Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Underpromise and overdeliver

The cliche about overpromising and underdelivering is an interesting business philosophy.
The message relates to limitations and accomplishments. Most business people deal in the language of "deliverables." A deliverable applied to daily life is simply, "getting things done."

Today, people are obsessed with getting things done, the laundry, cleaning the garage, the dinner party, the bills. Not getting everything done usually relates to the converse of the cliche or overpromising and underdelivering.

A few easy tips to avoid this common problem:
  1. Be practical in your goal setting
  2. Be aware of how much time each task takes
  3. Do not overschedule
  4. Allow for flex time
I reccomend to many of my clients that they make smaller daily goals in order to achieve more each day. Over time, these little accomplishments add up to big change!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Be All and End All

Even though getting organized, managing clutter and sticking to schedules are pretty natural to me, there are times when even I need to kick back a bit.

The other day I was searching through my handbook to locate my date book, a lovely slim orange model that seems to escape into every cranny of my handbag. It took me a minute to find it, while my onlooking friend was actually cheering for the datebooks escape.

Have I become the be all and end all of organizing? The simple truth is that even organizers need to get organized at times. This is the nature of the process. Organization takes every day maintenance like every thing else. We all have to practice it to make it work in our lives.

With the planner in my hand, I began to reconsider if this pocketbook I carry is truly the right pocketbook, perhaps there is another handbag that is better? And so the process continues to find the most user friendly items and systems to help save time and confusion. After all, I am an organizer.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Have you been good?

At this time of year, when seeing a child, any child, I inevitably turn into the Santa Police.

"Hi, little Johnny, have you been good? Are you ready for Santa to visit?" I question.

It made me think that what I think about being good and what little Johnny thinks is being good are two very different, although viable definitions. Inevitably "being good" for me is the ability to suppress the urge to buy two cashmere sweaters per every holiday gift given or to scoop up Lindt truffles by the handfuls. It always involves too much shopping and too much chocolate.

Young Johnny, however is working on the basics. He is trying to be nice to his classmates, share his toys with his sister and respect his mother and father.

I will try hard to keep Johnny's definition in mind as I round up the remaining items on my list. I just hope the cashmere is not on sale!

Friday, December 16, 2005

One thing at a time, literally

The frantic pace of the holiday season is a constant reminder of how fast we move, how many tasks we manage and how much is on our collective plate. But perhaps it is just the time of year to slow down.

This week my computer failed me. For three days, I was in a frenzy trying to compensate for the loss of the most important tool for my work. Instead of typing away to friends and colleagues, I picked up the phone, wrote with a pen and took in a few good yoga classes. This breakdown allowed me to minimize my multitasking ways.

Ironically, the computer which began the multitasking craze was just the thing to make me slow my pace and to do one thing at a time. By the end of the week I was nearly caught up with the pressing tasks.

The computer and I are reunited once again and our love affair can continue. I realize now how different we are. Unlike computers, humans should only do one thing at a time and do it well.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Practice an Uncluttered Life

As a practicing yogi, I am contstantly amazed at the similarities between getting organized and the thousand year old practice. Could the ancient yogis have anticpated that modern people would be encountered with so much clutter? I like to believe that they did.

One of the most interesting aspects of the yoga practice is the notion of not wanting. Good practioners are to clear their minds entirely of their wants, ultimately reaching a place where mind and body are uncluttered. This leads to detachment of the hightest order. It leads me to believe that I probably do not need another cashmere sweater.

This concept is particularly relevant at this time of year, when the acquisition of material goods is unescapable. Even though I have only scraped the surface of my own shopping list, I am trying to be a bit more yogi-like when heading to the mall. Perhaps I can breathe deeply enough to get through the season without too much excess.

It certainly is worth a try!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Frenzied is Not Festive

In an effort to get a jump on the season,I decided to be the first kid on the block to host a holiday party. Because I am not one to scrimp on details, the planning of the menu, layout of the room, and shopping were all handled in meticulous fashion.

Even with all that planning, the day of the party, I was still feeling frenzied.

But , why?

The reason is quite simple, I don't like surprises. They make me nervous.

I was soon to realize that not eveything in life can be planned. With too much forethought, I would not have been surprised by all the wonderful housewarming gifts and the friends that traveled long distances. These kinds of surprises I can handle. And as if a Christmas miracle took over, I moved from frenzied to festive.

Afterall, the idea of the holiday get together is the get together part, isn't it?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Shopping friends

One of the most important things in my life are my friends. Not surprisingly, we surround ourselves with people that are like minded and share our interests.

A group of like minded friends and I were sharing our common interests the other day on a shopping trip to the Woodbury commons Outlet Mall. My friend Babs was as they "just along for the ride." She cautioned everyone in the car to "please do not let me buy anything!" A friend in need can be a friend indeed!

The other day, my mother in law, sister in law and I decided to get an early start on holiday shopping. My sister in law shared that she was up for the trip, but purely for the comradery, she really did not want to buy anything! "Holy willpower!"

I can only surmise that shopping perhaps does not always lead to buying. This, I must admit is a revolutionary concept for me. But more than that, I realize that shopping as bonding can be as powerful as purchase power! Both outings were fulfilling. We had time to talk and catch up on what was new in each other's lives.

In this frenzied world, I say take the time when you can, even if it is among the retail racks.

I might be hooked on a new addiction...