10 Practical Ways to Focus Your Mental Energy

How to Kill Distractions and Amp Up Your Productivity

I can’t imagine living in a more distracting time in human history. Hundreds of cable channels, millions of Web sites, and the constant pinging of email and social media all compete for our attention. But if you are like me, you still have to get real work done.

A few weeks ago, I had to prepare for a board meeting. I really needed an extended period of time to review the material and prepare my presentation. In doing this, I realized that I go through a similar pattern whenever I need to increase my mental focus and get a lot of work done in a short period of time.

5 Reasons You’re Still Procrastinating

How to Get Over It and Finally Get Things Done

At work, you feel stuck in the deepest rut of all time. You try to move forward but the groove is deep and you’re wedged in there pretty good. Sound familiar?

It happens to most leaders at some point. I’ve found the best way to get yourself out of the rut is to understand the reason you’re there in the first place. There are 5 big reasons that people get stuck along the way.

When Aptitude Is Not Enough

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Shake Things Up

I’ve said before many times that the key to job satisfaction is moving away from your Drudgery and Disinterest Zones and toward the Passion and Proficiency of your Desire Zone.

Some readers have raised a good question about this shift. “It’s easy to tell what I’m passionate about,” they tell me, “but how do I determine if I am proficient at something?”

I am so excited to announce my forthcoming book, Your Best Year Ever! But I need your help—Will you take a few moments to let me know which book cover you like best? All you have to do is click here, answer the questions, and that’s it! Can’t wait to hear from you.

Make sure to actually click to let me know which cover is your favorite. If you just comment below, it won’t be factored in the survey results. Thanks so much!

Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost Your Productivity

4 Ways to Kick the Mouse Habit and Save Time

I am not a big fan of computer mice. Every time I have to take my hand off the keyboard, it costs me a few seconds. This may not sound like much, but it adds up over the course of a day.

Instead, I like to keep my hands on the keyboard. With a little memory work and the right tools, you can boost your productivity and run circles around your mouse-dependent colleagues.

How to Harness Sleep to Boost Your Productivity

4 Ways You Can Get the Rest You Need for the Results You Want

No sleep.” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” “Sleep is for the weak.” I often see motivational statements like these hashtagged on social media.

The idea is to spur high-achievers on to work harder for better results. But what if that’s exactly backwards? What if our willingness to shortchange our sleep is actually sabotaging our success?

How Deep Work Can Change Your Life Forever

3 Strategies to Overcome the Distractions

How many of your work hours are wasted on distractions? Probably more than you think. Financial management service Think Money researched the question, and their findings are eye-opening.

According to their 2015 report, distractions annually eat up 759 hours per worker. That’s just one hour shy of twenty complete 40-hour workweeks every year!

Now flip the question around. How much time do you spend on deep, focused work? I’m talking time where you’re not interrupted and where you’re working on your top, most important priorities. The answer people constantly tell me is “not nearly enough.”

My mission is to help overwhelmed high achievers win at work and succeed at life — and recently, that has called for the creation of something really special: a planning tool with roots in the strongest research surrounding best practices in goal-setting and productivity.

The Full Focus Planner™ was designed for high achievers just like you who are seeking a fulfilling, productive lifestyle. Come behind the scenes with me so I can show you where this project came from — and why it means so much to me and my team.

Why I Decided to Publish a Paper Planner

Achieve Your Greatest Goals by Keeping Them in Your Day-to-Day Routine

Late last year I read David Sax’s new book, The Revenge of Analog. The premise? After years of being pushed aside by digital solutions, analog applications have been making a surprising comeback. That resonated with my own experience.

Most of my audience knows me as a techie. But I was in the book business for decades, and I love paper. It’s the best reading app around.

I’m also convinced it’s the best way to ensure you stay productive and reach your goals. That’s why I’m so excited about my brand new Full Focus Planner.

Recovering the Lost Art of Note Taking

5 Simple Ways to Create Your Personal Time Machine

If you spend much time in meetings or presentations, note taking is a survival skill. But I’m surprised at how few people bother to do it. Those who do sometimes express frustration at how ineffective it can be.

I don’t recall anyone ever teaching me how to take notes. I didn’t learn it in school—not even college. Nor did I learn it on the job. It was something I had to pick up on my own.

That’s probably true for a lot of people, and I bet it’s why so few people bother to take notes. No one has ever told us why it’s important or how to do it. That ends here. I’m going to share not only why you should take notes but also offer four suggestions on how to do it better.

4 Essential Disciplines for Getting Things Done

How to Avoid the Death of Your Project

Do you remember the last time a major initiative died in your organization? Did it go down with a loud crash, or was it slowly and quietly suffocated by competing priorities?

Organizations operate within a whirlwind of activity. All the calls, meetings, deliverables, and urgent deadlines combine to smother new initiatives.

But, if we take the advice of FranklinCovey’s Chris McChesney, we can step outside the whirlwind and make progress on major goals.