Five-Step Delegation

My recent collaboration Sean Murray at RealTime Performance has produced a one-day seminar for new managers at his Fortune 500 clients. Creating the program required that we narrowly focus some existing training components to help people who have never supervised others before. The delegation process was one key area that was simplified. It’s a potential land[…]

Mini-Monk Mode Sharpens Focus And Increases Productivity

Short Bursts of Quiet In his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” Greg McKeown refers to getting focused as being in the “Monk Mode.” The benefit to the Monk Mode is greater and higher quality work product. Given our time-starved world, it might be more effective to find Mini-Monk Modes throughout our day. Here[…]

Gerbils on a Wheel – Making that Wheel Roll Forward

“Gerbils on a wheel.”  I use this expression frequently when talking with audiences about how we feel after busting hump all day and feeling like nothing got done.  Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like the wheel actually moved forward once in a while?

Breaking Free from the Frame

Like most wheels, the wheel we each run on during the day is held in place on either side of its hub by forks.  Imagine looking down on a bicycle wheel to where the forks attach to the hub.  The wheel spins at the hub and the forks keep the wheel in place.  That’s good on a bicycle because everything works together so that the spinning wheels assist in making the bike move forward.

The gerbil’s wheel is similarly secured but its forks are fixed to the bottom of the cage.  Thus, no amount of spinning will move the wheel forward.  The wheel must break free from the forks for it to roll forward.


Taming The Beast – Making E-mail Work For You – Part 1 of 3

Modern Desktop


When I first began penning this article, I thought it would be a quick missive on the need for a change of perspective on e-mail, as well as some suggestions to make our use of this powerful tool more effective.  About half way through writing it, though, it became obvious that there was much more to be said. 

The result is this three-part series with a more in-depth discussion about the roots of the e-mail problem and the substantiation for the suggestions presented.  It is my hope that readers find some new insights into how we can remodel our relationship with e-mail and its sister technologies – texting and posting. 

In the end, these tools are here to stay and it is our choice about how we want to integrate them into our lives. Using e-mail productively can make very good use of our time – the only truly important non-renewal resource we have.


QuickTip: Use "Reply To" When Someone Else Is Handling Details

Just enjoying a lovely fall afternoon stuck in the office porting data from my recently-failed laptop (backlight went black two days ago) to my new Toshiba netbook.  I’m excited to see where this technology is right now and I didn’t want to drop real money on a high-end laptop until Windows 7 is out (and[…]

Hanging On By Your Fingernails – What ISN'T Going To Get Done?

Stuff is coming at us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from all over the globe in today’s always-on world.  Not only do we have to process more information, but we also seem to end up with more things crowding their way onto our schedule and task lists.  Whether it’s filling out the coversheet to[…]

Show Me The Money: Prioritizing Tasks

Prioritizing tasks is a never-ending struggle for most busy executives and professionals. When coaching clients on this issue, I routinely ask them to define for me their most important work objectives. That is, what is the most (and possibly second most) important objective you have in your work? Is it revenue production, maximizing process flows,[…]

Why The Laundry Room Matters: Organization Drives Well-Being

One of the odd things about our summer place is that it doesn’t have a hall/coat closet.  This has to do with the layout and orientation of the home, which was designed to take advantage of the view of the lake and mountains.  To remedy this shortcoming, we purchased an antique coat rack and placed it[…]