The fear of missing out isn’t worth much, but FOMO costs us a lot. That’s especially true when it comes to our productivity. It’s like a powerful undertow, invisible on the surface of our work, which can pull us away in the current.
Right after I left as CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, an online periodical approached me about serving on their advisory board. I was busy building a revenue portfolio, and the role seemed like a good fit. Plus, it would garner me a lot of free exposure, which I figured would help the rest of my business.
Not so much.
There’s a lot of bad productivity advice that’s widely practiced. Because the nature of our work changes so much, you may not even be able to spot some of the time-wasters hiding in your schedule right now.
They’re secretly a routine part of your schedule… even worse, they’re behaviors that you think are making you MORE productive, but they’re actually doing the opposite.
Email is indispensable. But it can feel like a necessary evil for a lot of us. Our inboxes are flooded with information and requests from customers, clients, coworkers, friends, and family. Not to mention all the spam, BACN, and random junk.
I’ve seen inboxes with tens of thousands of emails—hundreds, even thousands unread. People feel like they’re buried, behind, and can never catch up.
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I’ve been using Evernote almost a decade now. The program was still in private beta when I started. Since 2008, it’s become my digital brain.
In the past, I used binders or file cabinets to store project papers, research, contracts, even paper-napkin brainstorms. Now all that goes in Evernote. Organization, retrieval, and sharing are easy. And the more I use it, the more useful it becomes.
Whether for personal or professional use, I’ve been almost entirely paperless for years now. But Evernote is imperfect. And for me every application is on a permanent job interview.
How productive are you? I wanted a way to help people answer that question, so a while back I designed a productivity self-assessment. I’m excited to report that more than 12,000 people have already used it!
If you want directions to a desired destination, you need at least two pieces of information: the end point and the start point. Apps like Waze or Google Maps make it easy because they automatically know our current location. But when it comes to your productivity, how do you know where you really stand?
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I read a story last week about workplace productivity in decline after the election. Employees are struggling to stay focused on their work. Why?
Anxiety. The American Psychological Association conducts regular polls to track stress levels and causes. The most recent poll found a majority of us are worried about the future of the country.
When I think of one word to describe contemporary work habits, it’s unsustainable. We’re working drastically longer hours, while incurring high physical and emotional costs, for only marginal gains in productivity. We created this infographic to illustrate some interesting (and surprising) stats on our struggle with productivity in the modern workplace.
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To some people, ritual is a bad word. Many folks recoil at the religious association, even though most rituals aren’t religious. For others, the thought of following set, predetermined actions makes them feel boxed in.
But rituals are inescapable. We are creatures of memory and habit. The only question is whether our rituals are intentional and useful or mindless and counterproductive.
When it comes to setting personal or professional goals, how do you determine what makes your list? We’re often tempted to commit to important or urgent tasks that have been nagging us for a while. But that’s a mistake.
A woman in our 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever private Facebook group faced this problem. One of the goals she set this year was getting her accounting caught up. She knew it had to be done, but she struggled to stay motivated.
Every year comes freshly stocked with 104 weekend days. That’s 28 percent of all available days in the year. It’s like a full quarter! The trouble is that we treat our weekends like a slush fund to bankroll more work. We’re forfeiting a tremendous amount of time we could invest in better uses.
Almost a third of Americans work on the weekends, and I bet the number is even higher among entrepreneurs and executives. Based on what the research tells us about rest and rejuvenation, there’s a competitive advantage in bucking the trend.
You’ll actually be more productive if you unplug. But that’s easier said than done for some of us.