So, You Want To Be More Productive?

So, You Want To Be More Productive?

Not enough time. Too much to do. Not enough sleep. Too many distractions. Constant dings and buzzes. No ability to focus. Rushing to get there on time. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Oh, and I just remembered, that I forgot to…

Sound familiar? According to the results of my recent survey, 81% of you desire to be more productive. But, how? Where do you even start?

As our lives have become more hectic, demanding and complex, we strive to be more organized and productive but struggle with how to get it all done — especially when we’re overwhelmed and don’t have any free time to spend finding a solution.  So, is there a quick fix?

If you turn to Google and search “productivity tips,” guess what?  You get 104M articles of tips from incredibly busy people you can read through to learn how to radically improve your life and become the most productive person you know.

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You can order or download, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and then find the time to pour through 350 pages of the defacto “Bible of business and personal productivity.”

You can sign up for email newsletters, blogs, webinars and training sessions from a variety of “productivity gurus” who can provide advice and guide you through productivity best practices.

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You can look in the App Store to find literally thousands and thousands of apps claiming to help you become more productive. You can sort through, them pick some to download and try them out for two weeks to see how they work and if they help you or not.

Or, wait — maybe there’s a better option. I’ve spent the past six months doing all of these things in a quest to understand the challenges, evaluate the strategies, and test current solutions to come up with a simple, easy-to-use tool you can just start using.

Please Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and check out my Web site so you can be the first to know when this new tool will be available for FREE.

Seeking 10 Incredibly Happy Customers

Seeking 10 Incredibly Happy Customers

When I decided to start my own business, the one thing I knew is that I didn’t know anything about anything. So, I started meeting with as many successful entrepreneurs that would make time for me. I figured I would try to learn as much as possible from those who have braved this path before me.

The one thing that was mentioned to me repeatedly was the importance of product-market fit and taking the time to make sure it was right. Since my background is primarily product management and marketing I understood this point immediately but also began to understand the criticality of this for a new start-up.

What especially hit home was David Cumming’s recent blog post claiming, “If You Can Get 10 Happy Customers, You Can Get 100.” Even though he was referring to B2B services, he states, “Getting 10 unaffiliated customers that are passionate about a product is incredibly hard. Once achieved, entrepreneurs have a strong foundation in place and can get to 100 customers using the lessons learned and momentum.”

So, my new productivity app is currently in development. Even though it’s just an MVP (minimal viable product) including less than 10% of the features I had dreamed up and planned for, my goal is to find at least 10 unaffiliated, incredibly happy customers who LOVE the product.

I realize this is going to be incredibly difficult to achieve but at least it’s a goal and it’s a measurable first step.

Stay tuned to find out when my new app is available and perhaps, just maybe, you could be one of my first 10 incredibly happy customers.



Survey Says…

Survey Says…

I conducted a very unofficial, unscientific research study to find out more about what people think of their own productivity. As I anticipated, some findings were expected while others were quite enlightening.

Not surprisingly, while 80.2% think they are Somewhat or Very Productive already, 81% say that one of their goals or desires is to become more productive. Proves the point that even though we are getting a lot done already, there’s still a lot more to do.

Interestingly, while 82% consistently use a central calendar everyday to schedule and manage their time, that’s not the case with how they manage their tasks. In fact, it’s all over the place. People are using a variety of paper and electronic lists to manage their tasks. At the extremes, only 7% use a digital program or site to manage their tasks and 5% don’t use any system at all.

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55% report that the biggest obstacle to their productivity is finding time to complete tasks, followed by 48% feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks.  38% report struggling with prioritizing their tasks and more than a third of respondents say that they are unable to focus on completing their tasks or find themselves delaying getting stuff done thanks to the world of distractions that we live in.

I believe there’s an opportunity here to help people find a better way to manage, prioritize and complete their tasks more efficiently.  That’s what I hope to create. What would be most helpful to you?



Why Women Quit Corporate America


OK.  So, maybe I don’t know exactly why all women quit corporate America but I can  certainly tell you why I did.

For 25 years (other than for 6 months when I was “off” for maternity leave), I naively believed if I worked hard, collaborated, shared ideas, showed up early, worked all hours and over-delivered beyond all expectations, I would be acknowledged, thanked, rewarded, promoted and paid more.  But, guess what?  It didn’t happen that way for me.

Instead, what happened to me over and over again in my career is that I was noticed for being one to work hard and get things done.  I was willing to do more and work harder and for that willingness I got more work and was tasked with more of the work that just simply needed to get done.  And, why?  Because they could count on me to get it done.  And I did.

In general, we women seek to understand the goal, listen to what’s expected and then work tirelessly to achieve it without any promise of any return or reward.  We strive to please and often over-compensate by doing more to prove we are worthy.

In addition to work, I was constantly juggling and struggling to balance everything else in my life.  My husband is a partner with a global consulting firm requiring him to travel quite often and with two very active, multi-sport student athletes, we have a very full calendar.  Most days, I’m up before 6 a.m., out before 7 a.m. and don’t get home until after 9 p.m.  And, due to the guilt of attending to family duties, I get back online until 11 p.m.  And then do it all again the next day.

The good news is that thanks to technology, I am always connected.  Stuck at a traffic light, I can check my text messages.  Waiting in line at Starbucks, I quickly respond to that email message.  At the deli counter in the grocery store, I schedule a meeting for tomorrow.  But, this is all menial, time-consuming, “shallow” work with no real reward and absolutely no satisfaction.

I finally opened my eyes when I was presented with an incredibly unachievable goal and was told, “The thing I like most about you is that you will kill yourself trying to achieve this goal.”  At the time, I was outraged and angry with my boss.  Now, I am just disappointed in myself.

I just finished reading Cal Newport’s new book “Deep Work:  Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” and realized that for all the time we spend “working” very little of it really matters.  The reason that only 13% of employees feel engaged at their jobs is that their work isn’t meaningful or satisfying.  And, we are giving up a lot of really rewarding activities to waste our time in directionless meetings, responding to useless emails and just trying to keep up with unrelenting requests.  And, to what end?

I finally realized that I want to work really hard on the things that really matter.  I want to make a meaningful impact and I want to do it on my own terms.  I don’t just want to work.  I want to make a difference.