Please take my poll on to-do lists

I will be on QVC between January 1 and January 8, 2009, selling my new Productivity Pro branded Day-Timer.  In preparation, I'm conducting a brief survey about the to-do list habits of the typical person.  When you think of something you need to do, what do you usually do?  Please visit the survey on my LinkedIn page and respond to one of five choices.  Thank you for your assistance! … [Read more...]

Are Punctuation and Grammar Quandaries Punching Holes in Your Productivity?

Ever had an argument with a colleague about the commas in a sentence like the following?   The battery pack gives you several options:  6 hours, 4 hours, 3 hours and 40 minutes, 2 hours and 45 minutes.  Is that four options or five options?  A comma before the last and makes it clear.   But do you ALWAYS need a comma before that last and?  Answer:  No, the serial comma is optional.  But you’re always safe to use it for clarity sake—as illustrated in the “battery-pack” sentence. Here are a couple tips to prevent grammar gaffes and save you a few minutes in reaching for a reference book: • The assure/insure/ensure dilemma:  (All three words mean to give a guarantee—but they aren’t interchangeable.) Use assure only when you’re referring to someone talking or writing.  Use insure only when … [Read more...]

Results-Only Work Environment

I found an article at very interesting.  Separating hours on the job from results has been a boost to productivity in many situations.  Outside of the service based or retail environments, should our productivity be based on hours spend on the job, or on what is accomplished?  Some companies, like Best Buy, have implemented the Results-Only Work Environment or “ROWE,” and finding success.  When I chat with audience members after giving a keynote speech, they tell me about coworkers who spend 10-12 hours a day in the office and get nothing done.  That's because being physically in the office has little to do with productivity.  Some people can be there ten hours a day and get virtually nothing done, while others can accomplish great amounts of work in just a few hours.   Part of … [Read more...]

Paper Planners are Not Over!

I'm the Day-Timers community expert on productivity.  So I asked them to put a brief survey on the Day-Timers Web site, asking, “When you think of something that you need to do, what do you usually do?”  In this day and age of technology, the surprising answer was overwhelmingly “Write it down.”  To date, 55% of respondents chose this option over others.  This demonstrates that even with Blackberries, Outlook, cell phones and web based to-do lists, we still need and use paper and planners.    Picture this…you’ve dutifully put all of your information, appointments, phone numbers etc. into your Outlook and synced the information with your handy-dandy Blackberry.  All is well. You hop on a plane for a business trip, Blackberry in hand.  You’ve arrived at the Miami airport and whipped … [Read more...]

Would you rather vacation with your spouse or your Blackberry?

People love their Blackberries, no doubt.  A recent study confirmed this, according to an article on  They may be terrific productivity tools for some, but at what cost?  The article by Scott Rapoport states “The study of 6,500 traveling executives says 35 percent of them would choose their PDA over their spouse.”  Wait a minute – people would choose a communication device over a loved one?  If this is true, where have we gone wrong?    It is important to keep track of your business, be connected to your co-workers, clients and employers.  Blackberries certainly have made this easier, particularly for those who don’t spend most of their time in the office.  With this easy connectivity, are people losing the ability to know when to turn it off?  It would seem that technology … [Read more...]

Organizing Your Blog Reading

There are many terrific blogs on the Web that I enjoy reading.  However, it's easy to waste a lot of time book marking each individual blog in your “favorites,” and then visiting each one individually when you have time to do some reading.  It can be even worse if you have numerous email subscriptions clogging up your inbox. When you have more than just a few blogs you like to read, make it easy on yourself and try a free, simple solution like Google Reader. Google Reader allows you to organize your favorite blogs and read them all in one place.  When you subscribe to the RSS feed of a blog, instead of opting to receive emails, select Google Reader as your method of delivery.  You can organize your feeds into folders much like your favorites or bookmarks in your browser.  That way you can … [Read more...]

Married Parents Use of Time 2003-2006

A recent article in the June/July edition of Working Mother magazine pointed out that “Men contribute more to household work and child care than they did 45 years ago – by a large margin.”  While this may be true, a recent study, Married Parents’ Use of Time, 2003-06, posted by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that there is still a gap.  The study shows that married fathers spend an hour more at work than married mothers on average.  Married mothers had increased likelihood of providing care to the family’s children than married fathers by 21%.  On an average day, married mothers working full time are 25% more likely to spend time on household activities like cooking, yard care and cleaning than the married fathers working full time. There is also … [Read more...]

Bonus resources when you buy Laura Stack’s newest book TODAY

TODAY'S THE DAY!  Buy my newest book The Exhaustion Cure: Up Your Energy from Low to Go in 21 Days on today, Tuesday, May 13.  Email your receipt to [email protected], and you will receive a special link to some great, FREE bonuses resources.  Contributing to this promotion are best-selling authors Mark Sanborn, Dianna Booher, Chris Widener, and Roxanne Emmerich.  This book will help you boost your capacity for personal productivity by increasing your energy level, which will help you achieve your goals in less time. Thank you for your interest and support! … [Read more...]

Review in Publisher’s Weekly of my new book The Exhaustion Cure

The Exhaustion Cure: Up Your Energy From Low to Go in 21 Days Laura Stack Broadway, $13.95 paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2751-2 With brisk efficiency, Stack (Leave the Office Earlier) breezes through 21 factors affecting the energy or capacity to perform the myriad duties, obligations, responsibilities and activities of daily schedules. In an appealingly simple format, Stack breaks these factors into three categories: physiological (including diet, nutrition, sleep, exercise and metabolism), practices (attitude, relaxation, time management, etc.) and periphery (environment, relationships and stress level), and guides readers through three weeks of replacing “energy bandits” with corresponding “energy boosters.” Her health advice focuses on maximum results in little time; her cures for … [Read more...]

Catalog Choice Lets You Decide What You Want to Receive

I like a new service by Catalog Choice, in which you decide which catalogs you want to receive.  When you receive a catalog you don't want, you enter it on your account and select "Decline Catalog."  They contact the merchant on your behalf and request that they no longer send you their catalog. Reduce the number of catalogs you receive in the mail!  One-stop-shop method keeps you from having to unsubscribe to each one individually---a real time saver! … [Read more...]