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...]

43 Folders: W. H. Murray on the power of starting

Happy New Year!  I read this quote posted on the 43 Folders blog from the Scottish mountain climber W. H. Murray: Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I believe this is, indeed, a truth.  Take vacation planning, for example.  Countless business people in my seminars have told me their schedules are so hectic, they can never fit in a vacation.  That's the wrong approach.  You should first schedule the vacation, … [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...]

Are you spending too much time surfing eBay?

A reporter asked an interesting question today: How do you know if you're spending too much time surfing eBay?  While I'm all for saving time on Internet shopping and having things delivered, instead of driving around town to ten places trying to find the same item, you don't want to cross the line into an addiction.  An addiction?  That's right.  How many hours a day would you have to devote to something before it would be labeled an addiction?  Television watching?  Gambling?  Drinking?  eBay surfing?  As with anything, it can get out of hand.  So I told the reporter I'd have her readers ask themselves these questions: ·        Do you spend more time on the computer surfing eBay listings than you do with your … [Read more...]

Spam, spam, go away, don’t come back another day!

I am rid of spam!  YES, it's true!  Just in the last few months, as many of you have experienced, the volume of spam I was receiving was increasing drastically.  I was getting 200+ spam email messages a day, and it was killing my productivity and frustrating me to no end.  Just scanning the subject lines and deleting was costing me precious time, and some spam messages were causing my Treo handheld to reset upon email retrieval.  I've tried several end-user anti-spam filters, and nothing was doing the trick.  Add to that multiple domains, email addresses, and aliases, and the problem was compounding daily.  ENTER Mail Foundry.  My webmaster, Lance Gibb, installed the appliance on his server, routed my mail (all addresses, domains, aliases) through … [Read more...]

The 3/2 Rule of Employee Productivity

A reader just turned me on to Allan Engelhardt's October post called "The 3/2 Rule of Productivity."   Wonderful.  Fascinating research with data showing the more employees your company has, the less productive each person is.  Basically, in terms of profit per employee, when you triple the number of employees, you halve their productivity (the 3/2 Rule).  Allan supposes the causes could include self-selection, relationship friction, a shared vision, and the ability (or lack thereof) to collaborate.  If I could toss in my two cents, from what I hear employees of large corporations complaining to me about, it's: * a huge volume of email to deal with and some moron replying to all with a 50-person distribution list and 100 spams each day * meetings that run on and on with no purpose … [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...]