Addicted to Email

I have a friend who jokes there are always three people in her bed: herself, her husband, and her Blackberry.  I was in California last week on vacation with my family and witnessed people typing away on their Blackberries while at Disneyland, with their children tugging at their pants legs, asking to go see Cinderella.  I was presenting a seminar yesterday, and one participant kept looking up to say, "Would you repeat that"? not because I wasn't clear, but because she wasn't paying attention to me---you got it---checking her email during class.  Examples abound but the bottom line is Americans are addicted to email.  Slaves to the Send/Receive button, countless workers sit at their desks, waiting for the next Desktop Alert, beep, cursor change, envelope in … [Read more...]

2007 Wasting Time Survey from

The 3rd annual "Wasting Time Survey" for 2007 reports that the average employee wastes 1.7 hours of a typical 8.5 hour work day. reports that figure is down from the 2.09 hours wasted per day in 2005.  The #1 culprit of wasted time?  Internet use at 34.7%.  Followed by socializing with co-workers (20.3%) and conducting personal business (17.0%).  Over 63 percent of respondents admitted to wasting time at work.  The 20-29 year olds waste almost twice as much time (2.1 hours) compared to 40-49 year olds (1.4 hours).  Keep in mind this does not take into account how much work people are doing at home and on weekends, however.  What, do you think people aren't conducting business while at home?  Of course they are!  In my opinion, they might be asking the wrong … [Read more...]

American Time Use Survey 2006: no wonder women are so tired!

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the results of its annual American Time Use Survey for 2006 on June 28, 2007, which is actually conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.  You can sift through all the data files and accompanying documentation, but let me save you some time and summarize some interesting results. Of full-time workers, men work 8.4 hours a day on average, while women work 7.7.  But 52 percent of women cleaned each day, while only 20 percent of men clean each day.  65 percent of women cook each day and only 37 percent of men.  Men average 5.7 hours of leisure a day, and women average 4.9 hours.  Women spend 1.2 hours a day caring for children, while men spend .4 hours.  Men spent more time watching television and participating in … [Read more...]

Gartner: The 40-Hour Workweek Era Is Ending

Here we go again: another report showing us how much technology is going to save us time and reduce the American workweek.  Didn't we hear this 20 years ago?  How we would all have so much extra time on our hands due to technological improvements?  That's just like the "paperless office," which of course is a joke, since we generate much more paper now than before the advent of the computer.  A Gartner research report released on May 30 says that by 2015, workers will be working 20 hours instead of 40.  It argues that workers are seeking a more fulfilling life balance and employers better catch on if they want to retain good employees.  They sort of forget to consider that many people consider working an ecomomic reality and can't afford to drop … [Read more...]

3rd Annual National Leave the Office Earlier Day is June 1, 2007

I'm the proud founder of national Leave the Office Earlier day, named after my book of the same title, and the movement to tighten efficiency in the office in order to work fewer hours and get a life.  This holiday is listed in Chase's Annual Events,and we are celebrating the 3rd annual event on June 1, 2007 this year.  Normally it's June 2 (my birthday), but that date fell on a Saturday this year, so it was moved up one day.  It asks participants to only work an 8-hour day and is intended to focus workers on improving their personal productivity.  It's an opportunity for people to change work patterns, adjust priorities, and to discover how much more productive they can be in an eight-hour workday (sorry, no playing hooky or leaving early than you're supposed to allowed).  If you'd like … [Read more...]

What color scheme is best for personal productivity: decorating your office for productivity

Investigate the link between color and worker productivity, and you'll keep coming across the name of Dr. Nancy Kwallek, Director of the Interior Design program at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture. In a recent study, she had workers do mundane clerical tasks in offices with several different color schemes and discovered that white is absolutely the worst color for productivity—at first. After being exposed to an all-white environment for a while, most workers adjusted just fine. For those who could screen out their environment from the beginning, however, bright colors were more effective, since they seem to stimulate people in general. Those more easily distracted by the environment did better in rooms painted a cooler color, like blue-green. Ultimately, however, … [Read more...]

Find More Time to Socialize: 8 Time-Savers for a Better Social Life

Here's a great article in Fitness on how to make time for your friends and family without getting overscheduled.  Oh, wait!  I'm quoted in it.  :-)  Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Do allergies reduce productivity?

Now here's a pharmeceutical company selling non-drowsy allergy medication that came up with the 2007 Reactine Quality of Life Report and the impact allergies have on sufferers of the condition.  Highlights from the report include:     -   Allergic and Unbearable. Three out of four Canadians with allergies        say symptoms increase irritability and fatigue, and 55 per cent claim        reduced productivity (housework; on-the-job, academia).    -   It's not in Your Head: And this doesn't come as a surprise to health        experts. This season 71 per cent of health professionals agree        allergies can regularly or often affect a person's … [Read more...]

Stop Being Late: Time Management for Tardy People

Here's a nice article on 5 Ways to Stop Being Late.  Made me start thinking about punctuality.  A quiet amusement of mine is to watch the expression of people who arrive late for my time management seminars. Tail between the legs, these people shuffle in sheepishly mumbling something about traffic, while their friends tease, “How can you be late for a time management class?” The number one complaint I receive from managers who hire me to coach their staff on performance is something around “the inability to meet deadlines, is always late, is constantly running behind, or he/she forgot.” There are actually three types of people I see: 1.      “Late” people are typically perpetually late, for everything.  2.      “On time” … [Read more...]

Japanese organization helps men leave the office earlier

An article called "Japanese Housewives Win Right to Share of Ex-Husbands' Pensions" describes a new law now in effect in Japan to allow Japanese women to take half of a man's pension following divorce, women are filing in droves.  In response, a new organization was established called Japan Aisaika -- the Devoted Husband Organization -- to urge men to leave the office earlier and change the way they behave at home.  The group encourages husbands to stop being such workaholics, pay more attention to their families, and when they retire, become more independent and stop hanging around the house so much, which creates "husband at home stress syndrome" in women who have been used to their workaholic husbands never being home.  Finally!  A law that … [Read more...]