Productivity lessons from maternity leave (repost)

I’m on vacation this week and so am recycling some old posts. This one ran in November 2009, shortly after I had my second child. In light of all the to-do about Marissa Mayer taking a few weeks of maternity leave, I was curious what my own mindset was during those early weeks. Here it is – Laura
I have been trying to work a lighter schedule since Sam’s bir… read more »

Does a clean desk help you work?

A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, the saying goes — which may explain why Australian company BHP Billiton’s rule book, leaked to the Australian Financial Review, made a big deal about employee desks. According to the publication, employees “have to clean their desks every day of all but eight objects – their monitors, keyboards, m… read more »

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 »