Five Ways to Maintain Your Most Important Asset: YOU!

Five Ways to Maintain Your Most Important Asset: YOU!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival."— Audre Lorde, American writer and civil rights advocate. In your rush to adopt the latest tools to maximize your productivity, you may have forgotten to take care of your greatest asset—the one you got free at the beginning of your career. It's unusually durable and self-repairing; with even minimal care, it can last for decades. With moderate care, it'll last even longer. While it comes more or less for free, you do have to maintain it, making sure you give it the fuel and preventative maintenance it needs to work at maximum efficiency. No, I'm not talking about the company car. I'm talking about you. As long as you get it the few things it needs in the right … [Read more...]

You Can Not Be Productive While Falling Asleep

We don't do our best work while exhausted. Self-care is key! (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

How To Organize A Room

Want to start on Spring Cleaning? Start with one room. Here's how! (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Tune up Your Efficiency Engine: The Big Five Health Factors for Leaders

The Big Five Health Factors

Good health doesn't automatically produce productivity for leaders, but it prepares you for it. You can't do your best work when you feel bad. You've noticed how sluggishly your brain works after a poor night's sleep or a missed meal, how distracting a growly stomach can be, and how low self-esteem can create nagging anxiety. Now compare all that to workdays when you felt in tip-top condition, bursting with energy and good health. I'll bet you performed extremely well on those days. You can't control all the factors contributing to good health, but you can control most of them. I find these five most im¬portant to me: 1. Sleep. The typical adult requires seven to nine hours of restful sleep per night. Among other things, sleep helps you fend off infection and illness, because your … [Read more...]

Get Things Done Without Doing It Yourself

An efficient way to get something done is to NOT do it! How does that work? (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Emphasizing Life in Your Work/Life Balance

Emphasizing Life in Your Work/Life Balance by Laura Stack #productivity

"It's just like a magic penny, hold it tight and you won't have any/Lend it, spend it, and you'd have so many/They'll roll all over the floor!" —"Love Is Something If You Give It Away," a classic children's song.   The whole point of being more productive is not stuffing even more work into your extra time. American workers have already achieved their most productive levels in history, thanks to the Industrial and Electronic revolutions. One of the core values that drives me, both at work and #OutsideWork, is the belief that the best way to show your love is with your time—both to others and yourself. What does it profit you to earn a million dollars, if you destroy your health and your family in the process? There really are some things money can't buy, though you do pay for … [Read more...]

Rest Your Way to Success: The Value of Productive Relaxation

Rest Your Way to Success: The Value of Productive Relaxation by Laura Stack #productivity

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are." -- Chinese proverb. When I first read that the average American worker left 9.2 vacation days unused in 2012—three more than the year before!—I was shocked, but not surprised. Even in the waning days of the Great Recession, workers were still overstretched. They worried about taking all the time they were owed, lest they be replaced with hungrier workers while gone. Even today, half of us expect to work during vacations, and a third of us eat at our desks. It might be nice to return to the old days, when office life seemed easier, but I doubt that will happen. The business world is normalizing at a new level, one based on agility, speed, flexibility, and on-the-spot execution. This means that things will never be … [Read more...]

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout by Laura Stack #productivity #rest #balance

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." -- John Lubbock, British scientist and politician. By nature, most of us in the business world feel driven to prove ourselves—by working hard, generating massive productivity, and moving up through the ranks. Before long, it becomes second nature to work long hours with a tight focus on work, often to the exclusion of other things in life. Some of us willingly sacrifice exercise, a decent diet, vacation, weekends, and even family time to get ahead. But what are we getting ahead for? If you really care about your work, you'll want to do what's best and most productive for the … [Read more...]

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits by Laura Stack

"Make sure you take the time to feed yourself with what your spirit has to offer." -- Darren L. Johnson, American author. No doubt about it: you have to keep your wits sharp to successfully lead a team. Some experts claim that doing tough mental exercises will help you sharpen your mind: the New York Times crossword, Sudoku, logic puzzles, reading, learning new tasks, taking classes, and so on. While there's nothing wrong with any of those activities, some scientists say these studies are flawed—the jury's still out on that. I tend to intuitively believe the studies that show dementia and Alzheimer’s have large genetic components, so I’m always eager to know how to keep my wits sharp. But the way I look at it, I’m getting plenty of mental stimulation from the challenges of running a … [Read more...]

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: Five Enablers of Productive Achievement

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy - Five Enablers of Productive Achievement by Laura Stack #productivity

"Without rest, a man cannot work; without work, the rest does not give you any benefit." -- Abkhasian proverb. "Getting in shape isn't just about looking and feeling better, it’s actually smart business." -- Susan Solovic, American small business expert. We all know we do better, more productive work when we feel well. And yet, we’re stuck in a vicious cycle: when we work long hours and run short on time, we cut into our precious free time—the time it takes to do the things that keep us healthy: exercise, eat and drink properly, and sleep enough. So we find ourselves in an unproductive, unhealthy rut. Clearly, productivity alone doesn’t keep us healthy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. As psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden points out, "Productive achievement is a consequence and … [Read more...]