Author - Steven Levy

Deurgentifying

Reprinted from January 29, 2016 Should be a word. Really. Deurgentifying. As in, techniques to keep all the urgent stuff from overflowing your timesheet and preventing you from getting to the important stuff. (And as of this...

Urgent, urgent, urgent

Reprinted from December 9, 2015 Everything’s urgent these days. Get this file out. Talk to that person. Revise this. Write that. Listen to me, him, her, them. Everything’s urgent. But how much of it is important? You have two...

When is time not a zero-sum game?

Last month, I wrote about time as a zero-sum game (any situation where doing more of one thing means less of another), and postulated two core rules: If you try to do foreground Task A at the same time as Task B and maintain...

The zero-sum game (no math necessary)

Time is considered the ultimate zero-sum game. What’s a zero-sum game? It’s any situation where doing more of one thing means less of another. In economics, it’s the classic guns-and-butter story. In most sports, it’s...

Fifty ways to leave the office

Paul Simon’s biggest hit was a lie. In 1975, he topped the charts with Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, but in fact the song lists only five. (Somehow, no one sued him over this.) In the spirit of that song, coupled with the...

Pick one…

Here’s a simple tip to increase efficiency by minimizing one of the stressors in your working life. Consider the following list of things that can interrupt you at work: A barrage of incoming emails A pile of unanswered email...

Turbulence ahead

I’m writing this article on a plane, belted securely as we trampoline around the sky over the Rockies. Fifteen minutes ago, the pilot interrupted the movie (to audible groans from those around me), “There’s a report of...

The worst time to procrastinate

Procrastination isn’t always a bad thing. For example, it’s a proven maxim of project management to make decisions as late as possible. If you don’t need to make a decision now, don’t – because more facts will trickle...

“One Weird, Simple Trick…”

The Internet is overrun with click-bait headed by that phrase. One weird, simple trick that can flatten your stomach, tone your skin, or stop Americans from moving to Canada when one or another political party loses in...

Clocks

Which clock hangs in your office? The Seconds Clock Every second counts. Rush, rush, rush. Try to do two three things at once. Hurry. Stress. Pressure. This suggests your life can be reduced to seconds competing against each...

Your computer has a virus

Your computer has a virus. That’s a message no one wants to see. It’s often phishing, where some outfit wants you to pay for software that may or may not do anything (and might itself be the malware). Nevertheless… your...