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  Home > People and Projects Podcast Home > People and Projects Podcast Directory

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Interviews and insights to help you lead people and deliver projects.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Take Back Your Life! An interview with author John Wittry

My middle son Zachary celebrates his 13th birthday later this month. Just this last week I was talking to a friend of his about the upcoming milestone. This friend, who is a couple years younger than Z, remarked, "Man, it seems like we just celebrated his birthday! Has another year gone by so quickly?"

Ever get that feeling, especially as we get close to the end of another year? How did this year go by so fast?

I had the opportunity to catch up with a close friend over a cup of coffee recently. He remarked that when he looked at the vice president level above him at his company, all he saw was more work, more stress, and less time with his family. Interestingly, he related "Most people at our company look up one level and say, 'You couldn't pay me enough to take that job! Life is too short!'"

Maybe you can relate. Either you're already experiencing that frantic pace or you look at the next level and agree that the price on your life isn't worth pursuing a promotion.

Certainly this reality hurts companies. They are losing leadership potential because they are losing perspective on what it means to allow people to live more balanced lives.

But my concern with this episode isn't your company. It's you. It's my friend, and it's me. How can we take back our life when it seems that the pace of life is taking it from us?

I was discussing this with my friend and colleague Kymme Lightfoot who is a consultant with McGhee Productivity Solutions. McGhee specializes in helping organizations with these very challenges and she hooked me up with partner John Witty. John is the author of Take Back Your Life! (Microsoft Press) and if you are looking for perspective to get a better handle on the demands of work and life, this episode's interview is especially designed for you.

You can learn more about McGhee Productivity Solutions at

If you are interested in more information on this topic, here are some potential next steps:
  • First, make sure to get a copy of John's book Take Back Your Life!. Here's a link to buy it on
  • Second, we have an audio CD entitled Beyond Time Management. The program is filled with practical lessons to help you get rid of piles at work and home, how to remember important things about people, how to stop forgetting things that need to be done, and much more. Listeners of this podcast can get 20% off by using a coupon code of "TAKETIME20" when ordering by 12/31/2009. Learn more at
I invite you to join us in 2 weeks when you'll hear my interview with Bill Duncan. If his name isn't familiar, chances are his work is if you are a project manager. Bill was the primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide, and we'll talk about certification beyond just what the Project Management Institute offers.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Enjoy the discussion with John!

Take Back Your Life! An interview with author John Wittry

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting More Done with Less Stress, with guest Jason Womack

"I don't have enough time!"

It's a common refrain. Whether from participants in a workshop or over a cup of coffee with a coaching client, I'm constantly working with people who are struggling to stay on top of their commitments.

Though I help others on the topic all the time, managing my own time is a continual challenge. The interview you'll hear in this episode was recorded a month ago. It's taken until now for me to carve out enough time to bring it to you.

It's a universal challenge for most professionals today: How can we get everything done when there's just not enough time to do it?

When I'm looking for insights on managing my time, I head to my friend and colleague Jason Womack. Jason is a great source of inspiration and fresh ideas for me when it comes to personal productivity.

To learn more about Jason, I invite you to visit his website at Or just Google Jason's name and you'll find helpful articles and videos online.

At the end of this cast you'll learn how to save 50% on our e-learning offering entitled "5 Keys to Getting More Done with Less Stress". Just use the coupon code "E-TIME-50" when you checkout.

Thanks for listening to the People and Projects podcast! Contact me at or toll-free at 866-884-5323 for ideas on how to help you and your team get more done with less stress.

Getting More Done with Less Stress, with guest Jason Womack

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Myth of Multitasking, with guest author Dave Crenshaw

Clearly we are a culture of jugglers.

Whether working with my executive coaching clients or talking with participants in our keynotes and workshops, without a doubt most people are feeling overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do it.

So we multitask. Or so we think.

One of my favorite books from last year is Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, by John Medina. I'm a card carrying geek in a number of categories, one of which is learning about how the brain works.

Just think how much better we could learn, communicate, influence, and more if we really understood how the brain operated. That's what Brain Rules is all about.

One of my favorite lines from the book says, "If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle!" Though you can find plenty of pundits that will pontificate about the collaborative benefits of cubes, I've yet to find a brain expert that backs that up!

As the subtitle of the book states, Brain Rules has 12 principles to help people better understand how the brain works. The 4th rule is Attention: We don't pay attention to boring things. Dr. Medina discusses how we are better at seeing patterns and abstracting the meaning of an event than we are at recording details. He also illustrates how emotional arousal helps the brain learn--emotions help keep our attention and burn the memory in.

But Dr. Medina's discussion on multitasking is what really caught my attention. Bottom line: the brain's attentional spotlight can focus on only on thing at a time. There is no such thing as multitasking.

You and I might argue, "How can this be? I'm multitasking all the time!" Dr. Medina goes into all the brain scientist geek material to back up his assertion. And here's why it all matters. Studies show that a person who is interrupted takes 50 percent longer to accomplish a task. Not only that, he or she makes up to 50 percent more errors.

I say this fully aware that you might be listening to this cast while you're driving. Be careful as it's not just cell phone calls that distract you while driving!

Whether in the car or in the workplace, distractions are taking their toll. As someone who is passionately interested in helping people get more done with less stress, this whole topic strikes a nerve with me.

Which leads me to another recommended brain book entitled The Myth of Multitasking, written by Dave Crenshaw.

Dave is our guest on this cast and shares insights on why multitasking actually hurts our productivity. During the interview Dave encourages you to take a free multitasking test on his website at:

Don't miss the free offer at the end of the cast! Here's to a very focused day for you! Thank you for subscribing to the People and Projects Podcast!

Episode 03: The Myth of Multitasking, with guest author Dave Crenshaw

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