Cross These Tasks Off Your To-Do List

I love outsourcing. I mean who wouldn’t? You get to take your to-do list and hand it off to someone else!

What’s not to love?

However it’s one of the few productivity suggestions that when I mention to people, the response I get tends to be dubious.

The answer I always get is, “Well, I dunno, I like to do things myself.”

Sound familiar?

I’m a control freak, so I get it. Letting someone else be responsible for a part of my business (even if it is only a very small one) can feel scary. But if I can get past the control freak fear, then why can’t other people.

I think that most people actually aren’t afraid to outsource – they just don’t know where to start!

For example, if you asked a child if they wanted to give up their chores, of course they’d be happy. But when you tell them they have to pick just one — the choice becomes a bit more difficult. Read more

Become an Email Warrior

You ever do this? You look through your email – and mark all the stuff you don’t want to deal with as “unread” because you’ll get to it later. But the thing is you never do!

You know you’ve played this game with your email too.

An email inbox is just another thing to get clogged and untidy. I know what it’s like to have thousands of unread emails and it something that can so quickly spiral if you don’t stay on top of it. I even created a whole course around it.

I’m not the only person who has tried to tackle the issues brought up by email. Ann Gomez, a productivity whiz from Canada, has recently published her book, “The Email Warrior: A Succinct, Practical Guide to Help You Corral an Unwieldy Inbox.” Like me advocates trying to keep your inbox at zero – her approach can clear your inbox in less than 3 hours!

I was thrilled when Ann asked me to write a blurb for the back of her book.  Here’s what I said:

“As a big believer of lists, there is one list that I do not like – and that is a long list of emails sitting in one’s inbox. I advocate a zero inbox policy with my clients because it streamlines life and makes us more productive. The Email Warrior is a succinct, practical guide to help you corral an unwieldy inbox. Busy professionals who are inundated with email will find this refreshing formula simple and attainable.” 

Her book is designed to help you:

  • Process email most efficiently
  • Save time for other priorities
  • Take back control over email
  • Spend less time on email
  • Organize your digital storage
  • Simplify your life
  • Reduce stress

I hope you’ll check it out and that it helps you finally tackle that stubborn inbox! Let me know what you think if you do.

Productivity Tips I Learned from Seth Godin

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-12-41-49 On this blog I have talked about some of the well known experts in productivity. I caught a recent interview with Seth Godin on Marie Forleo TV and I was inspired to share it with you. Seth isn’t in the productivity biz per se, but he’s one of the most prolific writers and business developers out there. He’s written 18 bestselling books, built and sold businesses and has some of the best advice. Here are some of the top tips from his talk with Marie:

Be geared to ship

I’m a perfectionist – I can’t help it! I don’t like to put out anything that I’m not 100% happy with. I’m getting better but it’s still an issue.

The problem with that, as Seth points out, is that the focus is on making it perfect instead of just getting it out there. Seth writes a blog entry every single day, they won’t all be great, but everyday he’s putting his thoughts and ideas out there.

When you do that you can’t worry about making it perfect, you just have to go for it. Being a perfectionist can go hand in hand with overthinking or overstretching an idea. If there’s something you want to do, stop worrying about it and just get started! Read more

How Do You Say List in Portuguese?

You know when you do something and you aren’t quite sure how it will turn out? That’s what it’s been like for me to publish my book Listful Thinking. This January will mark two years since it came out and I’m still grateful for all the opportunities it’s given me.

I’ve had the chance to meet some of you face to face at book signings and talk with people all over the world about lists. Plus, I got to record the audiobook version of the book this summer.  I’m also excited to announce that Listful Thinking has also made it onto the Apple iBooks bestseller list!

I’m thrilled to be mentioned with other classic titles like “The Secret” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” When I first published my book I had no idea there were so many list makers out there. What I certainly didn’t expect was how many different languages the book would be published in as well.  Right now it’s in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Indonesian and just recently in Portuguese as well. I’m so happy to welcome all the new Portuguese list makers to this blog.

unnamed-8The book has also allowed me to do some speaking gigs, which I really love. I’ll be speaking at the MA Conference for Women on Dec 8th. I’ll be leading the session appropriately named Listful Thinking. And I’ll also be hosting a session with two execs from Boston Scientific, leading the discussion about work/life balance. I’ve written about this quite a lot. And I’m interested to get their take on how they manage it as well.  It resonates with all of us.  If you’re at the conference, please put “stop by to say hello to Paula” on your list.

The Real Reason You Can’t Clear Clutter

Why is it so difficult to just get rid of stuff? As a recovering pack rat – I totally get it. It seems easy enough but sometime there are items like those boots you never wore or that candlestick holder your friend gave you when she moved out of her apartment.

The important thing here is to know that you’re not alone in struggling to get rid of stuff. I recently attended a Running with Heels dinner in NYC. Running with Heels is a women’s networking group run by my friend Jenny Powers. She books all kinds of speakers and interesting experts.  The dinner I went to featured productivity expert Julie Morgenstern. Julie kindly wrote the foreword to my book Listful Thinking.

The topic of discussion was about clearing clutter and why it’s so difficult to get rid of our stuff! This included a heartbreaking story of how Julie often found her kitchen over stuffed with cookbooks she never used. When she thought about why she clung to these cookbooks so desperately, she realized it was because the represented the mother she wished she could be. A mom who was well known for her delicious home-cooked meals. Read more