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ProdPod: Episode 116 — Resilience and Productivity

A few episodes ago I covered several challenges that people face in their productive lives, including overcoming overwhelm, distractions, indecision, procrastination, and burnout. And, in this episode, I am detailing an important emotional skill that one hears in many contexts but is one consistent source of productive strength for those willing to build it: resilience. — Quick announcement: I have launched my new podcast, ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal...

Duration: 00:01:55

ProdPod: Episode 115 — Thinking INSIDE the Box! (Part 2)

In the last episode we learned that the scientific research that told everyone to think outside the box to overcome challenges and to be creative in life and work, was summarily misguided. We can be primed that a box exists, and we’ll still see a box as a limitation, unless we are guided to work within it.

Duration: 00:01:53

ProdPod: Episode 114 — Thinking INSIDE the Box! (Part 1)

So often I hear the cliché that you need to be an “out of the box” thinker. Creativity and problem-solving (which I feel frequently are synonymous in many circumstances) are, after all, great tools in any productive person’s toolbelt. But, is thinking outside the box really possible? (Hint: no.) And, if not, how can we effectively use thinking inside the box?

Duration: 00:01:49

ProdPod: Episode 113 — Limiting Resources for Greater Productivity

Intuitively, we know that focus is a fundamental of greater productivity. Broadly and less instinctively, focus manifests heightened productivity by training and straining any resource, including but not limited to attention, time, money, and other resources. In Episode 98, I spoke about using time-based challenges for sprinting toward such productivity. Now, I’d like to discuss some ideas about limiting one resource–the stuff we own–as a means to greater productivity.

Duration: 00:01:59

ProdPod: Episode 108 — Overcoming Overwhelm

Overwhelm is a pernicious productivity detractor that affects us all in varying degrees. In my definition, overwhelm is a buildup of stimuli that creates anxiety which, in turn, blocks action or clear decision-making. Learn more here.

Duration: 00:01:58

ProdPod: Episode 105 — The Power of Daily Routines: Morning, Midday and Evening Productivity Routines

For years I’ve spoken about the power of habits, and tangentially, I’ve spoken about many routines that I have–from meditation (Episode 32), to my Day Reset strategy (Episode 69), and more. I use a variety of routines to minimize distractions and maximize my productivity. None more than any others, I have three routines I use every day: my morning, midday, and evening productivity routines. Learn more.

Duration: 00:02:00

ProdPod: Episode 103 — Managing Up for a More Productive Organizational Culture, Part 2

In episode 102, I introduce the idea of managing up and discussed one leg of it–managing expectations and delegation. Here in this episode, we’ll cover the next two legs of managing up–managing collaborative time wisely and managing your manager. Read/listen more.

Duration: 00:01:47

ProdPod: Episode 101 — Software Review: Mind42 - Free Web-Based Mind Map Productivity Software

In the last episode, I spoke about using mind maps as a productivity tool. And, one of my favorite mind mapping tools is the free, Web-based software, Mind42. (Note: it is free and ad-supported.) Mind42 is a comprehensive mind mapping tool that allows you to create as many private and public mind maps as you’d like. Read on.

Duration: 00:01:58

ProdPod: Episode 100 — Mapping Your Productivity Using Mind Maps

Mind maps are a method of capturing thoughts and ideas, dating back as early as the 3rd century BCE in Ancient Rome. The mind map is simply a diagram where you have a single, central thought in the center with branches off it in a freeform fashion. You can draw thoughts, use different colors, use symbols, and more, to be as creative with your mind map. This creates a highly visual and flexible tool for productivity. Read more.

Duration: 00:01:45

ProdPod: Episode 99 — Be the Superhero of Your Own Life

In comics, television, film, and now Netflix, there are superheroes who come to save the day when villains attack or bad circumstances befall the vulnerable, the voiceless, and the innocent. Superheroes give us hope, and they empower us with moral fortitude to do the right thing even when the going gets tough. Over the years, I have noticed a trend among some highly productive people that has me understanding a bit more about why they get things done, even in the face of great adversity....

Duration: 00:01:21

ProdPod: Episode 98 — The Power of Short-Term Challenges

Have you ever entered a competition, or a race, of some kind? Whether it’s a science fair, marathon, triathlon, March Madness, or almost any kind of contest, you know the feeling of competing. You have a period of time that focuses a large portion of your time, attention, and resources in achieving something. These short-term challenges have a way of motivating you to action thanks to your competitive nature, accountability to others, and the potential rewards (including gratification in...

Duration: 00:02:18

ProdPod: Episode 97–Time Thieves, Time Thugs, and Time Terrorists - How to Combat Them So You Can Get Back to Being Productive

In the last episode we covered the descriptions of time thieves, thugs and terrorists. Now, I’d like to detail how to counteract these time wasting personas so you can get back to your productive life. Read on.

Duration: 00:01:59

ProdPod: Episode 96–Time Thieves, Thugs and Terrorists - Who They Are So You Can Identify Them Efficiently

Using your time productively means not only managing your time but also protecting it from others who may not have your most productive interests in mind. You may know who I mean generally, when I speak of categories of people I call time thieves, thugs, and terrorists. They’re not the only ones, but they are the majority categories I see in work and personal interactions. Let me explain to you the specific differences between the three so you can identify them in a moment’s notice. Read...

Duration: 00:01:57

ProdPod: Episode 95–Effective Meeting Series: More Productivity Meetings With Robert’s Rules, Part II

While Robert’s Rules of Order may seem outdated, outmoded, prescriptive, and even restrictive, you’d be surprised what a little bit of parliamentary procedure can do to make meetings much more highly productive. In this episode, I continue my discussion on Robert’s Rules of Order and how this can be incorporated into your meetings. In the last episode I gave some productivity principles for effective meetings. Continuing on the Robert’s Rules of Order theme, I want to cover some steps you...

Duration: 00:01:58

ProdPod: Episode 94–Effective Meeting Series: More Productivity Meetings With Robert’s Rules, Part I

While Robert’s Rules of Order may seem outdated, outmoded, prescriptive, and even restrictive, you’d be surprised what a little bit of parliamentary procedure can do to make meetings much more highly productive. The episode is the first part, giving some context with important productivity principles for using parliamentary procedure in meetings. When Brig. Gen. Henry Martyn Robert proposed the use of parliamentary procedure for common meetings back in 1876, he likely didn’t foresee the...

Duration: 00:01:59

ProdPod: Episode 93–Gamification and Your Productivity

A gamified life. For the productivity and technology geek that I am, it sounds like a pretty cool existence. I’d get to live the superhero lifestyle (minus the superpower-enabling lab experiment gone wrong) I should’ve been living all along. But can I live a truly gamified life? Over the past several years, that is something I have sought to find out, and here’s what I’ve learned.

Duration: 00:01:54

ProdPod: Episode 92–Rewarding Yourself for Productive Habit Development and Reaching Goals

One of the most unproductive outcomes of the last century’s shift from the Industrial Age to knowledge work in the Digital Age has been the loss of seeing the fruits of our labor firsthand. In the Industrial Age, Americans made things and saw them come to life. There’s an inherent satisfaction in creating products that come off an assembly line. Contrast that to our daily lives in the Knowledge Worker Age, and you may start to notice this missing element in your life. And, I think an...

Duration: 00:01:55

ProdPod: Episode 91 — What Do You Own?

Have you ever been in a situation where you lost all your worldly possessions in one day? I have. It’s a life-changing event, even for someone not too attached to material things, to find out it’s all been burned away, water-damaged or otherwise destroyed in a catastrophic event. Other than the insurance covering my personal property providing little emotional relief for lost baby pictures and irreplaceable artwork, I had one piece of solace–my home inventory. Before or if calamity...

Duration: 00:02:03

ProdPod: Episode 90 — Biology, Self-Actualization and Your Productivity

When the idea of self-actualization developed in the mid-20th century, far before the field of positive psychology was fostered by Dr. Martin Seligman, there was a desire to study and cure illness, mental and physical. Dr. Abraham Maslow tried something different; he studied the role model, the talented and the ingenious. By doing so, he hoped to unlock how we all could do more, better. He developed the hierarchy of needs (which most know by the pyramid with our biological needs at its base...

Duration: 00:01:55

ProdPod: Episode 89 — Multi-Sensory Productivity

Humans have five common senses. (We actually have several more senses not commonly discussed.) Your sense of touch is mostly dedicated to your largest organ, your skin, comprising 22 square feet (or, 2 square meters), which holds millions of touch receptors of various sensitivity to map your physical surroundings. Your five fingers on each hand alone contain 3,000 touch receptors of the highest sensitivity on each finger tip. Then, there’s your sense of sight, which is the reigning...

Duration: 00:01:47

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