Tag Archives: productivity


Eat That FrogListening to books in the car is one of the best things I’ve done lately to make my less than desirable, or “frog,” commute more bearable. Most recently, I’ve been listening to Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. I have to say, what a great book! His voice is pleasant to listen to, and he has an appealing message.

#1 Tip to Get More Done: Finish your most important task first and completely, and do it well. In other words, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.

Eat that Frog: Tackle difficult projects first.
My most difficult project is too big to eat with just one bite, so I’ve been practicing this principle by doing small things every day to wack it down to size. I’m surprised by what I’m accomplishing. It’s working. The ugliest frog is looking prettier every day! I’m also really amazed at my increased energy level and declining stress levels by taking small actions every day on this ugly frog of a project.

I also love Eat That Frog! because of the title. A few years ago, I did my first experiment with the Law of Attraction. I decided to attract more frogs into my life. You know, it could have been parachutes, pinatas, or parakeetes, but I chose frogs just as an easy experiment to show myself that the Law worked. I set an intention and waited for the Universe to do its work. Soon I started to see frogs everywhere…on t-shirts, on commercials, and once while shopping with my Mom in a department store, I saw an entire row of frog socks! Now, whenever I see a frog, I am reminded that Divine order is at work in my life.

Since reading Tracy’s book, I am also reminded that my “frogs” (difficult projects) may be ugly, but the toughest challenges are also part of Divine order. Frogs can be opportunities to learn and grow. They teach us what we need to learn on our path. Of course, it’s more difficult to remember this fact when in the midst of things.

It’s also interesting to me that none of my most difficult projects are found at work. Instead, they are all projects or goals that I’ve set for myself personally. (More evidence that I’m harder on myself than others….but, that’s a topic for another post!)

Now, I’m not exactly wishing for more ugly frogs, and I’m still working on not letting my frog of a drive get to me, but I’m getting more done while less stressed about all I still want to accomplish.

Tag clouds and bills

Del.icio.us Tag Cloud for Allstate
Here’s an image that shows the tag cloud for Allstate at del.icio.us. It’s interesting to me that “bills” is one of the top tags. As a del.icio.us user myself, I hadn’t thought about creating one tag for all of the bills I pay each month and then using that page to click to each of the sites as I pay bills, but that is quite the productivity hack. Hmm…do I care if someone knows what companies I pay each month?

What is the top hit for “bills” at del.icio.us?
Billshare – a free application for people who need to split bills and keep a record of it. If I had a roommate and needed to track expenses, it might be the perfect app.

The #2 hit — billQ also looks like a cool web-based app to keep track of your bills. I really like the reminder feature that users can set-up to send to their cell phone or email.

Affective Labor

Sacha posts book notes about the book Life Matters. It’s an example of how affective labor is often unappreciated: She says,

What I really like about this book is that Rebecca’s stories show the value of homemaking and how you can learn important lessons from that underappreciated kind of work. I rarely find women’s insights in productivity books unless the books are oriented toward women. Rebecca’s stories about her family and her society, her writing and her life were given just as much importance as Robert’s stories about business.

The Do Nothing Purge

Martha Beck, author of The Joy Diet and Expecting Adam writes about the importance of saving empty time each day just for ourselves in this month’s O magazine.

Many people who come to Beck for her coaching really want time to do nothing. Yet when Beck stops talking and let’s the room become quiet, her new clients can’t sit for very long (a few seconds at most) without talking. The thing of it is, most people haven’t learned how to do nothing so when given the opportunity, they can’t just sit and do nothing. Beck urges us to reserve time for ourselves and soon we’ll feel less constipated (her metaphor), by our schedules.

On Productivity

I enjoy reading business productivity books like the one John Porcaro talks about: Death By Meeting. I can use information like that now. I’m also wondering how this information would transfer to other situations in academia.

– How do you prove yourself?
– How do you get cool projects to work on?
– How do you start networking?
– How do you get to travel to conferences and present papers?
– For that matter, how is a “conference paper” different than other papers you write?
– How do you find the time to do all you want to do?
– What’s most important?

A quick google search “How to Be a Good Graduate Student” uncovered a good first hit.

More good info on Pedablogue: Teaching Portfolio Tips. Building a portfolio of work is something I’ve always tried to do myself and I’ve always recommended it to my direct reports.