Research that reveals new paths to productivity


Recently I have fallen back into my evil habit of writing a to do list and then ignoring it because I don't think I can get it done. I know from past experience that the best way out of this rut is to read research about productivity. Even if I don't act on the research, taking the time to think about productivity inspires me to be more true to my to do list.

Here are four ways to get out of a rut and start making progress again:

1. Pay attention on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Tuesday is our most productive day at work, according to a study from Robert Half International. Apparently, Monday is the day we get our lists in order, and Tuesday is the day we plow through them.

Bill Driscoll, from Robert Half, recommends that you recognize your peak performance times, and schedule as few interruptions during that time as possible. This is one of those pieces of advice that makes sense, but very few of us manage our calendars so carefully that we are actually implementing the advice.

But also, what about being as gung ho about Wednesday and Thursday as you are about Tuesday?

2. Stop obsessing over your choices and just decide.
Most people overestimate the regret they’ll experience after making an emotionally charged choice, according to research from the University College London. In fact, Karim Kassam, a psychologist working at Harvard, shows that we figure out how to justify most of our big decisions, no matter how good or bad they were. He calls it our “psychological immune system.”

The Harvard Business Review also reveals that we are not good at making decisions with a lot of data points involved. Which means that frequently, the longer you spend on a decision, the less productive you are. This research, maybe, gives you the temerity to take a leap, knowing that your decision won't get smarter or easier to live with if you take longer.

3. Go to church.
Lisa Cullen reports that girls who go to church work harder than other people. Maybe you think this is because church girls are so bored in their upstanding lives that they can’t think of anything better to do than work. But I think it actually has something to do with optimism.

People who go to church regularly are more optimistic people in general, and optimism makes people feel more positive about their work. If you feel like you will affect your work in a positive way, you’re more likely to dig in and do it. (Here is a small study to support my claims. There are a ton of these studies, and I’m hoping the Christian bloggers who read this blog—there are a lot, surprisingly enough—will aid in this cause with some more links.)

4. Put a treadmill in your office.
People think better from getting a little exercise. Not the kind of exercise where you feel like you are going to pass out. But the low-level, reasonable-pace type of exercise. The difference in mental capacity while we are active and passive is huge.

Leverage this knowledge about yourself and do your work on a treadmill. I thought I was a genius taking work calls at the gym, on the elliptical trainer, (until the manager told me absolutely never again because people were sick of overhearing my calls.)

But now everyone’s got an idea for working while walking, and there are workstations designed especially for use on a treadmill. Ask your boss to buy you one. They're $3,000, but that's a great company investment if you can get your to do list done every day.

76 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. christin
    christin says:

    hi, christian blogger here. :) Faithful reader, too. I would definitely agree with optimism and positivity. People of faith tend to be more optimistic because their worldview overall is different – more uplifting. They recognize the world can be tough, but they also believe in the power of something greater than themselves to pull them through. I think this ends up rubbing off on others.

    My experience has been – without even consciously trying – that I have been dubbed the “sunshine of the office” by not only my boss, but coworkers as well. I tend to cringe when someone says this to me, as it makes me think of myself as like, Strawberry Shortcake, sprinkling flower petals and serving cupcakes to people while skipping from desk to desk…but I guess it’s better than being called the “dark thundercloud” of the office…

  2. Maggie
    Maggie says:

    I want that treadmill! As it is I try to balance my laptop on the front panel of mine at home and it just doesn’t work–try using the finger-pad mouse thing while propping the laptop up with one hand and trying to walk more than 3 mph. Granted, I’ve never tried actually typing; I only play Big Kahuna Reef–or try to. One thing I can do on the treadmill–and in the car–is listen to non-fiction audiobooks, which I think are great motivators. Even if you’re not actually getting any work done you can learn a lot and get yourself psyched to work when you’re done exercising.

  3. Queercents
    Queercents says:

    I always jump start my Mondays by making the list on Sunday night. I have time to do this because I’m not sitting in church.

    As a former born-again… I think the “getting things done” gold star has more to do with Puritan discipline and a doing “good works” mentality than optimism. Christians are productive people, but I would argue that non-church-goers can be every bit as optimistic – after all isn’t that the secret of The Secret and any other self-help formula pushed by Oprah?

  4. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    Say, this blog is really aimed at the top end of the food chain. A company gym? A boss who will spend $3k on a treadmill? An actual office and not a cubicle?

    Anyone who has all that is already living the dream.

  5. Chris Crawford
    Chris Crawford says:

    I subscribe to the “motion creates emotion” train of thought. That’s why I like to use a standing desk, and prefer to take calls standing.

    I would also recommend that anybody who works at a large facility (office/factory) to walk around regularly, for some exercise and to network with people you wouldn’t necessarily know or talk to otherwise.

  6. Matt Bingham
    Matt Bingham says:

    Being productive is aligning your to-do list with the objectives for the week. List objectives and detail out how to get there. Turn your to-do list into a ta-da list (lame isn’t it – and not even original). Sometimes we run out of ideas on how to accomplish things, or problems arise in which we have to take contingency. I love the thought of a pool table in the office, or a “rec” room. Chatting over a game of pool, or another activity clears the mind and takes you out of your pigeon hole. If you are concentrating on one single thing it is hard to be creative.

  7. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    Multi-task with a pedal powered laptop as designed, built, and demonstrated by students at MIT.
    Hopefully someone is working on mass producing an affordable version. It’s ‘green’ and physically and mentally invigorating.
    I didn’t see yoga mentioned in this post.

  8. Robert 'Groby' Blum
    Robert 'Groby' Blum says:

    Of course, spending time together in any community that you enjoy being a part of makes you happier and productive. If you are a Christian, by all means go to church and enjoy it.

    If you are not, there’s no reason to drag yourself to church, though. (Well, no productivity reason.) Instead, volunteer somewhere. Join a running group. Anything that puts you in regular contact with people you actually like.

    * * * * * * *
    Yes, true. The act of being a regular part of a group has large, positive impact on one’s life to the extent that it increases one’s lifespan. But there is also something about faith. It does weird things — like increase one’s optimism. There is even mainstream research about how people with cancer who have people praying for them actually have a higher success rate with treatments. So, community is good, but there’s something about faith, too. Of course, you don’t need church for faith…


  9. Dorie
    Dorie says:

    While I hate identifying myself as a Christian blogger, I’ll do it this once. I think part of the Christian Effect is what my family raised me with: The Strong Protestant Work Ethic. My grandfather taught me from a young age that manual labor is good for the soul – it may be tedious and frustrating but with perseverance, the task at hand is completed and you’ve had time to think about the things you normally wouldn’t contemplate. That peace of mind and sense of accomplishment fuel optimism but also help prevent feelings of defeat in other areas of life.

    The other part of the Christian Effect is community. As a Christian, you are called to be part of church body or community. This community is there to support you but it also teaches you how to participate in a team for the common good. This skill is something that is easily transferable to the work place.

  10. Jeanette
    Jeanette says:

    There are other churches besides Christian. Here’s one where you can be Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Pagan, Atheist, etc. – or nothing but human: – of course there’s also all different forms of Jewish Temple, which I’m surprised you didn’t mention.

  11. Jrandom42
    Jrandom42 says:

    As a non-Christian, while I didn’t have the Protestant Work Ethic drilled into me, I’m part of a 3rd Generation immigrant family, whose patriarch came to Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields as a 11 yr old orphan, and who raised 7 kids and sent them all to college.

    My father, his brothers and sisters were sent to the internment camps, permanently derailing all their career hopes and dreams. They came out of it (many with combat experience and decorations) with the idea that nothing is guaranteed, nothing can be taken for granted and if you want something, you work hard and make the sacrifices for it and don’t whine about how hard it is. Hopefully, my wife and I have passed this down to our children, and they to theirs.

    I do think that my story is typical of most immigrant families, regardless of national origin.
    If they didn’t have the optimism that they could work hard and give their children a chance at a better life, I don’t think they would ever think of coming to America.

    * * * * * * * * *

    This comment is why I love blogging. It shows the perfect moment of a conversation that blogging creates. I wrote about topics that interest me. This person picked up on one of the topics and showed me another angle for that topic. And offered an interesting story of his own.

    For the most part, when I tell people blogging is a conversation, they think I am nuts. But this is a great example. It’s also an example of why I always read the comments (even when it’s 100 people telling me I’m an idiot), and I always feel gratitude when they come; I’m a person who adores writing blog posts, but the conversation surrounding a post is 50% of the joy of writing a post.


  12. Richard
    Richard says:

    Use a trampoline instead of a treadmill. The jumping increases blood flow to the head and clears the mind. I have one in my cube I take no less than 4 “jump” breaks a day.

    * * * * * * *
    I am gearing up to buy a trampoline for the kids. But I ended up spending a little extra money to get one I could jump on too. Now I feel like that decision was sheer productivity genius :)


  13. mark
    mark says:

    It used to be that my most productive day was Friday. I had an assistant who absolutely refused to do any non-emergency deadline work on Friday. Most of the other attorneys I dealt with liked to use Friday as “sneak out early day” so they weren’t calling and distracting me. It was also the day least likely to involve a court appearance.

    So I basically spent all day Friday shoveling lots and lots of files on to my assistant’s desk. Come Monday I’d be dealing with phone calls or out on the road for court. By the close of business on Tuesday my assistant would usually be caught up.

  14. Matt Elliott
    Matt Elliott says:

    I think the church thing has a lot to do with the social element to productivity. I find that, while it might seem like having whole weeks where I’m alone in a quiet office (in my house) might seem ideal for getting all sorts of things done, after a day or so my productivity starts to wane.

    Going out, talking to people, walking around and seeing what’s going on, listening to someone you respect talk about something that matters — all these things inspire me to do more and better work. Without that community element, you’re just out there alone, and it’s much harder to find incentive.

    I wanted to add, too, that there’s a big difference between working and working WELL. Productivity should not be measured by the amount of time you spend doing something, but rather the quality of the end-result.

  15. Patrick
    Patrick says:

    Working in a Biology Lab that does production type work, I find Mondays and Fridays are horrible work days. Monday’s usually involve gearing up for the week on top of the Monday funk everyone is in. Friday’s we have to gear down as we do a lot of work that can’t sit untouched over the weekend, so Friday limits what tasks we can do. Tues., Wed., and Thurs. are most definitely my days to get the most stuff done.

    On a note about non managerial productivity. I’ve found that productivity, at least in my lab, corresponds to our work load as well as if we are currently understaffed. The Longer my To-Do list is, the harder it seems to be to get through it. As well as when I’m the only Tech in the lab, I find it harder to get stuff done when I have to split my attention between two different experiments (multi tasking isn’t possible as both processes require me to be focused on the task, and none can be started and left to run really).

  16. Jrandom42
    Jrandom42 says:

    The idea of the immigrant coming to America with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing, working menial jobs to carve out their piece of the American dream, sending their kids to college to become respected members of the community is the story of America. I’ve seen that in my grandfather’s generation and my father’s, as well as in many new immigrants from all over the world.

    But the idea that each generation doing the hard work to enable the next to grow and change is not unique to immigrants.

    "I study war and politics in order that my children may study science and mathematics, in order that their children may study art and music." – John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail.

  17. Lori
    Lori says:

    There is a correlation between church and hours worked, however this doesn’t mean there’s a causal relationship.

    This article states that girls that were raised going to church become “harder” workers later. Kids that go to church usually have involved parents. Involved parents keep close tabs on their kids’ grades and performance in school. High performers in school typically get better jobs. Better jobs equal longer hours.

  18. Norma
    Norma says:

    I am a project manager at HP. While I love my job, there are times when it’s all so corporate and profit-driven that there’s little room left for feeling inspired. I also work from a home office full-time, and there are plenty of occasions when I don’t see any human – outside of my husband – for 5 days in a row. It really can get bleak and feels like I live to work. Going to church is nice not so much for the community because I get in and out of there without saying two words to anyone. But it is nice for the faith it inspires — it gives meaning to my life and reminds me there are important things in this world beyond risk management and project schedules. It brings me peace because I suddenly don’t feel like I am alone or that my challenges are unique. In a different vein of thought, it also gets me dressed and out of the house. Sunday is probably the only day of the week when I hear heels and drive the car.

    I, too, am from an immigrant family whose grand-parents were farmers and ranchers and whose parents were factory-workers and custodians and produced a generation of business people. Maybe my kids will study science and mathematics – a luxury I did not have.

    Would I say my upbringing is more influential than my faith? No. I think they are one and the same. My mother would not have withstood all the sacrifices she made if it weren’t for her faith. She prayed every day and found the motivation to raise six kids while working a full-time job. And faith would not have carried the meaning it does for me and my siblings if we had not witnessed it providing strength, healing cancer, and pulling us out of poverty over a lifetime.

    To me, faith explains the unexplainable. And faith makes the impossible possible.
    I would have to agree that church

  19. sophie
    sophie says:

    I’m a Christian blogger and regular reader. I’m also a positive person. I feel it’s my nature, but that may be because of my faith.

    One of my favorite Bible references is Philippians 4:8

    “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

  20. Abbey Todras
    Abbey Todras says:

    I agree that optimism is essential to leading a happy and productive life, though I believe it can be generated through means other than church. Faith and spirituality are very personal for me, and I choose not to affiliate myself with an organized religion, yet I still reap the rewards which faith has to offer. So my advice would be “Go get some faith” as opposed to “Go to church”.

  21. Jang
    Jang says:

    One reason for good Christian (and perhaps other religous folks) work ethic is because Christians work to please and glorify God (not their bosses, etc).

    Also, in the Bible (Ephesians), it talks about how employees should work hard for their employers as if they’re working hard for God.

    It could also be the optimism too.

    About the treadmill thing, 37 signals has an article about working standing vs sitting.

  22. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    4. Put a treadmill in your office.

    I wonder if that is similar to studies linking sitting on a stability ball, and increased ability to stay on task. Here is a link to one study.

  23. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Non-Christian, non-Jew, non-Muslim responding. I’m a successful, optimistic and happy atheist, with a great family and network of friends.

    After a quick review, the cited study seems destined to arrive at its own hypothesis. I mean, over half the respondents were students attending a Methodist college, which leads one to imagine that many questions will have foregone conclusions. Amusingly, at the end of the study, the author admits the problems of the bias present in the sample group.

    The link between productivity and church attendance is a curious one, for non-church people like me. I agree that it seems correlative, not causal. Gotta be something else.

    Oh, and I love the idea of not wringing hands over a decision – Just Do It!

    Thanks for interesting reading!

  24. tinyflame
    tinyflame says:

    I have experienced ‘immigrant optimism’ first-hand. I am first generation American (I was 3 when we moved to England and 8 when we moved to the United States). We were poor but my parents had educations and used them to realize the American dream for our family. Scrounging to afford the extra-curricular classes I attended, they echoed John Adams’ sentiments in the quote posted by @Patrick.

    I am 6 years older than my sister and 10 years older than my brother. While I share their American accents, my siblings have only seen our prosperity in America. As the eldest, I lived through the difficult times with my parents in the 1990s. With deep challenges came tremendous triumphs and I inherited their optimism (or faith) and esteem for hard work.

    I am truly amazed by how far we've come as a family. When I feel overwhelmed, my family story and the thought of my parents – €“ who are models for productivity, still thriving in their respective careers – €“ gives me the push to persevere.

  25. Doug
    Doug says:

    Uh, hold on before we start lumping all these religious “Ethics” together. Raised a Jew, I assure you there is no glory or character-building lesson from manual labor in that religion. We are taught that the sweat and the pain from working with our hands will not make us better people, but rather ensure that we get our law school applications in before the deadline.

  26. Jennifer Lynn
    Jennifer Lynn says:

    I am a former evangelical (I'm still figuring out what to call myself these days), and the role of faith in all of this is very interesting to me. It's true that religion often provides a strong work ethic, but so do many other experiences. It seems that the "faith" part is the key, especially to a positive outlook.

    The Christian tradition (and other faiths, I would think, though I'm no expert), is rooted in the idea that God's will is at work in the world. This gives believers a tremendous amount of comfort and safety when moving through life. This even goes to Penelope's point about our trouble with decision-making. What if you could pray about it and feel confident that if you acted with a "right heart" God would work it out for good? It would be a lot easier to make decisions, wouldn't it? And you'd be much more optimistic about the outcome.

    I don't know if I've been clear, but the point is this: the faithful aren't necessarily optimistic. They are full of – well – faith, and that looks a lot like optimism. I can't tell you how many times I was told to "do what's – €˜right' and God would take care of the rest." If you're a Christian, outcomes aren't in your hands – they're in a loving God's, and that’s sure to make a person feel good about things.

    Christian bloggers, does this ring true for you?

    @Doug- you are hilarious. I almost fell off my chair laughing.

  27. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    I would argue that optimism often goes along with being gregarious and outgoing. There are plenty of hard working religious people who I don’t consider optimists and are generally shy in a medium sized group setting. Its the talkative optimists that everyone notices in church group settings.

  28. Marsha
    Marsha says:

    Let’s remove the excuses people – buy a treadmill as a group and bolt on a computer. A Pro-Form folding treadmill is on sale at Costco for $499 starting on 5/15. I agree with Penelope – I’m much smarter when I exercise. And no, neither myself, my family nor any friends work for either company.

  29. Carla
    Carla says:

    >>Lisa Cullen reports that girls who go to church work harder than other people.

    It may have to do with optimism, but I think it has more to do with boundaries and perspective. Christians attend church because that is the day to honor God. Showing commitment in one area will transfer to others, and they are probably more likely to actually work while they are at their job rather than going on MySpace, YouTube, and flirting with coworkers.

  30. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I seem to think that in most of the (“positive psychology”) studies I’ve read, the part about how church improves your life also includes any kind of belief– could be a secular belief like “it’s all for the best”. The important thing is that you actually believe it. So it doesn’t make any sense to just go to church– it’s the belief that helps, not the church. If you don’t believe in what happens at church, it won’t help. However, figuring out what you believe in and putting a post-it on your door does improve your mood (and therefore, probably your productivity, if we believe the logic of this theory).

    As for the study quoted here about girls who go to church working harder, the conclusions really seem hard to support, as many commentors have already noted.

    More interesting (to me) is the question of decision-making! I know “maximizers” are less happy with their well-thought out decisions, but I cannot bring myself to regularly apply this knowledge to my own life. And when I do, and I just make some decision, I usually spend the time AFTERWARDS doing the obsessing– was that the right thing? So either way, I waste time obsessing. It’s just the person I am. It doesn’t go away, no matter how much I read about it.

    I did start going to church, though.

  31. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    From several of the foregoing comments, a reasonable piece of advice no. 5 would appear to be:

    5. Emigrate.

    It does wonders to focusing your attention, being creative in getting out of your cultural/ linguistic comfort zone, being able to work hard, being able to keep aside prejudices (which drain energy) and learning not to be affected by stereotyping and other implicit biases. The adjustment makes you separate the important stuff from the fluff both in your professional and your personal priorities.

    And as a non-practising Hindu, I add one more thing which is not a religious point at all. Inspiration can strike people anywhere.

    BhagwadGita, an enlightening book contained within the epic Mahabharata (the translation and interpretation most popular in the west is by Christopher Isherwood), has an interesting couplet.

    Its first line says: Karmanyevaadhikaaraste ma phaleshu kadachan.

    This means: in action alone lie your rights, your ‘jurisdiction’, not in the outcome. Ergo, focus on the right actions and the outcome shall take care of itself. No, it does not mean aimlessness.

    Yes, that sounds like too much detachment from the point of view of more deterministic and individualistic cultures but it sure is a point to ponder.

    Oh and Mahabharata is not a religious tome but a socio-cultural epic.

  32. Neil Pursey
    Neil Pursey says:

    haha, nice post penelope. i like your take on productivity and the different angles which one can take to increase it. It’s stuff we subconsciously know but we need people like you to remind us

  33. Shefaly
    Shefaly says:

    While running – outside – I realised that your post included an oblique reference to Jim Levine’s work.

    First of all Jim Levine is not “everybody”. He is a highly respected – and very lean and although irrelevant, it must be said, British – Obesity researcher who promoted the idea of NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) as a possible dent-making opportunity for tackling obesity.

    Secondly, his idea is not “working while walking” but “walking while working”. Their experiments were conducted amongst others on groups of school children to promote activity, in a bid to reduce sedentary behaviour. It will of course benefit many office-bound people to just get some movement into their day which will benefit their mood and might up their general productivity as you suggest. The workstation was designed in the bid to promote activity in the workplace.

    Jim Levine works in Minnesota so not far from you, Penelope, so you can probably go and see the workstation in action. You will also notice that using such workstations requires a whole lot of office rewiring and remodelling. So the whole exercise is a bit like buying the best lenses cheap and then adding the cost of the frames, the polarised feature, photochromicity and finding it costs as much as a small house!


  34. Chris
    Chris says:

    #1 goes right along with my new life experiment. The TWT work week. Work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Use Friday and Saturdays for the fun experimental projects. Sunday and Monday is for clearing your brain. This ensures that you are freshy fresh come Tuesday when you plow through that to do list.

  35. Karl Staib - Your Happiness Matters
    Karl Staib - Your Happiness Matters says:

    Hey Penelope, I try to do all those things, but it’s making them a habit that’s the hard part. I’m like you in that I’ll create a list and not tackle it. My ADD sidetracks me and I’m off doing some project that’s more of a time waster instead of something really productive.

    I need to learn to stay focused on the task at hand then when it’s complete cross it off then move to my next most important task. I’m working on making this a habit, but it’s hard. I’m getting better and starting to see progress.

    I think that I’ll do a little exercise in between tasks like you suggest. Jumping jacks and push-ups usually help focus me.

    Great post! It really made me look at my own situation.

  36. Cory Miller
    Cory Miller says:

    As one of your avid “Christian” readers, here’s my personal thoughts re: attending church (but also faith), related to productivity. (Forgive me for the 3 P’s!)

    * Purpose — While many of your non-Christian readers would say they also have a purpose, I also believe my personal purpose is in following Jesus Christ and His direction for my life. From an eternal perspective, it helps me endeavor to be more and more productive each day because I want to please my Lord and believe I have a role, however small, in His eternal plan.

    * People — I believe Christians should be an extension of Christ on earth. Thus, a church should consist of people committed to loving all people as He did. When my wife has been sick or had surgery (we’ve had our fair share of health issues) our local community of believers (i.e. our church) has rallied in support around us, from bringing meals to showing up at the hospital to prayer to simply caring. I can’t tell you how productive and optimistic that has made me when I know I am not alone in the world.

    * Prayer — At any time, I can take any insurmountable project or life issue to God and know and trust my heavenly Father has heard my prayer, has my ultimate good in mind and will use His infinite wisdom and power to answer it according to His perfect plan. So many times I have went to Him in desperate prayer and through it, come away with a calming sense of peace and relief and protection. It reminds me that any issue I have is in His capable hands and I can continue to function knowing that.

    I acknowledge this isn’t a scientific study, but one person’s personal opinion. I’ve emailed some people I know who follow and are involved in evangelical Christian research to see what’s out there related to this subject, but wanted to share my personal experience with attending church and the “benefits” it’s brought me.

  37. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    The second point is a good one, unless you overdo it. One earlier comment said, “Just do it.”

    I knew a scientist back in the mid-Eighties at a research center where I worked. He had a “Just do it” sign over his desk.

    Well, they put him in charge of a product development project, specifically qualifying a new source of clay raw material for the product. He didn’t spend a lot of time checking out the supplier or reading the technical reports on the work the company had done a decade earlier on clay from the same area; he “just did it.”

    Because he didn’t read the old reports, he didn’t know about coccidioidomycosis, also known as valley fever. The soil in certain parts of the country has a genus of fungus (Coccidioides) that causes a disease with symptoms like those of tuberculosis. It is debilitating and often fatal. You don’t want to sell that kind of soil to millions of customers, and you don’t want to have that kind of stuff in your pilot plant and labs.

    Mister “Just do it” cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. The clay he bought contained Coccidioides. Fortunately, none of the stuff got to consumers and no one at the company got infected, but the cleanup was expensive and many tons of product had to be disposed of.

    The moral? “Think before you act.”

  38. finance girl
    finance girl says:

    yup, coming out as a Christian too, along with others on here.

    Regarding #2 you hit the nail on the head re: “stop obsessing over choices and just do it”.

    I really see that play out with folks getting started with managing their money.

    They don’t want to make any mistakes or pick the wrong thing.

    Yet, just starting (after some basic research and learning) and then continuing to learn and refine strategy is more important than months and months of upfront research and then making a move.

    There’s a balance, which is more an art than a science, and anecdotes galore to support either camp.

  39. lucilla
    lucilla says:

    I get my inspiration for my to do list by living in the Tropics. I can scratch off living on a beautiful island in the Caribbean.
    Have a great day Penelope.

  40. blink
    blink says:

    Another way to look at it is that religious folk do more work for the same pay. Great for the company, but not for the individual. Of course that is the backbone of religion– community over self.

  41. James Mc Fadden
    James Mc Fadden says:

    As a Director I expect my personnel to work hard all the time not just two good days a week. I would have to get rid of slackers like that. People in a position are paid to make decisions. If they can't make it or are slow than they don’t need to work for me. Exercise if a great way to wake up the mind and body. Just like breakfast. Both of which need to be accomplished before you enter the doors to a business. This is a competitive environment. If you can't cut it bet your butt someone else will. You keep saying that the business will have to change, why? For the foreseeable future in 90% of the jobs out there the hiring manger will be a Boomer. Then when they are gone it will be the business minded hardworking Gen Xer who will take their place. Not a touchy feely Gen Y. They will never get into the position in the first place. There will be some companies that will change but you are talking few. The world is just too competitive not to have hard working competitive personnel.

  42. Angie
    Angie says:

    I had to laugh at #2; it’s a continual struggle for me. As for the “do list” – I found that the trick for me is to make it manageable. I used to list every single thing I could think of that needed doing, and now I just list the most important things, and even those I rank in order of importance so that some of them get pushed to later days.

  43. Elaine Basham
    Elaine Basham says:

    Here’s 2 alternatives to the $3K treadmill workstation: Net Runner (allows you to attach your laptop to your own treadmill – great if you work at home or want to work out while you email/watch a movie) $99.00. Also, the Trek Desk (currently in development – should be available later this year) is a work station that can be attached to your treadmill (they’re also developing a Trek Desk with an exercise ball attachment so you can sit (and still exercise) when you get tired of walking. Cool stuff – I don’t know how much the Trek Desks are going to sell for, but surely less than $3K!

  44. Elaine Basham
    Elaine Basham says:

    PS – I’ve put my to do list on an old-fashioned black board in my home office – it works great for me …. I like it better than a dry-erase board … don’t know why ….

  45. Sidney
    Sidney says:

    Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    100,000 Burmese – women, children, families – were just washed off the planet. I guess if you believe in a Christian God you can call that extreme productivity.

  46. testudo liberalis
    testudo liberalis says:


    Quite the erudite observation! Your grasp of Christian philosophy is vast and profound, centuries of scholarship, from Aquinas to Chesterton, summarized so succinctly! In truth, a poor understanding of complex concepts can be disguised by mischaracterization or mockery, though fear not, you are in good company. With this level of analysis, you’ll be right at home debating those creationists who, unable to fathom evolution, resort to mocking scientists.

    Also, way to spin a tragedy for cheap, and weak, rhetorical points.

  47. Hooah
    Hooah says:

    I don’t advocate violence often, but come in my gym with that cell phone going, and you’ll be pooping it for weeks.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

Newer Comments »

Comments are closed.