No, It’s Not ADD or OCD!

"Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things." -- Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher "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." -- George Eliot, British novelist Inattentiveness and impulsivity aren't just symptoms of psychological disorders like ADD and OCD; indeed, they also apply to many people in the workplace. The go-go-go nature of modern business, with its constant stress and distraction, drives this pseudo-disorder—and it'll kill productivity if you let it. External factors like background noise, foot traffic, visitors, and ringing phones jerk you out of your productive trance, while internal distractions such … [Read more...]

How NOT to Decide What to Do Next

"Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk." -- Colin Powell, retired American four-star general and former Secretary of State. "Many people go through life making nothing but 'if' decisions. These are not decisions for success but preparations for failure." -- Zig Ziglar, American motivational guru. It happens every day: You finish a task, check it off your list, and feel a sense of accomplishment. Great—now what? It’s important to quickly decide what to do next. But it's equally important to decide what NOT to do next. Making the right choice can be difficult when you’re drawn to distraction, react to requests, or randomly select the next task. We must choose the correct course of action by design, not by default. So I’d like to give you some guidance on how … [Read more...]

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

Continuing with our series on the Productivity Workflow Formula™ (PWF) Step 3: Focus Your Attention: REDUCE YOUR DISTRACTIONS So as you embark on your voyage of self-improvement, don't get in a hurry. Accept that developing a new routine takes time. Leo Babauta, the author of the influential Zen Habits blog, recommends setting yourself a 30-day challenge for changing each habit. In this step, you reduce distractions so you can hone your focus to razor sharpness. Once you know exactly what you should be doing and have captured time to do it, you must focus on completing that important task. Distractions represent some of the worst productivity hurdles; even if they drag your attention away for just a few seconds at a time, they can cause you to lose your train of thought and fall out of … [Read more...]