The approach is nothing new to Stack, who has been preaching from the book of reduction for more than 20 years as a professional speaker. This time, Stack’s message of doing less and accomplishing more begins with a realistic look at how much a person can humanly take on in one day—and how much of that can be accomplished well.
“Simply stated, the central message is ‘It’s better to do less, not more, so you can do better, more focused work,’” Stacks says.
What sets “What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do,” apart from other time management and productivity self-help books is Stack’s approach to the issue of overwork. For years Americans have been heaping on more and more work in order to make ends meet, remain competitive, and climb the career ladder. But in today’s tough economy, managers are looking for results—and results boil down to productivity. Where does one begin on the road to becoming a valued, productive member of the workplace? According to Stack, the first stop is to identify what’s unnecessary, shed it, and focus on what’s important.
After years of working increasingly harder for increasingly longer days, with steadily decreasing resources, American workers don’t recognize the inefficiency of their workaholic ways. Stack says this is precisely the point she intended to address with this book: eventually, everyone reaches their breaking point and once that happens, all quality quickly drains from their work and productivity. When quality starts to taper, productivity tapers – going back to correct mistakes is a real time sink.
“Over the last few decades we’ve learned to be superbly productive, yes, but in a way that can’t be sustained over the long haul,” Stack says.
In the book’s first chapter, Stack homes in on the problem by looking at it from a business perspective.
“Productivity is the rate at which goods or services are produced per unit of labor,” Stack says. “On a wider scale, this measure of corporate success is also a primary metric of the overall economic health of a nation.
“Collectively, we Americans are more productive today than at any time in our history; however, think about the factors motivating this productivity increase in recent years.”
Stack points to some dismal trends in recent years, as businesses cut their staffs to nearly skeleton ratios in an effort to spare the bottom line. As a result, the truncated workforce must somehow do more with less and overwork, Stack says, may be slowly killing people who are trying to accomplish too much.
“Overwork may be slowly killing workers, emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually,”
“We have too many choices between too many good things to do at any given time of the day,” she says. “We take on new projects when we have too much going on already.”
By offering readers her “Work Less, More Success” strategy, which incorporates self-discipline and a commitment to change, Stack says people can reduce their commitment load, use time more effectively at work, become more valuable to their organizations and still enjoy life.
“You can’t exorcise the demon of overwork until you first determine exactly which tasks you need to perform on a regular basis, and then commit to doing only those tasks whenever possible,” she says.
Start by studying your work requirements closely. Then cut back or eliminate any time-wasters and set out to do only what truly matters. Be honest with yourself regarding the worst offenders, which are all too common today:
• Checking e-mail obsessively
• Internet abuse, including visiting social networks continually
• Excessive socializing
• Handling personal issues on the clock
• Arriving late and/or leaving early for work
• Attending too many non-productive meetings
Stack discusses her Productivity Workflow Formula™ (PWF) and shares the process of identifying those obstacles that get in the way of completing important tasks and applying must-follow strategies to change poor time management habits and achieve defined goals.
For more information, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com/
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”