Worn Out On the Way to Great Thoughts: Dealing with Overwork, Overwhelm, and MDD

Worn Out On the Way to Great Thoughts: Dealing with Overwork, Overwhelm, and MDD by Laura Stack #productivity

"Man was made at the end of the week, when God was tired." Victorian novelist George Eliot once wryly noted, "It is very difficult to be learned; it seems as if people were worn out on the way to great thoughts, and can never enjoy them because they are too tired." No doubt she was poking fun at the celebrities and politicians of the day, for she had a keen eye for politics and social intrigue, and an astute knowledge of the tendencies of her fellow Britons. I say "she" and "her" because despite her penname, Eliot was actually Mary Anne Evans, a woman who dared write serious novels in a period where most women limited themselves to bucolic romances. Lacking a formal education, she read widely and was heavily influenced by the Greek classics and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. She … [Read more...]

Walking the Tightrope

Walking the Tightrope by Laura Stack #productivity

I realize all you young go-getters would work 25/8 if possible; however, heed this advice from a 20-year business veteran who tried that: 1. You can't maintain a breakneck pace forever. Sure, you have to invest plenty of time getting your business aloft, but you shouldn't still be working so hard three years later. Something's gotta give—don't let it be you. 2. Protect your time. Keep external challenges from destroying your focus and eating your precious time. Block out time to concentrate on your strategic priorities and erect barriers against interruptions. 3. Know when to unplug. If you don’t take care of yourself and get the R&R you need, you won’t have the energy to take care of your business and other people. Carve out personal time to do the things you enjoy, away from … [Read more...]

Snoozing Your Way to Personal Productivity: How Much Sleep is Right for You?

"Sleep that knits up the ravel'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast..." -- William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II  Do you get enough sleep at night? At first glance, you may wonder what this question has to do with personal productivity. But think back to the last time you missed a significant amount of sleep. How did you feel the next day? Were you able to get your work done efficiently and professionally? Probably not. I'll bet you felt tense, irritable, red-eyed, edgy, and drowsy—in other words, TIRED. Insufficient sleep can also leave you moody, lethargic, and unmotivated, damage your creativity and problem-solving skills, and make it difficult for you to make … [Read more...]

The word guilt starts with a G – Productivity Minute Video

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro, talks about guilt and how important it is to take care of ourselves. (C) 2012 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. https://theproductivitypro.com   … [Read more...]

Get Away From It All to Improve Your Productivity

  Want to know a sure way to improve your productivity? Take a vacation! Working non-stop without breaks is counterproductive, as is focusing on work to the exclusion of family, friends, and fun. Some people claim to be so swamped they don't have time for a break— not for vacation, not for a social life, not for anything. I am severely unimpressed by people who brag about the long hours they put in each week. All this tells me is they're not managing their time well. You have to figure out how to get the results your job requires, leave the office on time, and get home to your life. If you're working too many hours, perhaps you're not delegating properly…or you haven't hired enough people…or you don't trust your assistant…or you haven't learned to use your email program … [Read more...]

Are You Stuck to Your Schedule?

Feel like your're in a rut? Feeling over-scheduled? Do something off-schedule that brings you joy. Drop into a bookstore. Take the long way home so you can drive around a beautiful lake. Your wellness is important. Take some time for yourself. No guilt! Recharge YOUR battery! Even the most productive among us needs to take the time to recharge our batteries. We need recreation to re-create, restore and renew. Another name for down time is your LIFE. We're not "human doings" after all—we're "human beings." No wonder we feel tired when we're scrimping on our own lives! Some people are so used to living on the hamster wheel that they don't know how to be on vacation. It’s not fair if you only take "working vacations." A real vacation doesn't involve your laptop by the pool, a … [Read more...]

Life Balance: Running on Empty

Life Balance: If you're running on an empty tank and fumes of habit, everyone around you loses. So rid yourself of the guilt you feel when you relax. More on life balance: The word ‘guilt’ starts with a “G” for ‘garbage.’ We all need to stop and smell the roses on a regular basis, but for some reason, we seem to feel guilty about resting. This can be particularly true of mothers who work outside the home. I promise you no one's head is going to burst into flames if you take a hot bath. Your life won't fall apart if you sit on the porch swing and enjoy the spring air. It might, however, fall apart if you don't. Your ability to take care of others decreases when you don’t care for yourself! Time is valuable. You have to savor it and make time for the things that electrify your life … [Read more...]

The “Work Less, More Success” Guide to Time Management – Step Six

The final step in our series on the Productivity Workflow Formula™ (PWF) Step 6: Manage Your Capacity: REDUCE ENERGY EXPENDITURES The best-laid workflow plan will fall apart if you don't have the energy to sustain it. Therefore, Step 6 focuses on keeping yourself physically and mentally fit, through a combination of good sleep, diet, exercise, and preservation of personal happiness. Taken together, these form the hub that links and strengthens the other PWF steps. Begin by recognizing the limits of your personal "battery." You can only go so far before you run out of energy, so know when to slow down and recharge. Don't skip your scheduled breaks—stretch breaks, meals, personal time, weekends, and vacations—or fatigue may eventually overwhelm you. You can't stay productive if you … [Read more...]

Productivity Minute Video: Get Away From It All To Improve Your Productivity

Sometimes you need to get away from it all in order to get things done. Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), explains why it's important to do this from time to time. (C) 2012 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. https://theproductivitypro.com … [Read more...]

Increasing Productivity: Adequate Sleep

One of your greatest productivity resources is adequate sleep—especially when you find yourself facing an extreme work week. But knowing you need a good night's sleep and actually getting one can be two different things. What if you just can't get enough sleep, no matter what you do? If the problem persists long term, I recommend you have yourself tested at a sleep center in order to determine whether you have an organic problem interfering with your sleep habits. However, you can often handle short-term sleep issues "in house," so to speak, by changing certain aspects of your behavior. In this tip, I'll outline a few simple practices that can help you get the sleep you need. First off, never watch TV, work, or even read while you're in bed. Use your bed for sleeping only. Otherwise, … [Read more...]