Here are articles on polls

What causes you stress?

I’m working on the book’s “de-stressing” chapter. I’m not happy with the current draft and want to reorganize it. I’m brainstorming about different causes of stress and how that might drive the chapter.

What are your major causes of stress? Mine are deadlines, broken software or hardware, bad customer service reps, and low blood sugar.

How about you?

(Please note that by posting a comment, you agree it can be used in the book. If you want specific attribution, please mention it in your comment.)

What do you do with email you’ve read?

I save pretty much all my email, and it fills up my hard drive, my backups, and my Gmail account. I rarely go back and read it, though sometimes it *is* a valuable reference source.

I’ve been thinking of linking my Blackberry to my email so deleting a message on the Blackberry once I’ve handled it will also delete it from my online inbox. That will likely result in me trashing about 97% of what I currently save.

But is that a bad thing? I recently purged my Gmail account of several gigabytes of old email and haven’t noticed any particular problems from that. And phone calls and voicemail get purged regularly and I don’t miss them. What do you think?

What do you do with email you’ve read?

What are some rules and beliefs of organizational life?

Hi! For my book, I would like to gather a set of beliefs that govern how people operate in organizations. I’m especially looking for beliefs that really drive people’s behavior, decision-making, etc. Contradictions and alternate viewpoints welcome and encouraged. For example:

  • Never help out a colleague too much, because they’re just competition for the top spot.
  • Always help your colleagues, because when we work together, we accomplish more than when we work alone.
  • Our competitors will never be able to produce a product as good as ours.
  • Management is stupid and doesn’t know what they’re doing.

I will be using these in my book. By submitting them here, you give me permission to do so. I would like to list everyone who contributes in the acknowledgements section. If you wish to be acknowledged, just sign your comment with your desired name (first name, full name, etc.).


How do *you* remember faces and names?

I’m writing a Get-it-Done Guy episode on remembering names and faces. I know how I remember names. But my way isn’t perfect. In fact, if you’ve ever met me and expected me to remember your name, you’ll know my way sucks. (Sorry, Mom. At least, I think your name was “Mom.”)

I may use your answer in the Get-it-Done Guy episode. Please leave your name as you want me to read it if you would like me to give you credit in the episode. Thanks!


How do you remember names and faces?

Do “broad stroke” and highly-specific tips go together?

I’m collecting the final list of tips for the book. I’m noticing there are two categories of tips and am not sure they would work together in a book. Here are samples:

Broad-stroke Narrow
Use networking for your job search Name files YYYYMMDD when they contain dates
Cultivate your intuition for decision-making Clear your inbox backlog by deleting extra messages.

Will these work in the same book? Would someone looking for “happiness and success” tips be that interested in the “file folders” category? And vice versa…

Giving feedback: is the “sandwich” valuable, or trite and ineffective?

Conventional wisdom has it that you should sandwich negative feedback between two pieces of positive feedback. You can read about “the hamburger method” here.

Shelle Rose Charvet points out that most people already know the method. Now, when they hear positive feedback, they simply bypass it and wait fo the shoe to drop (then they ignore the final piece of positive feedback, which is obviously just there to soften the negative feedback). She advocates giving feedback in a way that avoids direct negative statements yet still accomplishes the goal, to stimulate behavior change. You can read Shelle Rose Charvet’s “The Feedback Sandwich is Out to Lunch.”

What do you think? If I were to include a “giving feedback” method in the Get-it-Done Guy book, which do you think would be best to include?

What do you drop and what do you keep?

I’m overloaded! Yes, it happens to me, too

The problem happens when I take on a new project, here’s a delay in the project (e.g. I’m waiting for someone to get me a document), and during that delay, I start something new. Once the delay is over, I now have two projects on my plate that together take up more time than I have.

So I’m in the midst of re-examining how I use my time and space. When you are examining your own life, how do you decide what to drop and what to keep? If everything on your plate is related to one of your goals, how do you choose which stays and which goes?

Do you have some priorities that are constant (“Family always comes first”)? Do your priorities change? Why and how?

I’ve noticed that each year, I choose new constant priorities. For example, this year health is a huge theme. My workouts and health commitments have consciously dominated everything. But other priorities change according to my projects.

Insights appreciated!

Does humor work in large doses?

Quick question… In my podcast, I use a lot of humor. The humor is almost always tangential to the actual point. After all, how funny are file folders? Not very. But file folders being used as emergency underwear? Er, hilarious.

Work Less and Do More is shaping up to be a book of a great many chapters or sections, each of which has a concrete tip. As I write, I’m having doubts about the humor-to-content ratio. In the podcast, about half the content is humor and attitude, and half is content. In a book, this seems too high on the humor for me.

Do people want more humor or more time spent on the content? Content seems pretty dry to me, but then, humor can feel overbearing if it’s hundreds of pages.

What do you think? You’re (hopefully) going to be my readers. Your thoughts appreciated!