You Can Not Be Productive While Falling Asleep

We don't do our best work while exhausted. Self-care is key! (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout

Give Me a Break! Get Your Rest and Protect Yourself From Burnout by Laura Stack #productivity #rest #balance

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time." -- John Lubbock, British scientist and politician. By nature, most of us in the business world feel driven to prove ourselves—by working hard, generating massive productivity, and moving up through the ranks. Before long, it becomes second nature to work long hours with a tight focus on work, often to the exclusion of other things in life. Some of us willingly sacrifice exercise, a decent diet, vacation, weekends, and even family time to get ahead. But what are we getting ahead for? If you really care about your work, you'll want to do what's best and most productive for the … [Read more...]

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits

The Mental Whetstone: Unconventional Ways to Hone Your Wits by Laura Stack

"Make sure you take the time to feed yourself with what your spirit has to offer." -- Darren L. Johnson, American author. No doubt about it: you have to keep your wits sharp to successfully lead a team. Some experts claim that doing tough mental exercises will help you sharpen your mind: the New York Times crossword, Sudoku, logic puzzles, reading, learning new tasks, taking classes, and so on. While there's nothing wrong with any of those activities, some scientists say these studies are flawed—the jury's still out on that. I tend to intuitively believe the studies that show dementia and Alzheimer’s have large genetic components, so I’m always eager to know how to keep my wits sharp. But the way I look at it, I’m getting plenty of mental stimulation from the challenges of running a … [Read more...]

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: Five Enablers of Productive Achievement

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy - Five Enablers of Productive Achievement by Laura Stack #productivity

"Without rest, a man cannot work; without work, the rest does not give you any benefit." -- Abkhasian proverb. "Getting in shape isn't just about looking and feeling better, it’s actually smart business." -- Susan Solovic, American small business expert. We all know we do better, more productive work when we feel well. And yet, we’re stuck in a vicious cycle: when we work long hours and run short on time, we cut into our precious free time—the time it takes to do the things that keep us healthy: exercise, eat and drink properly, and sleep enough. So we find ourselves in an unproductive, unhealthy rut. Clearly, productivity alone doesn’t keep us healthy. In fact, the exact opposite is true. As psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden points out, "Productive achievement is a consequence and … [Read more...]

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 “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...]

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...]

Productivity Minute Video: You Can’t Be Productive While Falling Asleep

Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R) discusses the importance of adequate rest and how it relates to productivity. (C) 2010 Laura Stack. All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]