3 Ways to Keep Technology from Ruining Your Relationships

Why tiny ruptures in our relationships drive love and connection out of our lives.


In Triumphs of Experience, George Vaillant writes that “there are two pillars of happiness revealed by the seventy-five-year-old Grant Study. One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.” We all do things — perhaps daily — that push the people we love away from […]

Are You Busy or Productive?

Think busyness is a sign you’re succeeding? Think again.

Until a couple of years ago, every time someone would ask me how I was doing, I would always give the same answer: I am so busy. Extremely busy. Crazy busy. I wore my exhaustion like a trophy, as a sign of my strength and a mark of my character. (At one point I ran […]

Please Stop Interrupting Me!

Why interruptions make us irritable, anxious, and unproductive.

Several years ago, I devised a system for quickly getting into the “zone” while I wrote. Free from distractions and interruptions, I wrote quickly, joyfully, and with surprisingly little effort. But then we moved, and now my husband and I both work mostly from home. And although we work in separate rooms, at opposite ends […]

How to Achieve Your Goals on Autopilot

3 research-based strategies for making resolutions that stick for a lifetime.

How to Achieve Your Goals on Autopilot - Christine Carter

At each turn of each season, lots of achievement-oriented people set goals. The start of the school year is my favorite time to do this for myself (I’m with Gretchen Rubin, who calls September “the other January”). I also have my teens set some goals for themselves. But we aren’t very ambitious, and for good reason. […]

How to Only Do Things You Actually Want to Do

Can you remember the last time your to-do list was short enough to be, well, do-able? How about the last time you looked at your list and actually wanted to do everything on it?


Earlier this spring I started getting loads of requests for help managing too-long task lists, and so I published this process for organizing them. Ineffective task lists make us feel like we have too much to do in too little time, which makes us feel overwhelmed. Ironically, this makes us worse at planning and managing […]

19 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

Are you like one of the 85% of working adults who rate their employers efforts to reduce stress as “fair” or “poor”?

A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds extraordinary levels of workplace stress, with only about half of workplaces offering wellness or stress-reduction programs. If your workplace is stressful and your employer isn’t helping, here are some things you can do for yourself: Stop […]

Five Surprising Steps to a More Effective To-Do List

How to transform a long, overwhelming list of things into a high performing task-list.

Ah, the to-do list. Lately, I’ve had dozens of calls from high-achievers (a Head of School, a university athletic coach, a tech industry Chief Marketing Officer) asking me for specific instructions for keeping a more effective to-do list. Ineffective task lists trigger overwhelm, and these folks were suffering. They’d look down at their list and […]

The Best Way to Organize Your Email

How to regain your time, attention, and energy from the email machine.


I’ve been studying the problem of email overload and compulsive email checking for a couple of years now. The problem is massive, but totally solvable. Fortunately, over the years I’ve devised a way to organize email that works. I’ve taught it to several clients in different industries — all report back that this method is a game-changer. Personally, I’m no […]

You Will Never Find Work-Life Balance

But you can find your flow.


All our talk and worry about “work-life balance” is such a bunch of baloney. I don’t mean to be depressing, but you will never find “balance” between your work and your personal life. That very idea hinges on an implicit belief that there is some perfect ratio between time spent on work (and work-like activities, […]

Why Working Longer Won’t Make You More Productive

I'm calling for a new conception of the “ideal worker.”


I’m calling for a new conception of the “ideal worker.” I don’t know anyone who has worked for a traditional business and hasn’t run up against our cultural notion of what journalist Brigid Schulte calls “the ideal worker”–the perfect employee who, without the distractions of children or family or, well, life, can work as many hours […]