A Formula for Success

Is there a formula for success?  If so, it would have to be a simple approach that can be used by anyone in any situation.  Tim and Brian Kight, the founders of Focus3, believe there is a formula that if used with discipline will lead to any desired result.  In fact, they recently highlighted it on their blog:

E+R=O (Event + Response = Outcome) is cause and effect. Desired outcomes require deserving responses. The cause must meet the requirement to create the effect. What does this mean for you?

It means use a moment each week to clarify the cause and effect of E+R=O in your life. Are you responding in a way deserving of the things you want? Decide on your objectives, lock your focus on their importance, and make every action reflect your real desires. When you do this, success is with you in every response, even before your true objective is a reached.

Read the rest of this entry on the Focus3 blog.




Waiting For “Waiting Fors”

Here are two inescapable truths about the world for work.  First of all, our work is dependent and intertwined with that of our colleagues.  Whether you work in a large organization or as a freelancer we are constantly sending messages out to others that require a response in order to advance our projects.  The second inescapable truth is that a certain percentage of our colleagues will fail to respond to those messages.  Therefore, it is important to have a system in place to keep track of all the messages that are sent out so that they can be followed up on when needed.

The waitsimplest way to do this is through a “Waiting For” folder.  A “Waiting For” folder is a depository for copies of any message which requires a response.  Most of the time, our colleagues respond quickly.  However, the “Waiting For” folder pays dividends for those times when a response is lagging.  A best practice is to check the “Waiting For” folder at least once a week.  While browsing through the contents make an executive decision on each message: Do you follow up to encourage action or let it lie fallow for another week?

The “Waiting For” folder is essential to ensure that important delegated tasks do not fall through the cracks.  Make one for paper workflow and one in your email and then see it deliver peace of mind.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

mindsetsImagine a room of students who are working on a very tough math problem.  Some of them give up quickly and say it can’t be solved while others preserve and work at it until they final succeed.  What is different about these students?   Believe it or not, IQ is not a factor.  According to research, it is mindset.

In her groundbreaking book, Mindset, author Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. explored the reasons why some people have greater success than others.  She determined that it came down to whether a person had a fixed or growth mindset.  As explained on her website:

“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”

Read more about this fascinating idea at mindsetonline.com

Spark Talk on Email @ PLA


Last Thursday in front of an energized crowd of over 300 conference attendees, I was honored to present my five minute Spark Talk called Five Minutes to Inbox Zero – Overcoming the E-mail Avalanche.  Here is how it started:

“Let’s go! I only have five minutes to tell you the five things you can do with an email. First of all in a show of hands, how many of you have completely emptied all your email inboxes at some point in the last 24 hours? I mean completely empty – everything – no read or unreads, absolutely zero messages inside. For those of you who have, go ahead and take a five minute nap. For the rest of you, pay close attention if you want to be an Efficient Librarian.”

Read the full text of the Spark Talk in the Articles section of this site.

Where to Keep Ideas?

DA-SmallDavid Allen is fond of saying that “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”  As a knowledge worker, your ability to generate and implement ideas is crucial to your success.  The challenge is that we can never know for certain what will turn out to be a good idea and what will end up as a discarded thought.  However, it is guaranteed that a forgotten idea will never be implemented.  Therefore, it is important to have a method to capture ideas as they appear.

In a recent blog post, David Allen addresses this topic.

“How many thoughts and ideas do you have daily which represent useful things to do or potentially enhance or improve projects, situations, and life in general? How many have you had and forgotten, and forgotten that you’ve forgotten? …

“Most people have (or could have) many more of these kinds of thoughts than they realize, during the course of any 24-hour period. Most people don’t get value from many of them, because they lack both the habit and the tools to collect those thoughts when they occur. If they aren’t captured, they are useless, and even worse can add to the gnawing sense of anxiety most people feel about things “out there” they know they’ve told themselves they should or would like to do, but don’t remember consciously what they are.”

Read the rest of this post at www.gettingthingsdone.com.

Overcoming the Email Blues

cleandeskIn January 2018, I had a short article published in the American Library Association LearnRT Newsletter.  The article was called, Overcoming the Email Blues. While subscribers to the Newsletter received the article, it has yet to be archived on the ALA web site.  Therefore as a public service , I have added the article to my blog for your reading pleasure.

Many thanks to the editors of the newsletter for publishing the article.  The ALA Learning Roundtable has the following mission:

“The Mission of the Learning Round Table….

….promotes quality continuing education and staff development for all library personnel. We help you NETWORK with other staff development and continuing education providers for the exchange of ideas, concerns and solutions.

….serves as your SOURCE for staff development continuing education assistance, publications, materials, training and activities.

….is your ADVOCATE for quality library staff development and continuing education at both the local and national levels.”


The Efficient Librarian @ PLA 2018

pla2018Are you traveling to Philadelphia this month for the Public Library Association Conference?  If so, why not schedule time to learn how to get your email under control.  I am honored to have been selected twice to speak at the conference in two different events.

Thurs. March 22, 2:40-3:00 pm
How To Get Your E-mail Inbox Down to Zero
PLA Career Center Crash Courses Series
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 203 AB

Thurs. March 22, 5:15 pm
Five Minutes to Inbox Zero – Overcoming the E-mail Avalanche
Spark Talks
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 201 ABC

I invite you to take time out of your busy conference schedule to attend.  They are fun events and free to all registered conference attendees.

Hope to see you in Philly!