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 (www.astronautspeaker.com).  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...]

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...]

Time management during the holidays: purposeful non-productive time or productive non-purposeful time

Not that you're keeping track, but I haven't posted this week.  With the blizzard that hit Denver a few days before Christmas, and the one we're in the midst of right now, the city has been a forced to slow down.  It's been a blissful few days of purposeful non-productivity.  Most people (who weren't stuck in the airport) unexpectedly spent several days holed up with their families, which can be great for life balance. I built every Bionicle, Lego, and Exoforce kit my sons got for Christmas---real quality time doing activities they love.  Hmmm...I also spent time purging my files and pulling out tax documents for 2006...so I guess it wasn't all non-productive. Some businesses, not blizzards, also purposefully cause a slowdown during the holidyas.  This article "We're not as productive … [Read more...]

Why are women great time managers?

In the December edition of my monthly newsletter, I posed the question "I’d love to hear from the men on this one, but at least in my circle, why does it seem that the woman is the social, family, and child coordinator in the family?"  I heard back from three men, who basically agreed with me.  Are there any men out there who arrange the kids' playdates, handle school arrangements, schedule with couple friends, or otherwise act as the family coordinator?  Women, does your husband help you with these tasks? When I introduced my fiancée to my Aunt (34 years ago, we've married a long time ago) I mentioned that she was "quiet". My Aunt said, "There is only room for one mouth in a couple, and you are the one that talks, so it's alright." In your … [Read more...]

Workaholism: a well-defined addiction

I wrote recently about an article from the Christian Science Monitor, in which a reporter interviewed me about "Extreme Jobs," people who work 80+ hour workweeks. I received an email from someone who read my post, miffed that I could judge someone, as "I did not know her." Of course I don't know her and can't judge her personally...I'm sure she's a very nice person, gives to the poor, and rescues puppies...and the only thing I (and anyone else for that matter) can observe is behavior. Working seven days a week, 11 hours a day (not including time at home working) is workaholism, pure and simple (heck, even God rested on the seventh day). It's been studied, researched, and rehashed, and just because it’s been re-titled an “extreme job” doesn’t mean it’s anything new. It's … [Read more...]

Maintenance vs. progress

Ahhhh...what a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend!  Rested, ate, played...and made some progress.  Not just maintained the status quo or existing systems, but you made progress.  Yes, it's important to maintain your systems: food is prepared, the house is cleaned, dishes are washed, bills are paid, etc.  But nothing is gained with those activities; there is no forward momentum.  Those things are done simply to keep you from sliding backward.  You got out all the nice china for Thanksgiving dinner.  You washed it.  You ate on it.  You washed it.  You put it away.  Back to the same place you were before.  Yes, of course you have wonderful memories with your family and relaxed a bit.  … [Read more...]

Time Management in Hawaii?

I've been on vacation from my blog while on vacation in Hawaii (Big Island).  It was the first time in five years my husband and I took a vacation, sans kids, for more than a few days.  We were gone eight wonderful days, and it really stretched my mind and rested my soul. First off, I the leisurely pace of Hawaii is of coure much different than the snap-snap hustle bustle of Denver.  Relaxation was the mantra, which was usually wonderful, except when practiced by employees who are supposed to be in customer service roles.  It took over an hour for the bellman to retrieve our luggage!  Instead of taking our rental car, we would take nice long walks to the Starbucks down the road from our hotel. Here's a picture of the beautiful Birds of Paradise lining the walkway: We stayed at a … [Read more...]

Microsoft at Work article

My article "7 Ways to Leave the Office Earlier" was posted in the Microsoft at Work newsletter at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/atwork/work/leavetheoffice.mspx I'd love to hear your strategies, secrets, and tips for how you get out of the office earlier and keep from working late nights!  Ideas? … [Read more...]

Keeping Your Energy Up During the Day

I asked my newsletter readers "What do you do to keep your energy up during the day?" and received the following replies.  Please comment if you have a tip to add! Hi, I do little 'sprints' through out the day, especially if I am feeling tired. I will get up & run in place or walk quickly around the house for 5-10 minutes (I work at home) it gives me just enough of energy bursts to keep me going. Thanks, Misty Misty Kenner- creativity coach www.pictureperfectscrapbookco.com I live in the Midwest. I work for a larger company in a smaller town.  I am fortunate that the parking lot at work is not that large. When I feel tired, during my lunch break I will go out to the car (truck), recline the seat and catch a short "catnap".  15-20 minutes … [Read more...]