean Blackberry. Especially true is Nakagawa's comment, "...the people who are the most productive don’t seem to have them."  I'm sure you have your beefs about Blackberry usage in your organization (or by your spouse, for that matter).  If you were king or queen of the world, what "rules" would you create about Blackberry usage?  In addition to the 10 the author lists, I'll add the following from personal experience: 1.  Do not pretend you are listening to someone by brainlessly mumbling "uh-huh" while you are answering an email on your Crackberry. 2.  Pay attention to the presenter during training sessions rather than using the time as your personal … [Read more...]

Handling interruptions: scheduling time for drop-in visitors

Schedule your interruptions.  Perhaps one of the reasons you’re being interrupted so frequently is you’re never around and available.  This is especially true of people who travel for a living or spent most of the day wrapped up in meetings.  It’s understandable that you’ll be pounced upon by your assistant when you suddenly emerge, and she’s been waiting to ask you some questions for two days.  Here are some ways you can actually plan for and around interruptions: ·        Schedule regular check-in times. If you have an assistant, you’ll want to set up a regular time (or several times) each day or week to touch base.  Have your assistant “save up” all questions he or she has and ask them all at once during your regularly scheduled … [Read more...]

Time management and chronic pain

It’s very hard to do much of anything when you’re in pain.  Chronic pain can really sap your energy.  I’m guilty of putting up with too much pain, deciding “that’s just the way it is; nothing I can do about it.”  I’ve been in a few car accidents over the years—including one major one in which I fractured my back at 20 years old.  I’ve dealt with whiplash (and corresponding problems with my cervical spine) and a compression fracture between my shoulder blades (and corresponding problems with my thoracic spine).  I went through a lot of physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and injections to try to cure the pain, and many treatments were helpful, but nothing completely resolved my pain.  So basically I endure a dull ache in my back.  I often have the … [Read more...]

Control Your Technology…Don’t Let It Control You

Control Your Technology…Don’t Let It Control You

Today’s children spend an average of 15 hours a week watching television, playing video games, and surfing the Internet. Is there any wonder why childhood obesity has risen at alarming rates? Laptops, PDAs, pagers, cell phones…the technological devices that were supposed to make our lives simpler are taking away our lives. We’re working harder to keep up with our own inventions. The “always available” nature of technology wreaks havoc in some people’s personal lives. The price of being available 24-7 is the loss of time for loved ones, reflection, relaxation, and spiritual growth. It’s time we asserted control over technology and used it to enhance our lives, rather than robbing our lives of sacred time. Limit your television watching. When I was a child, I was allowed to watch two … [Read more...]

Time Management in Space? Productivity for Astronauts?

I recently met a former astronaut, Rick Searfoss, who told me he brings on the lessons of teamwork, leadership, innovation and peak performance lessons of human spaceflight down to earth for all to enjoy (  I bit and asked him what he learned about time management by being an astronaut and if there was such a thing as productivity in space.  His quotes on how the principles of productivity apply in space fascinated me, and I hope you gain some insights from his experiences as well: “There’s nothing so bad that you can’t make it worse.”  He spent hundreds of hours in a simulator, training on what to do in an emergency, and working on procedures he may never have to use.  From a technical perspective, the rookie pilot the left has the most … [Read more...]

Controlled by your computer

I just read this quote by Lewis Eigen, uttered in 1961, which is even more profound today than it was then: "The workers and professionals of the world will soon be divided into two distinct groups. Those who will control computers and those who will be controlled by computers. It would be best for you to be in the former group." A 2001 survey sponsored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and conducted by Harris Interactive shows that the increased use of technology such as cell phones, beepers, email, and computers has had a tremendous impact on the feelings of overwork in America. The four out of ten employees who use technology often or very often for their jobs during typical non-work hours more frequently feel overworked. About one-fifth of employees in the study said they often or … [Read more...]

How to Keep Your Car Organized and Clean and Keep it From Being a Two-Ton Trashcan on Wheels

How to Keep Your Car Organized and Clean and Keep it From Being a Two-Ton Trashcan on Wheels

I never pictured myself driving a minivan. As a kid, I thought I’d rather die than drive one of those ridiculous-looking station wagons. They definitely weren’t cool. But, alas, I’m a minivan Mom. Granted, it’s a cool minivan (Honda Odyssey), because it has so much storage space and the doors open automatically. With three kids, often their friends, and all their junk, I’ve decided a minivan is an essential piece of organizing equipment. Because our van is so big and roomy, the three kids have managed to trash it by the time a trip to the zoo is over. Food wrappers and used Kleenex litter the floors, and empty juice boxes and toys cover the seats. When the car pulls into the garage, the kids know to grab as much as they can; no one is allowed out of the car empty-handed. If the car … [Read more...]

Saving time writing and researching with the Son of Citation Machine

I'm on a three-day writing retreat, composing my newest manuscript Up Your Energy!  The only thing I dislike about writing is creating the citations for my endnotes---making sure they are in exactly the right format consumes a great deal of time and energy.  Well.  Enter the "Son of Citation Machine," a web-based tool that automatically creates the citations for you in the correct format.  You choose the writing style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) and the format (book, website, magazine, etc.), fill in the appropriate fields presented to you, hit submit, and VIOLA!  I perfectly-formatted citation you can copy and paste into your endnote description.  This has saved me precious hours of time already, and I highly recommend it. … [Read more...]

Nutrition, diet, and productivity

I've been away from the blog for 10 days now...not that you're counting...completing my 2007 preparations.  Corporate America is back to work, so my training business is back into the swing of things.  And so is my diet.  Not a diet as in "lose weight," but a diet as in a meal plan.  After weeks of eating improperly, I'm back at it.  Having a balanced diet will help you be more productive; poor eating habits can make you fuzzyheaded. The American Dietetic Association in Chicago says that people perform less efficiently on an empty stomach. Fatigue from low blood sugar levels leads to poor concentration. So your brain needs to get away from work to function optimally. You can’t expect your car to start if you don’t put gasoline in it, and your body is the … [Read more...]

Top Ten Personal Productivity New Years Resolutions for 2007

I know many of you want to set some New Years Resolutions, but you're resisting, because you don't have the space of time or mind to add things to your to-do list.  So let me propose some things you might consider to resolve in 2007 that aren't tasks but MINDSETS and BEHAVIORS of personal productivity. 1.  Seek to be a person of your word.  Are you reliable?  Can people count on you to do what you say you're going to do?  Do you have integrity and keep the deadlines you promise?  What's others' perception of you?  Do you live out what you affirm?  Do you do what you complain about in others?  What things do people "jokingly" say about you and your behavior?  2.  Seek to model productivity.  Do you have a reputation of … [Read more...]