Take A Vacation From Email, Without Returning To A Full Inbox

During a vacation a few years ago, I completely unplugged from email, social media, and websites for a week. The experience revealed some hard lessons about myself. I also found the secret for how to unplug in such a way that you won’t be swamped with emails when you plug back in. 

On past vacations I would “check-in” on email each morning and evening. This year I decided to completely unplug. Unplugging would allow me to fully engage with my family 24/7, relax, and completely change my frame of mind for a week. I wanted a real vacation.

3 Personal Lessons From A Week Without Email

How To Get Things Done: 4 Levels of Productivity

Real productivity is not doing more, more efficiently. But it begins there. We need to develop personal disciplines of working efficiently. But efficiency only takes us so far. I’ve noticed that those who get things done practice 4 levels of personal productivity.

First, let me say productivity is a pipe dream. I keep thinking that someday I’m going to be more organized, more disciplined, more focused, and have more time to get everything done. The problem is,

How To Stop Procrastinating And Get Done What Matters

“The Overcoming Procrastination workshop has been postponed,” read the notice on Facebook. I think the organizers missed the irony! Procrastination is a huge problem. One that costs you money, credibility, and more importantly, opportunity. Here’s how to stop procrastinating and get thing done. 

For 3 years, I wanted to expand and publish a reflection journal for coaches that we printed ourselves and provided to our coach training participants. The journal would be better with more

Working From Home: 5 Ways to Increase Your Results

Working from home has some fantastic benefits. It also has some brutal pitfalls. A lack of boundaries, accountability, and self-discipline can make it difficult for the virtual worker to get important things done. Here are 5 ways you can increase your results.

For more than 20 years I’ve worked from a home office. I’m not alone. Twenty-one percent of self-employed people consider home their main office. One in five other types of employees work from home at least once a week. [source]

There are so many benefits of

Escaping The Hamster Wheel At Work

As my training programs grew, so did my busy-ness. New training programs meant more systems to create and manage. More participants meant more emails to answer, registrations to process, orders to fulfill, and events to run. I became so busy running the organization that I no longer had time to develop new things.

I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel – going no where fast.

I tried to get off the wheel by reading management books, consulting with other leaders, and experimenting with different organizational structures. As a result, we saw small up-ticks in our ability to manage more with the same resources. But I still couldn’t get free of the day-to-day urgency.

If nothing changed, I would remain about at the same level of impact. Yet, my vision was for 10 times the impact. That seemed impossible.

4 Strategies You Follow That Reduce Positive Impact

Effective leadership produces a sustained result within the organization’s purpose. I developed the Positive Impact Scale to manage tradeoffs between Purpose, Impact, Money, and Ease. I wrote about those in 4 Tradeoffs to Create Positive Impact. This article looks at 4 strategies you may follow that actually reduce Positive Impact.

It’s sometimes more instructive to talk about what not to do. I’ve seen 4 common mistakes that leaders make when trying to create positive impact. By understanding these 4 mistakes, you can plan activities and predict outcomes, even unintentional ones, better.

Making Someone Else’s Impact – Feel-Good Impact

The good is the enemy of the best. That is the case with Feel-Good Impact. A classic example is the non-profit focused on the slow work of poverty alleviation through education. That is its Purpose. They face the constant temptation to

4 Tradeoffs to Create Positive Impact

“Changed lives,” Peter Drucker said, is the bottom line for the not-for-profit organization. To produce the sustained ability to change lives, you need purpose, effort, organization and money. Everything you do is a trade off between resources and results. Here are 4 scales I use to plan and make decisions to create sustainable positive impact.

Let me explain the four scales first, then I’ll show you how they interact.

1. Purpose

Purpose answers the question Why? Purpose is the bigger picture you seek to achieve. Regardless of whether you are a solopenuer or large organization you must know and maintain focus on your purpose.

For a solopeneur, your purpose will be closely related to your calling and giftedness. You can stray from your calling, to go after money, for example, but you cannot continue for long without having the life drained out of your work.

Do It Now: Change the Toilet Paper Roll and 19 Other Things to Boost Your Productivity

We are really good at putting things off until later. Some things, like changing the toilet paper roll, are better done now. Leaders who Do It Now at work and at home have more focus and greater productivity.

When I posted a photo on Facebook of an empty toilet paper holder and a new roll set on the counter, I received a lot of comments.

What surprised me was how many people defended setting the toilet paper on the counter rather than taking 10 seconds to put it on the holder. It’s a small thing, you might say. But when multiplied throughout the day,