Posts Tagged ‘productivity’



Are You Paying Attention To Unexpected Events?

You could probably define my life as being filled with unexpected events.   So much so that I believe many of the best things I’ve experienced in life, I  discovered on the road to something I thought was better.  In this age of hyper-productivity, we set goals and then lock our eyes on the end result until it’s achieved.  But in the process, we often miss serendipitous things that occur along the journey.   For instance: Read the full article »

Struggling With Distraction Is Older Than We Think

In 1925, apparently there were so many distractions in the typical workplace, that Hugo Gernsback – a writer, inventor, publisher, and member of the American Physical Society decided to do something about it. Gernsback was called by some the “Father of Science Fiction.” His writing was well known, and he created the first science fiction magazine. The result of his work on the distraction issue was called Read the full article »

Are You Actually Working Or Just Checking?

A few years ago, I had a friend who was always “working.” He constantly talked about how busy he was, and how much work he had to do. He never had time to see movies, go out to dinner, or do much else because he told everyone he was always “working.” So one day, I started watching him. I managed to get myself into a position to actually see what he was doing on the computer. I didn’t invade his privacy. I couldn’t see his actual messages or what he wrote, but I could get an idea of his daily routine. Here’s what I learned: Read the full article »

Is It Time To Say No To The Cult of Productivity?

I was drafted into the productivity cult a long time ago. I have 3 different To-Do List apps on my computer, iPhone and iPad. I have about 6 different calendar apps. I’ve experimented with roughly 20 different online productivity suites for our Cooke Pictures team. I’ve read David Allen’s books (the holy scriptures of the productivity movement) and plenty of others. And the truth is, Read the full article »

The First Step Toward a Creative Life

Today, while speaking at a conference in Singapore, someone asked me the secret of creative output. “Phil, how do you come up with creative material for writing and speaking – not to mention your normal production work?” I answered him by saying that the single most important question for any creative person to ask is: “What time of day am I most creative?” For me, it’s 6am to noon. When I wake up, the heavenly choir is singing, the birds are chirping, and I feel great.  So I write like mad. Everything is sharp, and I’m in a more productive mood.  But AFTER lunch? Read the full article »

The Price Of Constantly Checking Your Email

Ron Friedman writing on the Harvard Business Review blog has a beef with people who constantly check their email. And you know what? He’s got a point. Friedman says, “Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a report or craft a presentation, disrupts our concentration and saps our focus.” And all these distractions take their toll on your productivity. He cites a University of California-Irvine study that indicates Read the full article »

My Surprising Suggestion for Starting The Week

I’m sure you’re facing a long to-do list right now, and this week there are probably many things to be done in your life and the life of your organization. But today, I’m recommending something a bit different – do nothing. That’s right. No work, no action, no check offs. Well, in a way at least. By doing “nothing” here’s what I mean: Read the full article »

How to Find Time to Create Your Dream Project

Nearly every week someone comes to me in frustration and says something like, “I need to write a book but I can never find the time.” Or, “I have a screenplay I want to write, but I just have too much to do during the day.” Honestly, in most cases, even if they had nothing else to do, most still wouldn’t actually get around to writing. But just in case “finding the time” is a real problem for you, let me offer this suggestion: Read the full article »

How To Leave Your Job Well

In past generations, people were employed for life, but statistics indicate that in today’s economy, you’ll have many jobs before retirement. In most areas – advertising and marketing, ministry, nonprofit work, entertainment, business, etc… the world is pretty small, so when it comes time to leave your job, you’d better leave it on good terms. After all, you never know in the future when you might want to work with that organization again. So even when you leave out of anger, duress, frustration, or most other reasons, I always encourage people not to burn bridges. But even when that’s your intention, most people don’t do it well, so here’s a few reminders you should keep tucked away for that day when it’s time to move on: Read the full article »

Would You Give 5 Hours a Day to Achieve Greatness?

One of my favorite books from last year was Mason Curry’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  In the book he details the daily schedule of 161 artists, writers painters, thinkers, inventors, and all-around creative people. It features their quirks (Ben Franklin liked to be naked, Maya Angelou can only write in motels, and more). It’s a fascinating read, and will definitely impact your own daily creative schedule. While there’s a wealth of information in the book (I highly recommend it), here’s two critically important things I learned: Read the full article »


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