‘Extreme’ jobs on the rise: poor time management skills and workaholism to blame

So I'm quoted in an article today by the Christian Science Monitor called "'Extreme' jobs on the rise," which cites a study by the Harvard Business Review called "Extreme Jobs: The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek" (there is no free version of this article; they make you purchase a copy for $7.00).  Read the fascinating quotes from the CEO of a gift basket company who works 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day, including weekends.  She essentially says she works those long hours because she has passion for her work.  So what?  I have passion for my work, too, and you don't find me working that long.  This is workaholism, pure and simple.  I feel sorry for her husband.  She doesn't go outside the house, gave up golf, and installed a home theater in her house to make up for the lack of … [Read more...]

Setting Up Your Office for Maximum Productivity

You work hard and want to be as productive as possible.  If you knew you were inadvertently creating office systems that slowed you down, you would of course be interested in correcting them.  In my fifteen years of teaching people to be more productive, I’ve observed many bad habits and behaviors that are easily corrected.  To get you started, here are four office faux pas you can fix and instantly become more efficient: 1.      Piling instead filing. If you have a cluttered office, you will spend more time trying to find information; you will have a harder time focusing on the task before you; other people won’t be able to find anything; your system is in your head, which taxes your memory; you will have higher anxiety levels; and it could impede … [Read more...]

Email etiquette

I love this post: Hacking Email: 99 Email Security and Productivity Tips, especially the section on email etiquette.  Many of the tips provided by the IT Security Staff point to one common theme: DON'T WASTE PEOPLE'S TIME with your email.  The objective is to get your message read, not to slow down your reader.  Sending an email with a blank subject or a subject like "Hi" is sure to get it deleted.  Be detailed in the subject line, so they don't have to read three paragraphs to understand what you want.  Don't send chain letters.  Don't forward your motivational saying of the day.  Don't "Reply to All" on a CC with 43 people.  Take the time to cut the most relevant sentence from the message to which you are responding and answer … [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...]

NewsGator Inbox for Outlook 2.6 saves time

I've always used RSS Reader 2.0 as my news aggregator/feed reader, until it started acting buggy, and I explored other options.  After reading other blogs and postings on the subject, I decided to try NewsGator Inbox for Outlook...and I love it!  What a time saver!  It integrates right into my Outlook email client and acts just like an email.  It has its own folder, and I can delete, forward, store, and search blog postings just like email.  It adds a nifty "Subscribe in NewsGator" item to the Internet Explorer menu.  I also like the wizard that lets you search feeds by keyword. It has some disadvantages: you can only use it with Outlook, although NewsGator has different software versions as well.  The only thing I don't like is you can't group … [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...]

How do you measure white collar business productivity?

I received an email from a reader today asking what *is* productivity.  While that's a perfectly legitimate question, I thought I'd post a definition, just in case others wanted a understanding of how to measure productivity.  Some people just *know* intuitively whether they've had a productive day and don't need to measure it.  And while there are different methods and views on productivity measurement (white collar, manufacturing, farm, economic, etc.), I use the following as my working definition of white collar business productivity (my niche): The efficiency with which goods and services are produced, as measured by the value of the output produced (result) per person, per hour, divided by the unit of inputs used to produce it (hours). Or—simply— a measurement … [Read more...]

Daily PlanIt Blog

Here's a blog I like called Daily PlanIt.  Has a great list of top ten time management and personal development blogs/sites.  I trust his opinion...mine is listed ha. Get Organized with Home Helpers cites two main time management resources: Work Wonders and Home Helpers.  Check out http://dailyplanit.wordpress.com/2006/10/28/get-organized-with-home-helpers/ for a helpful list of resources. … [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...]