Laura Stack to be interviewed on CBS Early Show!

Friends, please tune to the CBS Early Show on Monday, June 26, where I'm to be interviewed LIVE about my new book "Find More Time"!  It will help me be less nervous in front of 3.2 million people knowing you are all rooting for me. … [Read more...]

Is Socializing a Waste of Time?

I read with a mixture of interest and amusement an article referencing a study done by OfficeTeam/ Robert Half International about whether socializing at work around the water cooler is a waste of time.  http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=2278 Predictably, workers said no.  Predictably, managers said yes.  The answer, of course, is YES...and NO.  This is a silly study.  As with any study, it's easy to skew the numbers.  The answers vary, depending upon the context in which it's discussed and your point of reference.  Certainly, socializing can be a waste of time.  Thirty minutes spent chatting about your aunt Sally's surgery could qualify as a non-value producing activity.  However, not all socializing is a waste of … [Read more...]

Get out of town and take a vacation

Have you taken your allotted vacation time this year?  If not, check out http://search.csmonitor.com/2006/0612/p13s02-wmgn.htm.  I'm quoted on my advice for a 10-day vacation, but it's easy to miss within the article.  I've always thought one week was too short for a vacation, but two weeks seemed a bit too long, especially if I don't have my children with me.  So I've come to enjoy a compromise at 10 days.  It's long enough where I can relax and forget what day it is but short enough where I don't come back to an overwhelming workload.  If you take these 10 days tagged on to Memorial Day weekend, July 4 weekend, or Labor Day weekend, you end up with 2 full weeks and three weekends, which gives you time at the end of your vacation to get organized and back … [Read more...]

Don’t forget to buy FIND MORE TIME on June 13!

Last reminder! On Tuesday, June 13 ONLY, if you purchase my new book Find More Time ONLY at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767922026/qid=1141425861/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-0341048-7344903?s=books&v=glance&n=283155, you will receive: *A 10-day eCourse on how to leave the office earlier * A poster on How to be P.R.O.D.U.C.T.I.V.E. * A self-study audio seminar and workbook on being more productive at work * A subscription to my monthly ezine "The Productivity Pro" * An eBook on Organizing Your Office and Your Life The bonus goodies offer does not apply to books purchased on any other day at any other bookstore. Best, Laura … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Find More Time for Your Life

You have a sink full of dishes, three loads of laundry, 17 bills to pay, you’re not sure how many e-mails to answer, a big stack of novels you’d love to read, and zero — count them — ZERO minutes of free time.  “Where does the time go?” you lament. Here are some ideas to get you started on your quest to have a life: 1.      Reduce waiting time. If your doctor or meetings always run late, plan ahead.  Make good use of this time and carry note cards, bills and magazines in your tote. 2.      Limit your television watching.  Sensible limits may relieve guilt from overindulging, while freeing up time for more worthwhile pursuits. TIVO or tape your favorite shows and skip the commercials. 3.      Say no to … [Read more...]

Organizing Your Parents’ and Grandparents’ Stuff Before They Die!

Oh my goodness.  I just spent three days in San Antonio with my grandparents going through old photo albums, packets of God-knows-how-old photos, and envelopes with miscellaneous scraps.  I HIGHLY recommend you take on this sort of project BEFORE your grandparents or parents die.  I'm not even half-way done!  I can't imagine how people can go through someone's things after they're are deceased and try to figure this out!  Has anyone had this happen?  "Who's this?"  "Uhhhh...I think that's the neighbor's kid in Panama...1967 or so."  "Who's this?"  "Hmmmm...oh yeah! That was the lady who drew mom's blood in the hospital in 1996!" And so on.  Right into the trash went those photos.  My plan of … [Read more...]

Why Should You Care About Productivity?

I've had several people email me in the last few days about the U.S. productivity figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics a few weeks ago.  Great news.  3.2% increase in the first quarter.  But not quite where we were in 2002-2003 with levels over 4%.  One quarter in 2003 had over 8%!  That's when we were all working like dogs, when everyone was afraid of losing their jobs, before employees screamed "enough"! But still it's absolutely amazing that we can sustain this level of productivity.  Fundamentally, why should you care?  Well, why does your organization care about  productivity? In order to be successful, your organization must both make money and save money. To make money, it must find and keep customers. To save money, … [Read more...]

Can Daydreaming be Productive?

You’re staring out your office window…lost in thought about your upcoming dinner party…when you jerk back to reality: “Oops, where was I?” you think, as you look down once again at the report on your desk.  You’ve been daydreaming. Daydreaming can be a real productivity bandit, especially when you’re supposed to be focusing on a higher-priority project.  Excessive daydreaming can waste precious time that could be better spent on other things. But daydreaming isn’t always bad.  There’s a difference between true daydreaming as the brain’s response to overload or boredom and thinking time that may lead to promising ideas. How do you ensure daydreaming time is productive time? Don’t use daydreaming to procrastinate.  Daydreaming can be a good tool for transitioning to a … [Read more...]

What Saps Your Energy?

I’m doing some primary research on productive energy.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that fatigue and lack of energy affect more than 14 million people between the ages of 17-69.  Nothing sounds more attractive to you than putting your heads down for a quick nap, and you sleepwalk through the day, fuzzyheaded and lethargic.  People who lack energy can’t work on big projects at work or home without the drive or desire—the oomph—to be productive.  Just think of all the wonderful business and personal goals people could accomplish if they just had the energy to get up and go! If this sounds like you, I’d like to hear from you!  What saps YOUR energy?  Fill in the blank..."I could be more productive if __________."  … [Read more...]

Finish What You Start—Even a Bottle of Wine

I received this from a friend who knows how much I preach about finishing what you start: "During these crazy days when we're going one hundred miles per hour and stress levels are soaring, I had to stop and tell myself that I need some inner peace.  I discovered that the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all of the things I have started.  I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Baileys, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a package of Oreos, the remainder of both my Prozac and Valium prescriptions, the rest of the cheesecake, some saltine crackers and a half box of chocolates. You have no idea how good I feel.  I am passing … [Read more...]