(We’re not kidding)

“The ingenuity of the average worker is sufficient to outwit any system of controls devised by management.”

Douglas McGregor

An Introduction to Workforce Motivation Theory

Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y were developed by MIT Sloan School of Management professor Douglas McGregor in his 1960 book, The Human Side of Enterprise.

Similar to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y developed from his understanding of human motivation. The two theories explore the different ways managers handle their reports and how assumptions about those employees lead to (or hinder) the success of the individual contributor.

Who uses Theory X?

A manager who falls under Theory…


“The secret to happiness is low expectations.”
Barry Schwartz

Are you plagued by overthinking? Unable to pull the trigger on decisions large and small? Relating to Chidi from The Good Place a bit too often nowadays? You’re not alone.

‘Analysis-paralysis’–where groups or individuals are unable to make a decision and therefore make no decision is a common phenomenon. And analysis-paralysis is only becoming more common nowadays thanks to globalization, the Internet, and social media.

How does someone get paralysis by analysis?

We first heard about analysis-paralysis and decision fatigue on the podcast, The Happiness Lab, when host Dr. Laurie Santos interviewed psychologist Barry Schwartz about his book…


We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and we’re all home far more often than we ever expected. However, many of us are feeling less productive than ever.

You’d think that with all this extra time at home, you’d finally be conquering all those long-ignored to-dos on your list. Or since you no longer have to commute in, you’d be using that gained time to go above and beyond at work. But for many of us, that busy bee scenario is not happening.

Being quarantined and socially distanced has given us more of a ‘make it through the day’ mindset…


There’s a reason people have been writing to-do lists since before there was paper–life is complicated, the human brain is messy, and sometimes you’re going to forget important tasks.

If you’ve missed another due date and need to get better at task management, or you just want a new tool for your to-do lists, you likely know that there are a billion options for task managers, and each one has trillion features. Trying to choose a new task management app can feel about as overwhelming as implementing a new organization system for your work life. But getting organized doesn’t have…


You’ve probably read a lot about how important it is to maintain a work-life balance, but how does one actually do it? Especially in these days with Covid-19 causing so many of us non-essential workers to be remote employees, the lines between professional life and personal life have

A healthy work-life balance has shown in scientific studies to correlate with a more robust immune system, better mental health, a fulfilling personal life, and even better job performance (seriously!). Of course, a poor work-life balance is likely to cause the inverse. …


Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, is an examination of how technology is interfering with our ability to do valuable work. His bimodal strategy for work and practical advice has had a positive impact on our work habits–making us less busy and more driven.

What’s deep work?

Shallow work, as defined by Newport, is work that is easy to replicate, can be done while multitasking, and doesn’t create new value in your professional life.

Newport feels this type of work will be readily ‘dismissed’ by the market, or the world. …


The modern world (even when it’s in quarantine) moves a million miles a minute. And now, Covid-19 has brought all of our work lives into our home lives. We’re juggling the mental health crisis of an infectious disease rapidly changing the way our world works and potentially harming us or our loved ones, an incredible number of jobs lost across America, and a constant barrage of bad news in the media.

Is it no wonder that some of us aren’t getting enough sleep?

Let’s do a crazy thing here and just…slow down.

Breathe in for four seconds.

Hold for four…


Since you’re reading a blog that writes about productivity and organization methods, chances are high that you’ve already heard about President Eisenhower and his matrix. His method for sorting his day is the closest thing the task management industry has to a pop icon.

Why is the Eisenhower matrix so revered? For one, President Eisenhower was skilled at making tough decisions in high-pressure environments. He also accomplished massive, long-term planning projects, such as the creation of NASA and, of course, running for and being elected President.

What’s the Eisenhower Matrix?

Every day, President Eisenhower would write down a list of the tasks that he…


Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

Ah, the To Do List. The widespread cognitive load relieving tool that magically tells us exactly what we should be doing at any given moment. It frees us from that nagging feeling that we’re forgetting things and releases a euphoric dopamine hit when a hard line strikes through it.

This might be what your experience already looks like, if you’re an extraordinarily disciplined to do list maker. Congrats on that! For the rest of us, our to do lists can quickly turn into a destination of shame and anxiety. …


via Alex Norris of The Oh No Shop

Getting Things Done isn’t just an aspirational response to “So, what are you up to these days?”. It’s a methodology (and book), created by management consultant, David Allen.

Did you know that before getting into business consulting and making GTD his life’s work, David Allen had jobs as a magician, a karate teacher, and a moped salesman? In his own words, he’s had “35 professions before the age of 35”. David’s had to get a lot of things done in his life. So we trust him to tell us how.

Getting Things Done is a way to organize and track…

TeuxDeux

TeuxDeux is a simple, designy to-do app. If you like lists and crossing things off, we will be friends. Try it for 30 days, free. https://teuxdeux.com/

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