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.
Feel free to share this graphic with others. Click here to download the full-size image.
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.
I’m a fairly conservative person but not when it comes to setting new goals for myself or for my business. We may think setting conservative goals is wise, but it actually makes us and our teams less productive.
Too many leaders believe they’ll accomplish more if they lower the bar and set goals they can easily hit. We call that sandbagging. It might seem smart, but it’s a recipe for underperformance.
Did you skip lunch last week—either by gobbling down something at your desk or forgoing food altogether? The odds are good that you did.
A 2012 workplace survey by Right Management found just one in five employees take actual lunch breaks. That’s a problem because both the lunch and the break are good for you.
I’m a serious reader and have been most of my life. Most leaders I know are. We realize there’s a major ROI on time dedicated to reading.
As I’ve blogged about before, reading makes us better thinkers, improves our people skills, and helps us master communication—not to mention the rest and rejuvenation it offers.
We can gain a lot of rewards from reading, especially if we’re intentional about how we read and record our takeaways.
When I coach people on reaching their goals, I advise them to be flexible on their strategies. The goal might be sacred, but we can change strategies as often as we need.
But that’s not a blanket endorsement of flexibility. In fact, flexibility can significantly damage our productivity if we’re not careful. How?
If there’s one thing that has the power to encourage and motivate us unlike anything else, it’s the feeling of accomplishment and the momentum it brings.
It’s a feeling we all want, but one that often eludes us. The busyness of the day takes over, and instead of celebrating the day, proud of what you’ve accomplished, you look back and wonder what exactly you were able to get done.
If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone.
Great results don’t just happen. You don’t usually drift to a destination you would have chosen. Instead, you have to be intentional, force yourself to get clear on what you want and why it’s important, and then pursue a plan of action that accomplishes your objective.
Sometimes, this involves setting an achievement goal with a definable end point, such as finishing a book, running a marathon, or hitting a financial benchmark. But often, significant achievements are the result of ingrained habits over time.
If you’ve followed my blog for more than a few months, you know I love Evernote. It is an application I use every day. It’s not only my digital brain, it’s the main tool I use to implement my personal productivity system.
But I’ve found myself using the mobile version of Evernote less and less over the last several years. Why? It was cumbersome. It required multiple steps to get even the most basic tasks done.