Productivity

Time management is like chess

Decades ago, I had a brief interest in chess. I played around with a board and I read through books of the greatest matches. I decided I didn’t really like the game enough to pursue it, but I always loved the concept of what master chess players do. They look at the way things are, and then think three, or even more, moves ahead. What happens if this happens? How ca… read more »

The half-hour problem

Long-time readers of this blog know that I have a favorite data set: The American Time Use Survey. This annual study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics asks thousands of Americans to keep track of their time. Because it is broad, and based on actual days, as opposed to how people recollect “typical” days, it is more accurate than most surveys that ask peop… read more »

The last 15 minutes are always crazy

A few years ago, I read a Real Simple article about how several women had reformed their mornings. They wanted the daily trip out the door to be less chaotic. More calm. One woman who was responsible for getting her three young daughters fed, dressed and to school on her own actually spent what sounded like an hour the night before getting everything ready for th… read more »

Are you as busy as you think?

(Laura’s note: This essay originally ran on the Wall Street Journal’s website in February. It made it onto their list of the most popular articles for the day).
There was a time, not so long ago, when I was busy, busy, busy. At least I thought I was.
I told people I worked 60 hours a week. I claimed to sleep six hours a night. As I lamented to anyone stuck… read more »

Thank Goodness It’s Monday

As life goes on, you soon realize a truth: weekends are shockingly fleeting things. You resist planning much for your time off — not wanting to replicate the madness of week days — but then Sunday afternoon arrives and you’re stuck with a sad sense of not having done much. One of the most common time problems I’ve discovered in conver… read more »