Five Tricks to Help You Get Stuff 100% Done

Ever been victim of a time suck? I was cleaning up my desk, going through the overflowing inbox and assorted piles that had grown tall and unruly over a couple of months. My work space had been compromised by unattended to dribs and drabs and it was time do something about it. I sorted the piles on my dining table until every paper found its rightful place. Now, you might think that I felt great by the time it was all done. But you’d be wrong. I was sorely … [Read more...]

Open Yourself Up to Learning New Ideas – Like Time Quilting

I'm taking Chris Brogan's course on creating courses. And when I watched the video in the first installment, he introduced a concept called "Time Quilting." Time Quilting is the idea of using bits and pieces of time productively and then "quilting" them together into a big, beautiful product. Years ago, a businessman I was interviewing told me that he thought of using time in the same way he packed his suitcase. He put in the big garments first and then tucked in the … [Read more...]

Good or Great: Is 80% Effort Good Enough?

Are you an 80 percenter? Are you confident that no matter what you take on, you'll do a good job... at least an 80% job? Most people I know do at least an 80% job of just about everything they do. That's just their baseline. Doing a good job is the norm. I expect it of my friends and acquaintances and they expect it of me. If 100% = "Great," then 80% = "Good" With that logic, 80% of excellent is a good job. What's Your Percentage of Excellence? If you were to … [Read more...]

Handling Overwhelm, Staying Productive and Asking for Help

Clearly, I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed. After my last post -- a cry for help in managing overwhelm -- many people got in touch with me. Through email, phone calls, Facebook and comments at the end of the post, I heard from many of you.  And I'm excited to share the things that have already made a big difference. Sanebox: A System for E-Sanity Melea Seward's suggestion of sanebox.com wins the prize! Sanebox is a remarkable app that looks at the patterns of your … [Read more...]

A Cry for Help – How Do You Manage Overwhelm?

I thought that if I got clearer and more disciplined about my goals, my life would get simpler. But no... That just opened another door on greater complexity. And once again, I feel like I'm drowning. Ideas get lost. Balls get dropped. And myriad little things gobble the time I should be spending on big projects. Is it Just Me? Or is it the times in which we live, where emails and obligations and people stream into your brain and calendar like a fire hose rather than … [Read more...]

Overcoming Fear: A Personal Letter to Lizard Brain

Do you know that feeling of a sort of tickling in the pit of your stomach?  It's a feeling of excitement and anxiety combined. Those feelings are so close that that you can literally feel excited one minute and panicked the next. It doesn't take much to tip the balance. That's the way I'm feeling right now. A huge excitement that I'm on the verge of doing something big... and then with the next breath, a huge anxiety that maybe I won't succeed. Whew. One minute I … [Read more...]

Autumn Anxiety: Build a Head of Steam to Get You Going

Do you know the physical symptoms of anxiety? If you pay close attention the next time you get anxious, you might notice these things: You start sweating. Perhaps your face even gets a bit damp. Your heart rate goes up a bit. Your mid-section feels -- well -- like it's got a cluster of butterflies in it. You're uncomfortable and out of sorts in a general, ill-defined way. Something just doesn't feel right. And you'd be happy to do almost anything to make … [Read more...]

How to Kick Your Email Addiction Once and For All

I just realized that I'm addicted to e-mail. Are you? I check my email constantly. A corner of my eye is always on my inbox. When something new appears, I'm sucked away from whatever else I'm trying to get done. And I don't like it. My email addiction adds up to feeling empty and unsatisfied because though I work all day, I don't get much done that feels like it amounts to anything significant. Test if You're Addicted to Email Try my little email addiction … [Read more...]

The Meaning of Life: Are You Just Clocking Time?

You could count the days, if you only knew how many there were. And as you get older, though you still don't know exactly how many there will be, the days of your life seem all the more countable. That's what I was thinking about when I finished reading a detective novel last week. Though I enjoyed reading it, after I put it down, I couldn't shake the sense that while I was reading, I was just clocking time... Letting the minutes go by. What Makes Life … [Read more...]

Working to Deadlines: How to Build Up a Head of Steam

My piece for the GuideStar blog was due yesterday. And I spent the two weeks before that deadline fretting and in a state of anxiety. Don't worry... I did write the piece and I got it in on schedule. In fact, here it is! But it wasn't easy. Deadlines Make Excellent Fuel I never find it easy to be highly productive. I write, and do many other things, to deadlines.  I seem unable to function any other way. I know some people who simply do what they're supposed to … [Read more...]