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Yours, Mine and Hours

Ever wonder what you could accomplish if you were seven times more productive, 24 hours a day? I’m no math genius, but if I’ve got my calculations correct, a seven-fold improvement would make you 168 times more productive than you are now. And if you were 168 times more productive every day, that would mean you would be 1,176 times more productive every week, and 61,152 times more productive in a year.

Think about it. If you could be 61,152 times more productive, you might get more done than a deranged gerbil, or one halfway-normal person who halfway cares about their job.

At least, you’d come close.


The problem, of course, is how to supersize the productivity of someone who has made a career of doing practically nothing, except complain about how much they do and how little they get paid for doing it.

That’s where Nicole Smartt comes in.

As the vice president and co-owner of Star Staffing, Ms. Smartt recently showed up on with a snappy little post titled, “7 Simple Ways to Make Every Hour More Productive.”

“I teach, praise and live by these techniques,” Smartt writes, “which allow you to manage your time better — so you can invest more of it in developing yourself and your leadership.”

Your leadership has sailed, alas, and as for developing yourself, that noble goal has been replaced with the dream of not getting fired until you’ve pilfered enough office supplies to stock a discount stationary store on eBay. [Some might consider this criminal. I think of it as your long-term retirement plan.] Still, it is worth taking a look at some of these tips.

Productivity Tip No. 1 is to “Start by organizing and simplifying.” The idea here is to “keep frequently referenced documents in a folder,” so you won’t waste time “hunting for important information.” Good idea! Imagine how productive it would be to have all the menus for all your favorite pizza and rib joints at your greasy little fingertips. To make room for your new super-important file, you may have to throw out all your work files, but hey, that’s the price of progress.

Productivity Tip No. 2 is “Multitask with intention.” Author Smartt claims to spend hours on the elliptical trainer, “working the lower half of my body and sending emails at the same time.” I recommend reversing this intention, intentionally. Lift weights with your upper body and type out emails with your toes. [If you don’t have weights, it’s OK to lift cookies.]

“Write your to-do list the night before” is Productivity Tip No. 3. The idea here is to be “thinking about the following day’s activities, helping you feel more prepared to meet unique challenges or new situations.” Or, better, to give yourself a well-ordered list of reasons for throwing the alarm clock out of the window the next morning and calling in sick.

Productivity Tip No. 4 is to “read ‘Never Eat Alone’ by Keith Ferrazzi.” I am certainly not going to read a whole book, but I believe the basic idea here is to get known and talked about through networking. If that’s the goal, read my book. It’s titled, “Never Eat Alone or Pick Up A Check.” Follow my advice, and everyone will know and talk about you, guaranteed.

“Set Aside Personal Time” is Tip No. 5. Smartt writes, “Remember to commit as much time, effort and love into your non-work relationships as your work relationships [including time with yourself.]” It’s a nice idea, but maintaining non-work relationships only works because your friends and family see so little of you. Makes sense. Do you really want to spend time with you?

Tip No. 6, “Turn off the TV” must be rejected out of hand. Yes, you have a few zombies and vampires in your workplace, but you need TV 24/7 to fill your quota of the undead.

As for Tip No. 7, listening to motivational CDs on your way to work, that’s also a non-starter. If you want motivation, just start answering those nightly calls from collection agencies. Then, you can use your motivation-CD money to buy something much more likely to make you rich — magic beans!

Better yet — tell your boss that you plan to become seven times for more productive every hour and it’s only fair that you get seven times your salary. That may not turn out to be a very productive thing to do, but it sure will give everyone at the unemployment office a really good laugh.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at


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