The Pursuit of the Right Things

LKN-PMApplying a more selective criteria for what is essential is always beneficial — but even more so this time of year, with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaching.  Gaining control of your choices and identifying what is most important, will make the holidays more enjoyable for you and those you celebrate with.

Greg McKeown doesn’t believe in having it all or doing it all, and his new book Essentialism offers advice for getting more out of life by doing less:

“… the pursuit of less allows us to regain control of our own choices so we can channel our time, energy and effort into making the highest possible contribution toward the goals and activities that matter.”

Helping my clients embrace the idea of living with less is the first step in organizing their spaces. Whether downsizing or wanting a more creative and organized workspace — removing the visual clutter, clears so much mental clutter.  If you need help getting started or a plan for learning to live with less, contact me at diane@positiveworkspace.com.

What is most important to you?

 

Failure: Learn From It and Try Again

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Learning to deal with setbacks and failures is something we can always improve on. In this interview with Marie Forleo, Cathy Collaut discusses her 4-step system to overcoming devastating setbacks and the kinds of conclusions that are appropriate and inappropriate to draw, as a result of them.

Here is an overview of the 4 Steps:

Step #1 –  You must learn to deal with setbacks and failures with clarity, constancy, and confidence, if you’re going to live a life worth living.

Step #2 –  Successful people fail just as often, if not more, than unsuccessful people. How you respond to failure is what’s important.

Step #3 –  Celebrate the effort, not the result. Genuinely applaud yourself for trying.

Step #4 –  Don’t let specific failures become global; confine your conclusions to this specific “try”.

 

4 Simple Ways to Corral Your Office Clutter

An organized space doesn’t necessarily mean everything needs to be in a drawer or closet out of sight.  There are some things that make sense to keep visible — either for easier access or as a reminder of important tasks.

Giving some thought to the containers used for these items will help to create a neat and orderly system, preventing piles of clutter from taking over your space.

With a designated place for storing something, you’ll be more likely to put it away, and more importantly… find it when needed.

Here are four of my favorite clutter-busters:    

1.  Trays

Trays are perfect for all the little items that tend to get put down anywhere or misplaced, like  – wallets, loose change, keys, stamps, staplers, and business cards.  If the trays used are somewhat small, you will be forced to think about what you really need to keep and what can be tossed.

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Brass Trays – $150 for a set of 3

2.  Desktop File Organizers

Having current file folders on your desk is a good way to keep focused on the most important tasks or projects, and for organizing loose papers until you have time to file them in their permanent location.  Some category ideas for desktop folders are – ‘Monthly Bills’, current projects/clients, ‘To-File’, and ‘To-Read’. You will want to limit your desktop “action” folders to a handful of current projects – or you lose the benefit of an organized reminder system.

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Russell + Hazel Acrylic Collator – $30

3.  Baskets

Baskets of all shapes, sizes and styles are great for so many storage solutions – magazines, newspapers, mail, printer paper and stationery. The nice thing about having designated storage for magazines and catalogs is, when the basket is full you know it’s time to take a few minutes to purge your collection.

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4.  Clear Project Envelopes

Clear envelopes make it easy to find what you’re looking for while keeping your papers contained and manageable.

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed by piles and stuff — pick one of these storage solutions to get more organized today. If you need help getting started or want a custom and affordable plan for your challenges with workspace organization, decluttering, or down-sizing, contact me to talk about your options at diane@positiveworkspace.com or 704-236-9181.

 

3 Ways to Bring Energy and Interest to Your Office

You can frame practically anything – your child’s artwork, maps, special menus, wallpaper – the options are many.  Hang your art floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall, and it will bring a room to life.  I love the variety of the prints on this art wall.  With white walls and bold furniture any design will work.

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Framing family photos and clustering them is another way to bring warmth and inspiration to your office.  The black and white photos with white  frames and mat boards would look good with any office design.

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Lastly, botanicals.  They are vibrant and interesting and bring a little of the outdoors inside.

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You can search botanical prints on Etsy or Pinterest for inexpensive options.

Etsy  rawveganani  EtsyIris

 

Countdown to College: Tips for Freshmen

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Arrive ready. Ready for a solid start to a successful first semester. And ready with the knowledge of resources available to help you when you stumble.

Freshman move-in day is fast approaching and one of the best things you can do in the weeks before you leave for school is to gain an overview of what to expect when you arrive on campus. Sometimes the excitement and anticipation of getting to college (and away from home…) glosses over the need to consider the many changes and challenges that take place in the first few months. For a smoother transition and a stronger start to your college career, you will want to do a little preparation before you arrive.

Here are a few primer lessons from Stepping Into College to get you off to a great start:

  1. Remember that social space is shared space.  Everyone benefits when we all watch out for each other.  Put in quality interactions and you will get back more of the same.
  2. Never forget that you are the boss of you.  Social interactions will often bring situations that require you to answer to someone else.  That should never mean that you surrender your own ability to make decisions for yourself.
  3. Remember, there are people who love you and care about you, no matter where you are and no matter what emotional state you are in. Let that knowledge give you confidence.
  4. Generosity is always a play for the win.  No one loses when people are generous. Give of your time, your spirit, your wisdom, and your heart.
  5. Be mindful of your own limits.  You cannot be everything to everyone. You cannot even be everything to yourself.
  6. Don’t expect everything to go off perfectly.  It is too high and too unreasonable an expectation of yourself and of others.
  7. Communication solves practically everything.

Do You Remember Your 2014 Resolutions?

Back in January instead of making resolutions, I picked 2 words to provide clarity for my 2014 plans.

BRAVE and FOCUS

 

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In an attempt to be more BRAVE, here are 2 things I have done this year:

1.  Getting comfortable with asking for help.

People like to help.

Working for myself and spending a lot of time working alone, it’s easy to get in the mode of trying to do everything myself.

The knowledge, opinions, and ideas of others, are invaluable. They can bring excitement to the good ideas and help us to rethink the not-so-good ones.

Here are 2 examples of how my business has benefited from asking for help:

  • My father is an avid reader who starts his day with a stack of newspapers. He sends me articles about organization, time management and entrepreneurship, which has been wonderful for building a portfolio of new information and for staying current on things I might miss.
  • Meeting on a weekly basis to work with another small business owner has been a very big contributor to getting  things done. This uninterrupted, dedicated time for working on projects, and having a new perspective as we share ideas, has helped me on many occasions.

2.  Committing to teaching a Paper Organizing Bootcamp in the fall

This is my really brave endeavor. Speaking in front of groups is way out of my comfort zone – I will let you know how that goes…

The 3 things that have helped most with FOCUS are:

  1. Incorporating single-tasking in my days.
  2. Setting a kitchen timer to 45 minutes for working on my tasks; taking a 5-10 minute break and then resetting for another 45 minutes.
  3. The Day Designer day planner.

If resolutions haven’t worked for you in the past — or for 2014 — I recommend choosing a word for help with guiding your actions.