What is a Productive Obsession vs a Non-Productive Obsession?
Here are 3 ways we can learn from managing productive obsessions.
Summer is finally here in Colorado, yea! After a long dreary winter and spring, I welcome the warmth and sun.
Did you know that summer is the perfect time to de-clutter and organize your home, office and life! If summer typically is a slow time for your business, finally take the time this summer and do those long awaited organizing projects you’ve been putting off. You will thank me in the Fall when you get busy and feel the relief of having a ‘system’ in place to handle the overwhelm.
* For tips, ideas and way’s on how to organize your office, home and life, search this site with key words!
The Cost of Disorganization. “The average American burns 55 minutes a DAY, roughly 12 weeks per year looking for things they know they own but can’t find” Newsweek 6/09
Please go to the right panel on this website to: Cost of Disorganization Calculator.
How To Use Cloud Computing and iPEP to: Save space by eliminating the paper clutter in your office, save money by spending less on paper and ink, and save time by getting information faster, ultimately working more efficiently.
What is Cloud Computing & iPEP?
Cloud Computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid. Cloud computing is a paradigm shift following the shift from mainframe to client–server in the early 1980s. The term “cloud” is used as a metaphor for the Internet. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online that are accessed from another Web service or software like a Web browser, while the software and data are stored on servers. One cloud service provider is PBWorks which is the infrastructure for iPEP (interactvie Productive Environment Platform) Try iPEP for Free!]]>
Excerpt from The Four Hour Work Week – Mini-Retirements
I know the son of one deca-millionaire, a personal friend of Bill Gates, who now manages private investments and ranches. He has accumulated an assortment of beautiful homes over the last decade, each with full-time cooks, servants, cleaners, and support staff. How does he feel about having a home in each time zone? It’s a pain the ass! He feels like he’s working for his staff, who spend more time in his homes than he does.
Extended travel is the perfect excuse to reverse the damage of years of consuming as much as you can afford. It’s time to get rid of clutter disguised as necessities before you drag a five-piece Samsonite set around the world. That is hell on earth.
Let’s face it, though: There are tons of things in your home and life that you don’t use, need, or even particularly want. They just came into your life as impulsive flotsam and jetsam and never found a good exit. Whether you’re aware of it or not, this clutter creates indecision and distractions, consuming attention and making unfettered happiness a real chore. It is impossible to realize how distracting all the crap is – whether porcelain dolls, sports cars, or ragged T-shirts-until you get rid of it.
Have you recently taken a mini-retirement? Share with us any success “de-clutter” story.
More to come next month on how Timothy Ferris de-cluttered.]]>
I love when it rains in Colorado, I get to finally use my beautiful umbrella….can definitely go with-out the hail.
Memorial Day weekend is a time for reflection and respect for our wounded warriors and honor our forefathers for their service and sacrifice. It’s also a time to remember your loved ones who have passed. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, fun and reflective holiday weekend.
Your Green Office. Have you checked your carbon footprint lately?
Do you want to go green in your office, but you don’t know where to start? Here are just some of the many simple steps you can take today:
Did you know that about 35% of municipal solid waste (before recycling) by weight is paper and paper products? Everyone has gone print crazy. We see something online, we print it; we get an email, we print it; we’re working on a project; we print it. We can each save trees, water, energy, and money by printing less!
You can do your part by using cloud computing (iPEP) every day! You not only save paper and help the environment, you also save space by eliminating the paper clutter in your office, save money by spending less on paper and ink, and save time by getting information faster, ultimately working more efficiently.]]>
Blaming idiots for interruptions is like blaming clowns for scaring children – they can’t help it. It’s their nature. Then again, I had (who am I kidding–I have), on occasion, been known to create interruptions out of thin air. If you’re anything like me, that makes us both occasional idiots. Learn to recognize and fight the interruption impulse.
This is infinitely easier when you have a set of rules, responses, and routines to follow: a ‘System’. It is your job to prevent yourself and others from letting the unnecessary and unimportant prevent the start-to-finish completion of the important.
1. Create ‘systems’ to limit your availability via e-mail and phone and deflect inappropriate contact.
Get the auto response and voice mail script in place now, and master the various methods of evasion. Replace the habit of “How are you?’ with “How can I help you?” Get specific and remember–no stories. FOCUS on immediate actions. Set and practice interruption-killing policies.
–Avoid meetings whenever possible:
–Use e-mail instead of face-to-face meetings to solve problems
–Beg-off going (this can be accomplished through the Puppy Dog Close)
–If meetings are unavoidable, keep the following in mind:
–Go in with a clear set of objectives
–Set an end time or leave early
2. Batch activities to limit setup cost and provide more time for streamline milestones.
–What can I routinize by batching? That is, what tasks (whether laundry, groceries, mail, payments, or sales reporting, for example) can I allot to a specific time each day, week, month, quarter, or year so that I don’t squander time repeating them more often than is absolutely necessary.
3. Set or request autonomous rules and guidelines with occasional review of results.
–Eliminate the decision bottleneck for all things that are nonfatal if misperformed.
–If an employee, believe in yourself enough to ask for more independence on a trial basis.
–Have practical ‘rules’ prepared and ask the boss for the sale after surprising him or her with impromptu presentation. Remember the Puppy Dog Close — make it a one-time trial and reversible.
–For the entrepreneur or manager, give others the chance to prove themselves. The likelihood of irreversible or expensive problems is minimal and the time savings are guaranteed. Remember, profit is only profitable to the extent that you can use it. For that you need time.
Excerpt from The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris.]]>
I attended a networking event last week that prompted me to write about the topic of Focus. It was an open forum to discuss burning current issues with entrepreneurs and everyone shared how much they feel ‘scattered’ and at the end of the day feeling like they did not get anything done. Sound familiar? The following are tips that have worked for me and my clients in regard to getting things done by focusing.
Focus. A pet peeve of mine. In fact, I have a very popular laser coaching workshop that teaches focus techniques to help you get things done in a timely manner without stress. Click here to find out more!
Do you have a difficult time focusing?
Well we all do! With the influx of information coming at us and available right at our finger tips, we tend to do “excessive” multi-tasking. Multi-tasking causes stress, short-term memory loss, and it negatively impacts concentration and attentiveness. Hence, you really don’t get anything done!
Do you desire to have control of your time, NOT time controlling you?
I believe we can all focus again by taking baby steps and learn how to tune out distractions and finally get things done without frustration and stress.
Remember, it probably took many years to get where you’re at in regard to your productivity pains and we all know that change does not happen over night.
However, by applying one focus tip at a time based on your particular work ethic and situation, gradually you start noticing that you have more time, more peaceful and productive meetings, your actually becoming more tuned-in to what is going on around you, then you notice something is missing…….oh yes that frantic, frustrated and tired feeling of overwhelm.
So, Who Are the NR?
The options are limitless, but each path begins with the same first step: replacing assumptions. To join the movement, you will need to learn a new lexicon and recalibrate direction using a compass for an unusual world. From inverting responsibility to jettisoning the entire concept of “success,” WE NEED TO CHANGE THE RULES!]]>
Wow! February is already over…..and I sadly say good bye to the Winter Olympics, it was such a blast to root for our country.
This issue will be talking about getting organized with iPEP; an interactive Productive Environment Platform Tool.
Last week, after four months of personally experiencing “Clutter is Postponed Decisions”, I decided to Finally Get Organized! Yes, your professional office organizer gets dis-organized too………life happens as it does with you.
For the past four months I have experienced two major surgeries, moving, my father passing and a frozen pipe bursting at one of my rental properties. Needless to say my office and desktop was cluttered and my “To File” box was overflowing into two additional ‘to file” piles.
Guess what? It only took me 2 1/2 hrs to get four months of filing and clutter removed on and under my desk. I ended up with 1 1/2 hrs of extra time to do what I wanted. It was an exhilarating feeling and the best part is that I immediately felt the overwhelm feeling, gone! I realized how much the ‘visual’ clutter was making me ‘feel’ overwhelmed. In actuality, my work load is very manageable.
How did I do it? First and foremost, I blocked out four hours of organizing focused time. I turned off the phone, email auto-responder, did not surf the web, did not check my email, all distractions turned off. On the hour, I took 10 minute mini-breaks.
I started with items on my desk, my action items; current projects. I went online ‘only’ to retrieve my iPEP Office System; a paper and electronic filing management system (for a Free Guest Account, click here.)
Opened up my Outlook calendar, and then retrieved my Swift File desktop filing system which also includes action folders; Receipts, Pay Bills, To Review, Boulder Linqs (my weekly networking group), Action 1-5 (current projects.)
Any items or documents that had an appointment or a date to remember, I input all the information into my calendar. Any receipts, bills to be paid, my current projects I’m working on, went into my ‘desktop filing system’.
I tackled my ‘To File’ box and stacks easily with a single keyword search into iPEP. I took each document and typed in keywords regarding the document and iPEP directed me effortlessly to where the ‘folder’ is located for that particular document. I did NOT go into a traditional filing system and scratch my head and waste time trying to figure out “which’ folder this document should be placed. iPEP is a finding system not a filing system. Truly a 21st Century paper management system for 21st Century Business. For a FREE Guest Account go here! For a FREE demonstration from your personal office organizer, please contact me.
Step 7. Next issue: The Magic 6: Tool 4 “Action Files” in detail. To recap on Steps 1-5 please go to Archived Productivity Tips.]]>
Once you “decide” things happen!
Okay, so it starts out like this. My boyfriend builds log cabins in Colorado and his busy months are from April-October and he work’s his little bum off. So, he decides several years ago that he’s had enough of the Colorado winters and now wants to spend them in Mexico. We started to go on 2 week vacations. Well that was not enough for him. He decided last year to go on two 1 month sabbaticals. He thoroughly enjoyed it, but missed me terribly. So this year for my birthday and our 5th year anniversary he got me a ticket to fly with him for a month. Well, needless to say, I was scared and excited at the same time. I thought, how I’m I going to afford this? How I’m I going to make this work? OH but how exciting to be on the beach in Mexico while Colorado is freezing and cold.
I immediately started planning for being gone for a month. All the while, thinking, this is crazy, what I’m I doing? I can’t do this? Of course I can do this! I have to do this, I have a round trip ticket for 1 month!
About 3 weeks before we’re leaving, he said he was at Office Depot and saw this book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek Escape 9-5 Live Anywhere and join the New Rich and thought, Brenda needs to read this!
I read it when we got to Mexico, literally with-in 1 week, and I’m writing this story in Novillero, Nayarit Mexico with the most beautiful palm trees and miles and miles of beach with no one around, working!
My goal for the next month was to create my Website. I have been here almost 2 weeks, and have gotten more done then I would have at home. I’m more focused because I have plans and play time in the afternoon. I signed up for Skype to communicate via the computer anywhere in the world and joined Elance.com and hired a web designer and a content proofreader. I hired a Graphic Designer via Elance to complete my website. I will be hiring a Proofreader and Editor via Elance. I signed up with my bank for online Bill Pay. My son is taking care of my home and my dog.
Once I “decided” to make it work, it did. Everything has gone as planned. Read the book, get inspired to join the New Rich. Don’t be a slave to your work for 50 years and then enjoy your fruits of labor when you’re old, do it now! Take mini sabbaticals or “retirements” as Tim Ferris mentions in his book, throughout the year. Hire out your menial jobs. Decide if you want to live your life NOW by doing all the things you would LOVE to do then schedule your work goals around it. It’s all about “deciding” and planning, and writing down your goals.]]>
Recently I have been organizing a client using the iPEP Business Edition. This is a collaborative cloud computing system that is helping her retrieve physical documents as well as her electronic documents via a web based Office Organizing system. Scroll down to Featured Service to read more about it.
The following is Step 6 of creating an Office System. To recap on Steps 1-5 please go to Archived Productivity Tips.
Step 6. The Magic 6: Tools 3 & 4 in detail.
We have found that 40% of the paper received gets tossed in the wastebasket, 40% goes to the file cabinet, and the remaining 20% requires action. How you handle this remaining 20% has a significant impact on your productivity. Most of your action items have a due date and a task associated with it. Now your ready to act or pass the information on to whomever you have assigned the task, and your ready to use one of the most important organizing tools in your life—your calendar.
Tool 3) Calendar. You can eliminate a surprising amount of paper and computer files by using your calendar. The key is to extract the information you need from the paper or document and enter it in your calendar then recycle the document. Here are some of the ways you can eliminate clutter by using the calendar.
Meeting notices: Let’s say you receive a meeting notice in your in-box or in your email. Enter the information–time, place, telephone number and email address–directly into your calendar. If there’s more essential information on the notice than will fit in your calendar, place the notice in your Outbox, Swiftfile or Action File (Tool 5; next issue)
Follow-up: If you’ve written a letter and need a reply in two weeks, make a note in your calendar on the due date “Heard from John?” This way, you use your calendar not only for appointments, but also for effective follow-up.
Appointments With Ourselves: Many of us are great about using our calendar to make appointments with others, but rarely make appointments with ourselves. That’s unfortunate, because the people Ive found who are most successful in managing their time and reaching their goals are those who make appointments with themselves to complete specific tasks and check on specific issues.
Tool 4) Database Management. Whether you use Act, Outlook, Send Out Cards, keeping an updated and clean database with your contacts is crucial in staying in touch with your marketing base. I meet so many people who have stacks of business cards that need to be entered in their database. Here are some ideas to tackle that project.
-Hire a Personal Assistant. You can easily get this project done with-in one day at a cost of $100 or less, with a priceless feeling of relief.
-This is one project I love doing in front of the television. At commercial breaks, I use that time to enter my contacts, try it, it works!
-If you have a laptop and your going on a road trip, this is a great time to work on this project.
-If you have teenagers, this is a very easy project to delegate.
-Don’t have this flexibility with a desktop, don’t want to spend money on a PA, then block out time on your calendar and make it a priority to get them entered.
Step 7. Next issue: The Magic 6: Tool 5 “Action Files” in detail.]]>