Get out of town and take a vacation

Have you taken your allotted vacation time this year?  If not, check out  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, 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...]

Wi-fi on airplanes: a much-needed productivity boost! Following a winning $31.3 million-dollar bid, AirCell, a Colorado-based company that provides wireless services for corporate jets, is now poised to provide wireless service on public airliners as early as 2007.  This would be absolutely amazing for personal productivity, allowing you to do the same work you do in the office, on your Blackberry, in the hotel, at Starbucks and in the airport lounge.  Bravo!  Many people complain about travel, citing a huge productivity drain.  Now they won't have anything to blame, and the excuse will vanish.  The real reason for not getting work done will emerge: a good book, a stiff drink, the prospect of a nap.  NOW we'll see where the rubber hits the … [Read more...]

Don’t Be Left Behind: the Right Computer Skills Can Make All the Difference

Don’t Be Left Behind: the Right Computer Skills Can Make All the Difference Kelly Dodson knows firsthand why companies value the ability to use computers and software. An administrative assistant in Kansas, Dodson used to keep her CEO’s calendar by hand until one day an important meeting slipped through the cracks. That painful experience compelled her to seek training in the effective use of the company’s scheduling software.  And today, she feels she couldn’t do her job as well without it. As early as 1999, the Progressive Policy Institute estimated that 75 percent of employees use computers in their work, and that figure continues to increase as computers make their way into more and more aspects of individuals’ lives.  Since just about every job today is connected to … [Read more...]

National Leave the Office Earlier Day

Today is National Leave the Office Earlier Day!  To get you out on time today, some last-minute reminders: 1. When you leave tonight, make sure you've identified the top 2-3 things you absolutely must accomplish before you leave the office Friday.  Do those first! 2. Turn off your email alerts and only handle email 2-3 times tomorrow.  Go to Tools, Options, Preferences tab, Email options, advanced email options, and uncheck the four boxes under when new items arrive in my in-box. 3. Be disciplined about the length of your socializing.  Tell your colleagues about the day and that you are committed to only working 8 hours today instead of your usual 9-12. 4. Stay off non-work related Internet sites, just for the day.  You can do it!  The average worker spends 3.6 hours a week … [Read more...]

It’s not Leave Work Early Day!!

This is a sure way to bug me.  My holiday gets slaughtered all the time.  Here's a radio station actually hosting an event at a bar at 3:00 tomorrow, June 2, and encouraging people to attend, because after all, it's National Leave Work Early Day.  Arrgh! Not that I mind the bar.  I really like martinis and frozen margaritas!  But this is the stuff that gives productivity a bad rap.  Let's set the record straight: National Leave the Office Earlier Day does NOT encourage people to play hookey.  Rather, it encourages people to be more productive during the day, managing their time better, and eliminate time wasters, with the goal of leaving earlier than the normal 10-12 hour day workers often log.  Through better productivity, you CAN get down to eight hours, … [Read more...]

Win Laura Stack’s new book

Win Laura Stack’s new book; Learn how to “Find More Time” If you’re like most people, you probably never seem to find enough time – in the office or at home – to accomplish everything you hope to in a day. The problem, says internationally recognized productivity expert Laura Stack, isn’t a shortage of time; it’s how we choose to use the time we do have. “Productivity is my passion and obsession,” says Stack, whose Denver-based business uses the moniker The Productivity Pro. “I see how productivity tips such as those I share through my consulting practice, public speaking and writing can make a difference in people’s lives. And that spurs me to learn more about the topic and to share examples of what others are doing to fulfill their life’s dreams. It’s what makes me a voracious … [Read more...]

When are IT pros going to stop sabotaging worker productivity?

For years, I've heard employees in my productivity seminars complaining about their IT departments.  Some of these complaints I believe have valid justifications, and I stick up for IT: COMPLAINT: IT won't let them load personal software. JUSTIFIED! Doing so would create a staffing nightmare as workers seek help on non-supported applications.  Could also create security concerns and open the door to system viruses. COMPLAINT: IT restricts access to certain Internet sites JUSTIFIED! I can't think of a good reason why employees would need to watch X-rated videos at work. COMPLAINT: IT doesn't upgrade their operating systems and software to the newest version for years after the release. JUSTIFIED! You don't need new technology for the sake of new technology.  There must … [Read more...]

No More Excuses for not backing up! Mozy Remote Backup

I'm reading an article in PC Magazine June 6, 2006 edition, that makes me pause.  Think your portable external hard drive backups will save you if your computer crashes?  But what happens if a disaster wipes out your entire ofice?  Better move duplicates of your critical data over the Internet to remote servers.  One of the big excuses for not backing up to an off-site storage location is "it's too expensive," followed by a close second, "it's too much of a pain."  Now both of those excuses are gone with Mozy Remote Backup, which offers 2GB of secure off-site storage for FREE. You'll pay more for additional storage, but you really only need to save your mission-critical data and important files with these services.  I backup my QuickBooks, … [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...]