No New Blog Posts This Week

I am not posting any new blog posts this week. My content team and I are taking the week off so we can rest and recharge after an intense season.

Margin matters, and it’s a big part of our value system at my company. We want to affirm (and model) the importance of time away for rejuvenation. I look forward to connecting with you again next Monday!

How to Beat Your Brain and Succeed

3 Insights for Overcoming Your Biggest Obstacles

Millions of people all over the world struggle to get things done at the office. A massive international study commissioned by the office equipment firm Steelcase found 37 percent of employees are disengaged from their work.

A similar poll by the Gallup organization found barely one in ten workers worldwide is really engaged on the job. Most people are just checked out.

This kind of disengagement is a constant source of frustration for those of us who need to find the focus and drive necessary to accomplish what matters most. The good news is that the solution is closer than you might think.

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.”

The One Thing You Need to Create Wow Experiences

How to Overcome the 5 Obstacles to Excellence

Today’s marketplace is more noisy and competitive than ever. If you want to capture—and keep—your audience’s attention, you need to build wow into whatever you’re offering. But that’s harder than it sounds sometimes.

Several years ago, when I was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, I had a conversation with one of our editors. He had just finished a new manuscript from one of our biggest authors. I asked, “So what did you think?”

“Honestly?” he replied, slightly hesitant. I assured him that I wanted the truth, and he gave it to me. “Not great,” he said.

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.

How Do You Stand Out in Today’s Crowded Marketplace?

4 Lessons on Innovation from a Successful Female Entrepreneur

The economist Tyler Cowen says the last few decades have seen the rise of what he calls the complacent class. It may not seem like it, but the numbers show people are sticking with jobs longer, relocating rarely, and innovating less.

In the midst of this complacency, there’s tremendous opportunity available for the non-complacent. I recently spoke with a woman who embodies the restless entrepreneurial spirit.

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.