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Chicago writer Dennis O’Toole interviewed our Sue Becker when researching his Morning News essay, My Top One Lists about his resolution to become more culturally aware.

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Three keys to keeping your resolutions are 1 :: get specific about what you want to do, 2 :: determine a specific routine for achieving just that, and 3 :: anticipate and plan for your weak spots.

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One of the biggest time management mistakes people make is not recognizing that time management is really self management. Instead of looking for external explanations to know why time management is a challenge, I coach people to look internally. I help them to build the self discipline to do what’s important to help them reach their goals and to flex the self discipline to set aside time for unburdened fun as well as for becoming the person they were meant to be.

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What are your plans for this Labor Day weekend? Might this Chicago time management company be so bold as to suggest you focus on managing your own personal energy by turning your phone off for a day?

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Though misunderstood for decades, the science community now knows Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often persists into adulthood after first appearing in childhood and continuing into teenage years. That puts inattentiveness, impulsivity and sometimes, hyperactivity in the workplace–where sitting still and focusing are valued.

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The paradigm shift for a new routine can be difficult to achieve. We may know what needs to be done, yet struggle to get started. When we reached Chapter 9, Feet of Fire, in the newly-released Spartan Up! book, we asked author, Joe DeSena, for advice on how to break the “project” of the race into pieces.

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Spartan Up is a new book relating the preparation and completion of an obstacle course race to that of meeting and achieving goals in our personal and professional lives. We were able to ask the author, Joe DeSena, questions and are sharing his responses to the first of three today. In his words you will notice his honest, humorous, to-the-point style.

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For the last several years late December/early January was the time when I got clear on my annual goals. I would answer most of the questions in Bill Baren’s one-year roadmap, and then I would translate and beautify the vision onto a goals sheet that would hang in my view for monthly monitoring. This year was different. I chose to identify and track systems instead of goals.

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On the evening of March 7, power down all electronics for 24 hours and join in for a day of respite. Hard as it seems, you can do it! Sign the unplugging pledge to tune into the world around you while tuning out technology.

Imagine how refreshing it will be to give yourself permission not to run and check your email and messages continuously and to instead focus on what you enjoy beyond computers and smart phones. Find further inspiration at

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Wondering how to improve productivity?

Spark Productivity delivers customized training solutions that help individuals and teams become more focused, joyful, and confident as they improve productivity.
Who is Sue Becker?

Sue Becker Spark Productivity trainer, Sue Becker, works with people and organizations that want to do and achieve more — and feel more fulfilled in the process.
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Regain Inbox Control

Our advice on how to organize email. We sincerely hope it delivers the results you're seeking and that you regain inbox control.

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Manage Time With a Budget

Our advice on how to organize time with a budget. We trust it will help you to be more realistic about scheduling so you accomplish the important stuff.