Repose and Productivity

shutterstock_127021823When I saw this image, I knew I wanted to write a blog about it.  The words create an image of a person in repose.  What I noticed most was the negative connotation the words had for me…procrastinate…blame…cowardice…ignorant…selfish…uncouth…slacking…loaf…disobedient…irresponsible…  Lazy is a word that brings up lots of feelings for me.  I wouldn’t want anyone to label me Lazy!  The presumption is that repose and productivity are not related.

What do you think about taking time for your self…time of quiet, of repose, of relaxation?  What are the words that come to mind for you?  What were you taught when you were younger about work and rest?

What do you think about when you actually do take time for yourself?  What you should be doing instead of resting or playing?  Do you go through your to do list?  Isn’t there something more PRODUCTIVE I could be doing?

You will find in the small print of this a couple of words…relax…wishful…But those are the only two “positive” words that are there.  I invite you to replace the words that are above with new words and new meanings.

Calm…quiet…content…creative…listening…inviting…considering…hoping…planning…regenerating…rejuvenation…creation…meditation…healing…health…being…productive…

What words would you add to create your image of repose?

By creating this time for yourself, you actually increase your productivity in your work and family…This is time where you may solve the problem that has been plaguing you…This is the time where you will SEE and Create the alternatives!

How Much Time Does that REALLY Take?

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Have you ever put much consideration into how long it takes you to do certain tasks?  Email, newsletters, reports/paperwork, cooking, putting away items?  I ask this question in part to bring awareness to the actual time it takes AND to bring awareness to the conversations we have with ourselves around these tasks.

The situation that brought this to mind was my recent commitment to eating at home instead of dining out.  I became aware of my internal conversation that eating out takes less time than preparing meals at home.  In my mind, it took hours to prepare meals.  I noticed that I actually spent at least as much time driving to my destination and waiting for my meal to be prepared.  I also found that there are plenty of meals I could prepare in just a few minutes.

So you may be asking, how does this apply to my work?  I find that we either over or under estimate the amount of time that it takes to do certain tasks!

  • Consider the items that you procrastinate on because they take too long.
  • Consider when you dump an item on your desk [or elsewhere] with the thought that you will put it where it belongs later.
  • Consider the amount of time it would take to just call someone to schedule that appointment, clarify that point, or get that fixed.

I invite you to consider that we often stop taking action or postpone action due to how long we think something will take.  I invite you to challenge your inner conversation.  Ask yourself is that really true?  What can I do now to get started?  I invite you to do it now!

This is how I keep myself from piling things on my desk, or especially my bathroom counter…when I have the thought “I will put it away later”, I remind myself it will take less than 15 seconds to put it away now.  If I wait until later and continue in this vain, it will take 15 minutes because I have allowed things to pile up. 

What do you see for yourself out of this conversation???

My Week of Email Chaos

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So, last week I had the brilliant idea to have my brother, who is also my webmaster, add email accounts to my Go Daddy account. Well… as a user of Office 365, my email was diverted from the Go Daddy account to Microsoft. When the new email addresses were added, that system broke, and thus ensued one week of email chaos. Oh, and did I mention I was traveling the whole week too!

I made a few discoveries as a result of this experience:

  1. I feel powerless without my email, especially since I was traveling and could not fix the issue until I returned to my office! How was I going to communicate with people? What if I missed an exciting opportunity? What would people think if I didn’t respond immediately? I literally had a few moment so panic! I took a couple of deep breaths and managed to set up the email on my phone!
  2. I get a freaking lot of emails! I’m usually shielded from this onslaught by the fabulous rules for moving emails out of my inbox into folders. Then I get to choose when I read the emails. Now however, they were all in the inbox, taking up precious mental energy because I had to determine what was important and what wasn’t! I couldn’t find emails I was looking for! The important emails were obscured by the crap!  When I finally got the email working, I really only needed about 10 of the 100 emails I had received!
  3. Outlook 365 saves me more hassle and frustration than I realized. I am able to see all of my emails on multiple devices, all the folders, search and find things easily. Without this feature I felt stalled, less efficient.
  4. I felt more generosity and compassion for people (and some of my clients) who deal with this chaos all of the time.

So, in summary, learning email management skills has been a tremendous time and energy saver for me. Call me today if you need any assistance with setting up an email management system!  You would be amazed at how freeing an empty inbox can be!

I also became aware of my attachment and reliance on technology. I am grateful for when it supports my efforts to make a difference and aware of the stress it sometimes causes me!  What do you see for yourself?  What is your relationship with email and technology?

My Lessons from Organizing a Freezer

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Yes you read that right!  This weekend I organized a freezer.  Not just any freezer, mind you, but a walk-in freezer at a local soup kitchen where I was volunteering on behalf of a civic organization that I am a member of.  So doing what I do, they mentioned that they needed the freezer organized.  How could I say no?  I LOVE ORGANIZING A SPACE, especially when it helps a group of people do their work easier.  So sign me up, right!

Well, I learned a few lessons from this endeavor.

  • Industrial freezers are COLD.  Not just 32 degrees cold, but 0 or colder cold.
  • I am truly a southern girl!  I didn’t know how quickly cold can turn you into a mumbling mess.
  • Don’t wear capris, thin tennis shoes and a sweatshirt in a 0 degree freezer.  Luckily, my husband went home to get me a few layers of clothes and hiking boots.
  • People in all walks of life do not believe that it takes just a few moments to put something back where it belongs. Instead, we throw items anywhere we can find a space, then never find the time to make it right later.  I invite you to take just a moment or two to find the right spot OR ask where the right spot is before just putting an item where ever you can drop it quickly.  You may also want to read last week’s blog on a similar topic!
  • We say yes to things before we really know what we are getting ourselves into.  I say we, because I see this with family, friends, and clients every day.  While this can allow for personal growth by giving us a challenge, it can also lead to resentment and irritation if we allow it to.  We can ask clarifying questions to allow us to better understand and better prepare for what is being asked of us!
  • People truly love to contribute to others.  If someone offers you assistance or support, find a way to say yes to their offer.  You are giving them the gift of being a contribution.
  • I love, love, love the immediate gratification of creating a space where people can do work they love and contribute to others.  [This I realized only after thawing out and getting brain function back again!]

So, would I do it again?  YES!  AND I will be better prepared for the endeavor the next time!