How To Organize A Room

Want to start on Spring Cleaning? Start with one room. Here's how! (C) 2016 Laura Stack, All Rights Reserved. … [Read more...]

Around the Bend: Behaviors That Drive Your Coworkers Crazy

Around the Bend: Behaviors That Drive Your Coworkers Crazy by Laura Stack #productivity

"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image."—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and statesman. In recent months, I've conducted Q&A surveys via my Productivity Pro® newsletter, collecting the results using the SurveyMonkey app. If you're a reader, you've probably seen them; you may even have responded—thank you if you did! I've learned some interesting facts from my readers, most of which have direct application in any workplace. One of the first questions I asked my readers was, "What bugs the you-know-what out of you?" Given the wording, I expected some blunt answers, and that's what I got. Most respondents listed their greatest pet peeve only, but some listed several. They came down to three broad categories: Lack of … [Read more...]

Total Transparency: Making an Open Book of Your Worklife

Total Transparency: Making an Open Book of Your Worklife by Laura Stack #productivity

"Even the oldest trees aren't ashamed to stand naked." -- Marty Rubin, American author. How transparent is your organization? Does every person in every department have a working knowledge of the organization's goals, mission and vision, and core values? Perhaps your organization even practices a more radical transparency, where any employee can check the monthly numbers, read board meeting minutes, and review proposed policy changes. Some companies also provide access to their capital structure and strategy, stress collaborative decision-making—and even make everyone's salary a matter of public record. This type of corporate-level transparency seems to result in a happier, more productive workforce overall—a lesson to take to heart if you happen to be a manager yourself. People are … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: For Executives – Organization

"Ignorance is not bliss. It's fatal. It's costly. And it's for losers. You either get organized, or get crushed." -- Donald Trump, American businessman One of the Six Keys of workplace competence is Accessibility: your ability to organize the inputs and outputs in your work life, so that you can easily locate data in any medium—whether it's in paper files, on your computer system, on the company Intranet, or distributed in your team members' heads. Given the fact that modern workers are constantly bombarded with data and communications, just being able to access information efficiently can enhance productivity to a surprising degree. At the C-Suite level, Accessibility morphs into Organization…and from a productivity standpoint, it's more important than ever. Organization means more … [Read more...]

Top Ten Tips for a More Organized 2011!

Top Ten Tips for a More Organized 2011! By Laura Stack, MBA, CSP There will always be more things to do than time to do it. Working longer isn't going to save you. (I’d bet you’ve never gone to sleep at the end of a long day with everything on your to-do list completed.) To counter this never-ending battle, you’ll need to learn to be more efficient and get your work done in less time. If you can figure out how to be more productive during the day and achieve greater results in less time, you can leave the office earlier and get a life. Learn how to use your software. One of the many ways professionals waste time during the day is with Microsoft Outlook (or whatever email software you use). I estimate people waste 30 minutes to 2 hours a day with incorrect or inefficient information … [Read more...]

Getting Things Done: The Productivity Minute #20: Is Organization Genetic or Environmental?

Are we born organized and productive, or are these learned traits? Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro(R), discusses this question. (C) 2009 Laura Stack. All rights reserved. … [Read more...]

How to Set Up an Effective Office Space in Your Home

I’ve worked full-time from my home since 1992 and can’t imagine doing it any other way. Whether you work full time out of your home, occasionally telecommute, catch up on work in the evening, or run a household, you need some sort of dedicated “office” space in your home. Offices can serve as the family computer center, a place to do paperwork, and the occasional work-at-home office. The first big question is where to locate your home office. Until the last few years, most builders didn’t catch on to the popularity of a built-in home office. If you have a computer, you probably need more than an antique writing desk in the living room. But if you only use your “office” to pay bills, write letters, and return phone calls, you can get away with a corner of the kitchen. In most homes, … [Read more...]

Be a Productivity Role Model

Be a Productivity Role Model

Have you ever taken an honest look at how you are perceived around the office?  Your behavior, attitude, and reputation play a huge role in how you interact with coworkers and subordinates.  Others may listen to you because of your job title, but if that's the only reason, you have a serious problem on your hands. I’m not talking about superficial issues like dressing well or keeping a tidy office.  It goes deeper than that—to your attitude towards work and your attitude towards personal productivity. Do you have a reputation of exceptional organization, follow-up, and time management?  Or do people dread sending you an e-mail, because they know there’s a slim chance that they’ll ever hear back? Is your desk a black hole, where papers and requests go in, but never come … [Read more...]

4 Principles to Keep Your Space Neat and Tidy

4 Principles to Keep Your Space Neat and Tidy

There is a distinction between being “neat” and being “organized.” For example, the Denver Water Board, one of my clients, brought me to organize a “National Clean off Your Desk Day” (yes, there is such a day!) contest. This “holiday” always falls on the second Monday of January each year. We had three categories: most organized, most improved, and messiest office. I took “before” photos of each person’s office. Next, I gave a seminar on getting organized and putting systems in place. Contestants had one week to get organized. Then I took an “after” photo. We posted the “before” and “after” photos on the employee cafeteria wall, and employees voted on the “most improved.” I, however, was the sole judge of the “most organized” and “messiest office” categories. I went to the office of a … [Read more...]

How to Keep Your Car Organized and Clean and Keep it From Being a Two-Ton Trashcan on Wheels

How to Keep Your Car Organized and Clean and Keep it From Being a Two-Ton Trashcan on Wheels

I never pictured myself driving a minivan. As a kid, I thought I’d rather die than drive one of those ridiculous-looking station wagons. They definitely weren’t cool. But, alas, I’m a minivan Mom. Granted, it’s a cool minivan (Honda Odyssey), because it has so much storage space and the doors open automatically. With three kids, often their friends, and all their junk, I’ve decided a minivan is an essential piece of organizing equipment. Because our van is so big and roomy, the three kids have managed to trash it by the time a trip to the zoo is over. Food wrappers and used Kleenex litter the floors, and empty juice boxes and toys cover the seats. When the car pulls into the garage, the kids know to grab as much as they can; no one is allowed out of the car empty-handed. If the car … [Read more...]