Category: Productivity

How to tame the paper beast

I spent about an hour last weekend going through the pile of paper that collects on the counter under our microwave. This is where mail and magazines go when they come in. It is also where kid papers that get dumped elsewhere migrate. I imagine lots of households have such a paper pile, and dealing with it can consume much time. Not dealing with it can result in o… read more »

12 strategies for freelance success

Someone asked me about my work history the other day, and I remembered that I haven't had a "real" job since 2002. And even that was a part-time job to supplement my freelancing. My business has gone through various versions over the years. At the beginning it was more articles and books, these days it's books and speaking (and a lot fewer articles - though sti… read more »

How to leave the office at 5 p.m. (guilt free!)

When it's dark and sleeting, an evening at the office doesn't sound so bad. But with May almost here, and the days getting longer and warmer, many of us start to feel restless. Enjoying an evening outside can feel like a vacation in the middle of the week. There's just the matter of getting out of the office on time. As I study people's time logs, I see a phenomenon t… read more »

How CEOs spend their days (Inc magazine) plus Friday miscellany

I always love seeing the time diary concept make its way into the wider world! Inc magazine's April cover story is called "The Way I Work," and features 24 hours in the lives of 8 high-profile business leaders. Specifically, they tracked November 29, 2016. Then Inc had me offer commentary on their schedules. The good news is that these people often had very rea… read more »

On not filling time: What is productivity?

Conventional jobs have a psychologically comforting aspect to them. You go somewhere, which in and of itself can feel like you've done something. In some of my early jobs, I recall feeling bored at times. What I was required to do did not fill 8 hours, and while there is much to be said for taking initiative and figuring out other things to do, not every day works l… read more »