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8 Books to Turn Your Productivity Around

love reading! Not just because I enjoy learning about new things or ideas, but because I find it fascinating how a book can seep into your daily mindset.

If I’m really interested in a book I will often find that the concepts within the book will appear all around me. Friends will bring up a issues that relate to key themes in the book or I’ll face a problem at work similar to issues brought up in the book.

It’s for this reason that productivity books can be so good for you. While you may not implement all the practices suggested it at least gets you thinking about the different approaches to getting things done. You might even think of a way to adapt one of the ideas in the book to be more suitable for your lifestyle. Read more

Get a Stopwatch — You Need It!

clock-782536_640The most common excuse for not being more productive is saying that you have too much going on.

I’m too busy.” — you often say.  

Am I right?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret — no you aren’t!  

The thing with productivity is that it’s not how much you do, but how you do it. Do you get the most out of the time you have?  Or are you so busy because you fill your day with stuff you don’t really need to be doing.  That’s precious time you could be wasting!

The easiest way to find out is to track your time.

When I started making a note of how I spent my day I had a few surprises. For example, that thing I thought took only five minutes, actually took way longer than that.  It’s never just five minutes in the end.

There are a few apps and techniques to help you track your time. You can find them in the Entrepreneur.com article I wrote on time management.

Also if you want to know more about tracking your time, my friend and fellow author Laura Vanderkam is giving away her time tracking guide for free! Laura’s written several books including What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time.  If anyone knows how to manage time it’s her!

How Productivity Pro Laura Vanderkam Does It All

LauraNew

If you’re a productivity wisdom seeker like me — you’ve probably heard of Laura Vanderkam at some point.  I’ve followed her for years and recently read her e-book What the Most Productive People Do Before Breakfast and wrote about it.

She’s written several other time-management and productivity books, including the forthcoming I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make The Most Of Their Time (Portfolio, June 9, 2015.)

She was kind enough to post a guest article I wrote for her audience on her own site LauraVanderkam.com about how to create the ultimate to-do list.

But I wanted to know more about her and highlight her as one of my featured List Producers!

Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer? 

I don’t know if I’m compulsive, but I do like my lists! I find lists to be a simple way to organize my thoughts and remember things that I would otherwise forget. That in turn makes life much smoother. With two working parents and four kids, there are a lot of moving parts around here.

What do you make lists about? 

Priorities and goals, and then practical matters like what I’m supposed to get at the grocery store.  Read more

Morning is the Most Productive Time

Good mornig,guys! Why don't you drink with me?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I haven’t always been a morning person but with a “regular” 9-5 schedule – I didn’t have a choice. So I’ve embraced it. Every morning before work I:

1. Read two newspapers

2. Practice yoga

3. Sip green tea

4. Eat a healthy breakfast

5. Read through and respond to several emails

6. Listen to news radio for 15 minutes

7. Check my Twitter and Facebook feeds

8. Take a shower and get ready

9. Walk for 15 minutes

Most people barely have enough time to jump in the shower, take the dog out for a walk and scarf down some breakfast before they get to work. I don’t do all of the things on that list because I HAVE to – I do them because I WANT to.

My husband thinks I’m crazy but I wake up at 6:05am every morning so I can do all of those things before work. It’s hours before I have to get to work but I love that time to be productive and do the things I want to do for myself.

I recently read an e-book called, “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam and it turns out a lot of successful people do exactly the same thing as me. They meditate, exercise, read, practice hobbies and do anything that they like way before they get to work.

As it says in the book — if you do things before work in the morning there’s a higher chance you’ll actually get those things done and out of the way to feel much more accomplished and productive before you sit down at your desk. You’ve all been there… you procrastinate, make excuses and get tired by the end of the day so you may never get to the gym. For me — I don’t like to be rushed. I like to give myself enough time to get ready and wake up.

Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project” gets up an hour before her family to check email and headlines and start her day.  I like to do the same thing so that when I actually get to work – I can start working right away and only have a few emails to distract me.

So what do you do in the morning?