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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 8,100 times in 2010. That’s about 19 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 38 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 133 posts. There were 43 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 23mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 3rd with 86 views. The most popular post that day was The Won’t-Do List.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for julia child, creation of adam, the creation of adam, mini trampoline, and kaizen quotes.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


The Won’t-Do List October 2010


Recipe for productivity October 2009
1 comment


Improvement: Kaizen quote May 2008


Four no-excuses ways to exercise for better productivity August 2009


The Only Thing to Fear January 2009

Worth Repeating – November posts from New Leaf News

From the garden, alstromeria and Sunset Celebration roses. Photo by Margaret Lukens

November is a time for looking back and looking ahead. Gratitude and future plans have been on my mind in Novembers past. Here are a few posts worth revisiting.

Are your meetings short, focused, and productive? Take a tip from Laura van Galen’s jump-start meeting.

Help your 2011 plans take shape. begin with the grand scheme and develop your road map down to the details. Taxonomy Relief shows you how.

I love choosing a quote to share for Thanksgiving, my hands-down favorite holiday. Past favorites include wisdom from the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi and a pair by Cicero and Aesop.

And if you favor science over the words of mystics and fable-writers, there’s plenty of evidence that gratitude is beneficial to our mental and physical health.

Happy November!

Worth repeating – June posts from New Leaf News

How can you create a deadline for a goal that doesn’t have one naturally? Try the Pink Poker solution.

My father and various “father figures” have provided several lessons that I draw on to become more organized and productive. What have fathers taught you about the good life?

How do we set big goals? Should we start with the “big picture” and work out details, or maybe start with a clear-eyed view of where we are now, then plot the way forward? A jigsaw puzzle suggests the answer.

Television coverage and a new awareness of the problem has many people asking, am I chronically disorganized? The good news is, probably not. Whether you are or aren’t, help is available.

Would you like another reason to finally get that old task done? William James provides one.

I hope you enjoy these posts from the New Leaf News archive!

Time Blocking – three reasons to focus your week

Kim, who owns a growing health-care practice in San Francisco, wanted to get rid of the feeling of overwhelm that seemed to hang on no matter how hard she worked.

The key to banishing overwhelm is focus.

Kim and I began by considering everything that’s required to make her life and her business run during a week: business development, client meetings, research on client cases, and administration, as well as sleep and exercise. She also has a temporary need to accommodate, an ambitious program of professional development classes.

Kim's time clockWe created more focus in her week and eliminated distractions by assigning blocks of time to each activity, with three days devoted to client work, one to business development, and one to her personal and professional development needs.

This plan created 20 hours each week for billable client time, a minimum of seven hours for business development, and four hours for administration.

Using this time block worked three ways to give Kim that sense of relief she was looking for.

First, her weekly list of 40 tasks suddenly looked like only about 8, since she focused on one business area at a time. She did not need to worry about client billing and writing her newsletter all day Tuesday. They had their own time, and Tuesday was devoted to study and class assignments.

Second, her new schedule eliminates excessive switching among tasks. Our brains require time to change focus, up to 20 minutes, so the more we can eliminate switching, the more efficiently our brains can work.

A third and more hidden benefit is that the time block creates a barrier to procrastination. If Kim could do her billing any time, it becomes easier to put it off “just for now.” But with an assigned time on Monday from 5 to 6 pm, anything not done then cannot be touched until the next Admin block, which doesn’t come for two more days. This creates an incentive to do it now and get it done.

Kim will revise her time block once she completes her education program  and any time her work patterns need to change.

Have you tried time blocking? What has your experience been? Did it help? Was it hard to follow? Leave a comment here.

Irresistable offers and helpful information

Just a quick reminder: if you’d like to receive the New Leaf News, our monthly newsletter of helpful productivity tips, book reviews, announcements, and special offers, just sign up here.

It’s a great way for us to stay in touch.

Wishing you all the best,

What is focus?

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

What does it mean to have focus?



Simply, it means to do one thing at a time, while thinking about that thing.

Focus is one of the most potent organizing techniques available. Few things equal the power of focus for helping us perform at a higher level.

If an elite athlete is running one race, but his mind is on the next one, what happens to his performance in this event? It can’t reach its very highest level, because the athlete’s attention is not focused on the task at hand.

What do you do to maintain focus? What interferes with your focus? Let us know by leaving a comment here.

Catching Incoming Items: quote

A quote for the day:

Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down. — Hector Berlioz, composer (1803 – 1869)

Speaking May 28: Mastering Follow-Through

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Later this month I’ll be speaking to Women In Consulting – San Francisco. Our topic for the evening? “Mastering Follow-Through — how to trick, coax, persuade and support yourself to reach the goals you set.”

For more information, or to register, use this link.

If you’ll be in the San Francisco area, I hope you’ll join me to meet a wonderful group of savvy consultants and pick up some good ideas on following through to move your best plans to reality.

Welcome to New Leaf News

Produced by New Leaf + Company LLC, New Leaf News brings its readers ideas, products and news from the world of organizing and productivity.

We see organizing as a tool that allows us to pursue the goals that really matter, so our organizing work often carries us into unexpected places. The causes of disorganization are many and varied, everything from physical issues (trying to put 4 drawers-worth of papers into a 2 drawer filing cabinet, for example) to psychology, personality, and values. The solutions are varied, too.

Ultimately, it isn’t about containers and planners and software fixes. It’s about focusing on what really matters and clearing away anything that interferes with our quest to get closer to our fondest desires. These are the issues we’ll be exploring in these posts.

We hope you’ll join in the conversation!

Wishing you a spacious 2008,

Margaret Lukens, owner and principal, New Leaf + Company

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