amazonbook-1455586692

Deep Work (Grand Central Publishing, 2016)

If we want to be productive, we have to stay focused on the kinds of projects that add real value to our businesses. But that’s harder than ever today. When I talk with busy leaders, they tell me the biggest productivity challenge they face is constant distraction.

The problem is that even if those distractions qualify as work, they don’t add much value. Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, labels most of these activities shallow work. Think about bouncing in and out of email, checking social media, or tweaking lists. This is low concentration work just about anyone can do. Deep work, on the other hand, requires intense focus and concentration. It’s demanding but adds a lot of value.

How to Finally Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

My Free, New Webinar Reveals How to Take Charge of the Coming Year

It’s resolution time. Getting fit, getting organized, improving our personal finances, traveling, and reading more are among the most popular resolutions this year, according to research by iQuanti.

man climbing over a brick wall

Sounds great to me. Who wouldn’t want those things? Unfortunately, despite good intentions, thousands will fail at their resolutions in just a few weeks. But that’s only the start of our problems.

How to Leverage the L.E.A.P. Principle for Big Results

4 Simple Steps to Beat the Law of Diminishing Intent

The turn of the year is always a good time to evaluate what’s working in our lives, what’s not, and make any changes that will start us down a better path.

Young woman running and jumping

As we pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go, we normally have a sense of what to do. But that sense comes with a risk.

Even if it only represents an inkling of clarity about what to do, it’s imperative that you act immediately. If you don’t, you can fall prey to the Law of Diminishing Intent.

The Fine Line Between Working Hard and Letting Go

Plus the Simple Heuristic I Use to Know When to Press in and When to Back Off

Some of my favorite memories of growing up are building model airplanes with my dad. I remember him showing me how to assemble, sand, and paint them. I think back on how proud I always was when we finished a project together.

father and son building wooden airplane model

On one occasion, I remember struggling to get two parts to fit together. I tried several different angles. Nothing seemed to work. I grew increasingly frustrated.

Calmly, my dad said, “Son, don’t force it.” I stopped what I was doing, looked up at him, and instantly knew he was right.

My Top-10 Blog Posts and Podcast Episodes from 2016

Your Favorite Topics All in One Place

Like most of you, I take time at the end of every year to review and take stock of the last twelve months—and that includes the stats on my blog and podcast.

2016

Every now and then people ask me about my motivation for what I do. The short answer is that I love to help people create transformation in their lives. That’s what I mean when I say I help people win at work and succeed at life.

It’s only one measurement, but traffic is a good indicator of how well I’m succeeding in my goal. Here are my top-10 blog post and top-10 podcast episodes from 2016, along with my takeaways on what’s working and why.

When you create as much video content as we do, you’re bound to capture some funny moments. My talented friends at Rainey Media gathered this collection of some of my best bloopers in 2016. Enjoy!

The Best Business Books I Read in 2016

5 Titles that Triggered Massive Transformation for Me and My Team

I’ve worked in and around publishing my entire professional life, and I’ve written several books of my own. I believe in the power of books to help people improve and grow. Read the right books, and you can trigger massive transformation in your life.

Books

More than any other business books I read this year, five titles especially challenged me, stretched my thinking, and helped me to grow personally and professionally. Each one also benefited my team in different ways. I bet they can do the same for you.

3 Non-Physical Benefits to Running

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Fitness Goals in the New Year

We all know the physical benefits to running. I won’t waste your time by repeating them here. However, people who don’t run often miss the non-physical benefits. To me, these are even more valuable than the physical ones.

young fitness woman runner running on sunrise road

If your goals for the new year include losing weight or improving your health, you might be thinking about running as an option. But let’s be honest. It can get pretty cold out there right now.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." - Maya Angelou

Click here for my complete collection of quote card images.

5 Research-Backed Benefits of Making Generosity a Habit

What Giving as a Lifestyle Can Do for Your Health, Happiness, More

We’ve all heard it’s more blessed to give than to receive. Probably like you, I take that on faith. But it’s fun to see how research agrees that special benefits come from giving, not just receiving.

getting help

Giving has been an important part of Christmas ever since the Three Wise Men presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But sometimes it seems like receiving is the main point of the holiday, doesn’t it?

I get it. I like receiving gifts as much as the next person. But if you want to give yourself a real gift, try generosity toward others.

4 Innovation Lessons from the Crazy Success of Instagram

What Leaders Can Learn from One of the Fastest Growing Apps in History

I’m already seeing a lot of Christmas images on Instagram, and I expect to see a flood in the next few days. The company just announced it surpassed 600 million users.

Share the moment

Instagram launched in 2010. I joined a year later, but I only became a heavy user a couple of years ago. The company’s growth curve is phenomenal.