While weak leaders blame their followers for a lack of alignment, strong leaders know that it is their responsibility to create it. Alignment doesn’t just happen. It is created. Here are three ways to make it happen with your team.
We all need margin to live productive and fulfilling lives. It helps us perform at our best and be fully present. But what happens when you lack margin at home? Just like at work, we have long to-do lists at home. From laundry to cooking, to cleaning and shuffling kids to activities. Not only can […]
If you want to understand how hard it can be to automate, consider the many attempts to replace cashiers with self-checkout systems. To wit, CVS pharmacies were once lousy with self-checkout systems, which I personally tried to use, many times, to get out the door faster. Almost every time, some loud error sent me to […]
It started with my first day on the job. I’d just been named senior leader at a growing organization with a generously-sized staff. Yet there were problems, as there are in any institution, and I was determined to solve them. All of them. Right away. Communications was a weak point, so I decided to personally […]
The question prodding us to increased productivity is almost never, “How do I fit more work into my day?” That question leads to productivity “hacks,” an exhausting pace of work, and endless to-do lists that never completely get done because there are only so many hours in the day. A better question to ask, instead, […]
Three years ago I boarded a crowded, somewhat dirty bus and set off for Wat Suan Mokkh, a Thai forest monastery. The grounds featured giant monitor lizards and bats that would fly low at dusk, almost touching you with their wings. Though the bat-filled evenings were a highlight of my trip, they were not my […]
“Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you poop out at parties? Are you unpopular? The answer to all of your problems are in this little bottle!” This quote, from Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy, is both hilarious and timeless. Her Vitameatavegamin bottle made some pretty large promises that only required an alcohol content of […]
Time management is about scarcity, because time is fixed. You only have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, 8,760 hours in a year (tack on an extra 24 for leap years). Until someone invents a time-stretching machine, that’s all we’ve got. The thing that you can actually manage is your energy. […]
In life and in business, there are a lot of distractions. It can be fun to run down those rabbit trails, but it’s easy to lose track, and hard to get back to doing the most important things for the time that we have. I am a husband and father of 12 children. I am […]
The idea that working ever harder and longer leads to better results is as American as apple pie, despite all evidence to the contrary. Chronic overwork is unproductive, unhealthy, and destructive of a balanced life. Yet against the evidence—and against the advice of incredibly successful people such as Henry David Thoreau and Henry Ford—overwork remains […]
In the 2007 film “Music and Lyrics,” an absent-minded lyricist played by Drew Barrymore drives her high-strung musical partner a little crazy by insisting that they take breaks throughout the day. Each time they take a walk or run out for food, however, the lyrics come to her as if by magic. Sometimes, as an […]
One of the most important lessons I have learned about productivity is this: It’s less about managing time and more about managing energy. Why? Because time is fixed, but our energy can flex. Most people get this exactly backward. They cram their day with tasks, thinking they can get it all done. Instead, they end […]
The days are getting shorter again, but it’s not too late to take a few days off before the end of summer. August is often the perfect month to take some time away from work. You should consider getting away for a bit because you probably need it. Vacations are vital for rejuvenation, especially for […]
When you think about leadership, what’s one word that matters more than almost any others? In his new book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle, Brad Lomenick says “habit” is the key. More than 40 percent of the things we do throughout the day aren’t the result of decisions, he says. They’re habits. […]
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m talking about margin—breathing room, think time, downtime, those moments we all desperately need really stay effective and enjoy the things that matter most. But the truth is we seem to be getting less and less of it. Not only are prices racing while wages slow, but we’re working […]
The last five weeks have been incredibly busy for me. Honestly, it has been overwhelming. Here are the seven steps I am taking to regain some margin.
Do you ever feel like you are running out of bandwidth? Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at your calendar and start cutting back on your commitments. Here’s how.
Many leaders I know struggle with over-commitment. Here are five ways to say “no” with consistency and grace.
Most people I know still feel overwhelmed by life’s demands. Despite all the gadgets and gizmos, they don’t have more time. They are only getting busier—and falling further and further behind.