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December 21, 2009

How Stress Hurts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 1:23 pm
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I think the best way to deal with the stress of our busy lives is to be in CONTROL over the details, having everything out of your head where you can see it and manage it effectively.  That’s why I teach people the Empowered Productivity System, to turn chaos into control.  However my friend Dr. Harvey Kitzman has some other ideas about managing your stress levels, especially during the holidays, and I invited him to share them here.  Today he’ll explain what stress is and ways it can affect us that you might not know about.  Tomorrow he’ll provide 6 tips for beating stress, at the holidays and throughout the year. Please read his article at the new home of this blog.  Thanks for visiting!

Tips to Fight Holiday Stress and Holiday Blues, Pt. 1
by Dr. Harvey Kitzman

 

December 4, 2009

How To ADD Time to Your Day (Really!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 5:35 pm
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Feeling like there aren’t enough hours in your day?  Doesn’t everyone?  I’ve discovered a powerful secret that has given me several extra hours in my day to get things done.  Impossible, you say?

Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog.  Thanks for visiting!

October 28, 2009

Apple’s Productivity Shortcomings (And How to Get Around Them)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 10:56 am
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So by the title, you might think I’m not a fan of Macs. You’d be wrong. I converted from a PC over two years ago and have been glad every day that I did so. Macs do *almost* everything better, and without the headaches of PCs. And the fact that you can go into an Apple retail store and get all kinds of help, most of it free, just seems to make using a Mac a no-brainer. But notice I did say that Macs do almost everything better. The one thing that is harder using Mac-native tools is personal productivity. And being that this is my profession, that’s a bit of a big deal for me.  Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog, here.  Thanks for visiting!

 

September 11, 2009

Social Media Efficiency for Newbies, Part 2 of 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 9:00 am
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Yesterday I gave some information about differences in social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace, and gave a couple of analogies to help you to keep your use of them in perspective.

Something else to consider when evaluating social media is WHY are you thinking about it?  Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog.  Thanks for visiting!

August 30, 2009

Keeping Up with Communication: Convenience vs. Control

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 1:41 pm
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How do you keep up with social media?  How do you find the time?  I get asked some version of this question every day, and in fact I deliver trainings on the topic.  The tools you choose to use have a huge impact on how well you can keep up with the flood of communication caused by engaging in social media.

Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog.  Thanks for reading!

August 10, 2009

Using Technology to Bring More Control into Your Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 3:39 pm
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In some ways, we are more connected than ever:  Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube…these tools give us unprecedented opportunity to connect with and attract the attention of people who in the past seemed much farther removed: celebrities, politicians, corporate executives….

Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog, here.  Thanks for visiting!

 

August 3, 2009

Is “Effective Meetings” an OxyMoron?

It doesn’t have to be, although that seems to be status quo in larger companies these days, and sometimes even in smaller ones.  Here are some things to consider to make meetings at your organization more effective….

Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog, here.  Thanks for visiting!

July 22, 2009

Productivity and Company Culture

Earlier in my career, and now again, I find myself working with either small companies (less than 50 employees) or divisions within larger companies, which often operate as small companies within a larger framework.  And I’ve discovered that individual productivity (workload management) has a significant impact on the culture in the company or department….

Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog, here.  Thanks for visiting!

June 12, 2009

The Three Stages of Productivity: Which One Are You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 6:20 pm
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We all have days that seemingly fly by and at the end, we know that we were busy, but we can’t really articulate exactly what we got accomplished.  I’ve come to recognize that as “stage one” productivity.  For some of us, many days go by like that.  And for still others, it’s a way of life.  When you’re at stage one productivity, you are almost exclusively in reactive mode.  And being reactive doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t being productive, because it means that you are dealing with the other people in your world, and we all have to do that sometimes:  going to meetings, answering emails, returning phone calls, putting out fires, etc.  Please read the rest of this post at the new home of this blog.  Thanks for visiting!

May 22, 2009

Incorporate Change in 3 Easy Steps (Part 2)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maura Thomas @ 5:03 pm
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Yesterday’s post discussed how hard it is to incorporate change in your life and the first step that might make it easier: awareness.

Educating yourself is the second step in changing your behavior.  It’s hard to change habits when you don’t know how or what to change them to.  Let’s say you’ve become aware that you spend too much time in your email, and you know it’s having a detrimental affect on how much you get done every day.  But what choice do you have?  It seems like you get an endless amount of email and if you aren’t checking it all the time, it will just pile up on you, right?  Well, regardless of what you are contemplating, there are typically many people who have done it successfully before you.  That’s one of the positive things about the internet:  the abundance of information available for you to learn from.  Find a book, or an article, or a blog (like this one! =), or an entire website, about someone who has learned how to successfully stay on top of email, while continuing to get things done and be productive. (Incidentally, besides this blog, another great place for advice and more resources about email management is Merlin Mann’s work at 43 Folders: Inbox Zero).  Maybe you need more help than just reading, but those resources are available to choose and learn from as well.    Another idea that works really well for me is to ask people.  I typically get a wealth of information when I simply say to my friends and acquaintances during conversation, “you know, I’m trying to get better at XXX.  Do you know of any resources to help me do that?”  People LOVE to be helpful and look smart.  If you don’t often do this, I think you’ll be surprised at the results.

So, if you’re trying to incorporate change in your life, the first step is to become aware of the habits you have that aren’t serving you.  Next, educate yourself about NEW habits that might help, learning from people who have mastered the skill you are trying to acquire.  Tomorrow I’ll post the third and final step: dealing with your own psychology.

Thanks for reading!

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