Organisation & People Performance Inspired Honey Blog

March 16, 2009

LESS IS MORE – IN THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISIS

No-one needs to tell you what’s going on these days: frozen funds, crushing credit card debt, companies going belly up, and we won’t mention the stock market. The repercussions are hurting us all. But here’s something we’d like you to think about.

It’s easy to point the finger at the government or lenders. How could they have let this happen? Did the government force any of us to go into credit card debt, to buy a home we couldn’t afford, to keep up with the Joneses with new cars every couple of years, the latest gadgets, clothes, shoes, and holidays? No, the time of personal reckoning has come: a life of living off of borrowed money, and suddenly its all come to a screeching halt. We need to change the way we think about our finances, and clear out the financial clutter that is ruining our lives.

Are you drowning in the stuff that chokes your home and life? that You only have the space you have. You can only fit so much into your home. By the same token, you only have so much money. In this land of plenty, where more is always better, we’ve been acting like our bank accounts are bottomless. All of this is a way to get more: more money, more clothes, more gadgets, more of the latest and the best, more of all it, more ‘more’.

 

However, the news is clear: like it or not, we have to get used to it. We can either rail against it, continuing to drown in debt, or we can use this crisis to create a new path of hope, happiness, and well being for ourselves and our families. With crisis comes great opportunity – if we are brave enough to seize it.

Have you noticed that it almost always takes a crisis for people to make big changes in their lives? Even though it may fly in the face of what we’ve been conditioned to believe, more simply is not better, for ourselves or for our planet. We need to fundamentally reframe our attitudes towards our stuff and how we spend money if we want to improve the quality of our lives and the future of our families.

Conquer clutter and also wade through financial clutter, clearing a path to financial health and harmony. It’s not about the stuff. Experience has shown again and again that if you focus on ‘the stuff’, you are never going to get to the root causes of your cluttered lives. It’s the same thing about debt: if you just look at the money aspect, you will never get to the root of financial distress. You can make spread sheets and create elaborate budgets or speak with financial advisors until the cows come home, but you have to get at the root of your consumption, deal with it in an honest way, and create a vision for the life you want for yourself.

 

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February 28, 2009

Decluttering and the deceased

Natasha, I do have a question, how do I tread delicately when it comes to things involving the deceased?  We have been to some funerals in the past and my husband feels a need to keep the order of ceremony(?) afterwards.  Especially in the case of Peter Brock – his hero – we have the funeral service leaflet, all old Auto Action magazines and a pile of books etc, is there a de-cluttering etiquette? 

Good question about dealing with clutter and the deceased. And one that comes up often for us.

Keeping an order of ceremony and funeral service leaflet is absolutely fine as a way of honouring the memory of that person. The problem is once again when there’s no boundaries. Keeping every ticket stub to every movie you went to with your husband, or every Peter Brock magazine is a problem. Why? When everything is important, nothing is important.

The other problem is the affect emotional clutter can have on the present. Those items with sentimental value remind your husband of the past. When he looks at it, he relives an experience. People usually worry that if they let go of the item. they will let go of those memories. And so families have piles of mildewed photos, stacks of crayon drawings, yearbooks, and orders of funeral services.

The question I ALWAYS ask my clients is: “How are you treating those items? Are family heirlooms hidden in your garage? Taking up space in your closet? Does the place this important item holds in your life, truly reflect the value you claim it has? If you respect it so much, why isn’t it in a place of honour and respect in your home?

I’m alittle harsh, I say to them, “either you value something – or you don’t. Either you have room for something – or you don’t.”  The value you say an item has – is that reflected in the place you give that item in your life?

Prevention:

If something is important: give it a place of importance

Learn to separate the memory from the item

Ask yourself: “can I remember a person without keeping ALL their stuff?”

Can I find a way to respect and display that memory? eg frame one or two of the best items.

Ask your children or husband to pick 4 favourite items and frame or display them under clear tablecloth on a table or hanging on the wall.

Of course you can always fall back on the ole faithful: having trouble letting go? Store it for one year and relook at it again, asking yourself if you ever enjoyed it during that time.

Hope this helps. Happy decluttering!

February 19, 2009

Motivate yourself to start a task you’ve been dreading. Part 2 No more Procrastination!

5. Give the task a TOP A+ priority. High priority means you have placed it at the top of your “To Do Today” list and you should not move on to the next task until you have spent your allocated time on this task. Remember a task is not a project. A project should be broken down into smaller tasks and these tasks are usually only 1-2 hours.

6. Give yourself a day off. This makes the project manageable. Looking at the big project can be overwhelming and this is probably why you have procrastinated in the first place. So a day off is a reward and something to look forward to, making you more likely to keep at it!

By keeping the bigger project in mind, and remembering that everybody needs a break every now and then, will help you maintain focus. Estimate how long you think the project will take and print out or record a couple of “rewards” for your schedule. Having these can motivate you to accomplish more on the days you are working on your relevant tasks, but if you do have a slack day, you can use a “reward or passout” and still keep on track.

7. Look for support. Is someone else you know in the same boat? Is there someone else who would like to support you? Find a partner and work together if that is possible. Find a team mate who is working on a similarly dreary task and start a friendly competition – winner buys a coffee or lunch at the end.

8. Stay on course. You will get interruptions, but get back on track as soon as you can. The longer you wait to return to the task, the harder it will be to remember exactly where you were. that’s human nature!

February 11, 2009

Motivate yourself to start a task you’ve been dreading. Part 1

Motivate yourself to start a task you’ve been dreading. Part 1 No more Procrastination!

For months you’ve been promising to clean out your files or tidy up the garage and the growing piles of stuff are adding to your guilt each day as you trip over things and can never find the piece of paper you need right now. The time has finally come – no more excuses – you’ve made the decision now and you’re going to get this done today, or at least get it underway!

Tips and Tricks:

1. Change your Mindset. Think of ways to make this task more pleasant. Your decision to start creates a shift in attitude and the battle is more than half won by this alone. Treat yourself to a special little reward either before or after your daily efforts. Be prepared – have the appropriate clothes on, anything else you need – tubs, shelves, rubbish bags, pen, timer.

2. Pay yourself. If you want to reward yourself before or after your daily efforts, why not set an hourly rate and pay ‘yourself’ for working on this dreaded task. Use the money you earn to pay for your reward – movie, dinner out, coffee, book, massage. Just don’t allow yourself any treats until you have enough task money to pay for it. Even if you pay yourself a mere $5 per hour, this may well build up quickly and is still a lot less than if you out-sourced the task.

3. Create a soundtrack to set the mood. With current technology, it is simple and quick to create a playlist of great music that will put you in the mood for doing your task. Think about appropriate music – could be upbeat, positive lyrics for mundane jobs that require movement; could be classical music for a task that requires concentration.

Tell yourself that you will work for a certain number of songs or tracks, put on your earphones, get busy and groove along to the sound as you work.

4. Set a timer. Set an electronic timer for 15, 30 or 60 minutes. Work on your task until the timer sounds. This will keep you focussed long enough to make an impact. Maybe have a quick 5 minute break if you wish, then back to the task until it is completed

January 7, 2009

Holiday Organisation

The holidays are a busy time. Why? Everyone’s shopping. Sunbaking. BBQing. Travelling. And buying more, more, more! When you’re busy, things tend to slip around the house. Bills fall behind. And with all that shopping, more stuff sneaks into your home. Start the year right by taking control of post-holiday clutter.

Purge the Chrissy decorations

When you take down your decorations—whether it’s the lights on the house or the ornaments on the tree—it’s a great time to sort through old, unused, or broken decorations. Also limit decorations to the space you have, and clearly label the boxes in which they’re stored. Use different boxes for type of decoration (eg lights or the tree) to avoid confusion and help keep order. A little effort here will pay off next Christmas!

Use the right storage containers

Using divided boxes for tree ornaments and padding for lights to ensure that expensive items are not crushed or damaged in storage. Large, plastic stackable bins are great for lights, decorations, and larger seasonal items. Label them clearly and store them in the less-trafficked zone of your home or garage.

Create clear labels and attach one to the front of each bin so that you can clearly and quickly find what you’re looking for!

December 2, 2008

Other Ideas For Christmas

Other Ideas

Any parent would love to receive a family portrait

  i-pod accessories

• Ten Pin Bowling

• Surf lessons or Extreme activities in your area

• Golf or Putt Putt

• • Harbour coffee cruises, river cruises

• family zoo pass

Beauty treatments are a delicious indulgence.

• Driving lessons

• Have a grandparent that doesn’t see their grand kids often? Put a photo on a mug and they can enjoy them and the cup of tea! Have a father who’s just discovered computers? Put a funny photo from your childhood on a mouse pad.

 

If you prefer a more personal touch: handmade chocolates, cake, biscuits or decorations. A selection of handmade cards to use throughout the year will make a lasting impression.

Instead of the gift exchange, start a new tradition with extended family. Combine resources to donate to a charity OR do a draw to buy for one person up to a set amount (eg $100) instead of buying for all. OR just buy for the children…

Create a Gift List and keep it handy. List all the people you have to buy for, as well as their size, likes, dislikes and previous gifts given. Take it with you shopping as a reference. No more doubling up or last minute dash for a forgotten gift!

November 20, 2008

Clutter Free Christmas

Filed under: Organisation, Productivity — Tags: , , , , — inspiredhoney @ 6:02 am

A 2007 survey estimated that 760 million was spent on unwanted gifts last Christmas. Most common unwanted gifts were scented candles, foot spas and kitchen electrical gadgets.  2 in 10 received socks or jocks. Who buys the most useless gifts? Apparently, work colleagues and MOTHERS-IN-LAW!

 

‘Vouchers’ or ‘gift cards’ are quick & painless.

It’s rare that you pick something that someone actually loves. People usually return something because it was the wrong size (or perhaps they don’t like it and just said it didn’t fit). Take out the guess work out and get a voucher!

Wish Gift Card – www.wishgiftcard.com.au

At www.giftcards.com you can buy a virtual gift card which is emailed to the recipient who then uses the cash amount you’ve designated to buy things on-line.

• Movie tickets – (buy a book of 10 and hand them out…)

• Shopping vouchers to any store will please a young person: Sportsgirl, JB Hi-Fi, Borders

• Magazine subscriptions, for teenagers or adults (these are great for kids who get alot of stuff at Christmas as your gift lasts for 12 months)

More tips next week….

November 6, 2008

Get Ready for Summer! Declutter This Spring!

Filed under: Organisation, Productivity — Tags: , , , , , , , , — inspiredhoney @ 2:21 am

EXPLORE THE BLACK HOLE THAT IS DISGUISED AS YOUR GARAGE!

Whether it’s the garage, that space under the stairs, the spare bedroom, or the attic, everyone has a fave black hole for things that they don’t need right away, might need someday, or just can’t get rid of. It’s time to tackle your storage areas!

Divide!

Divide your home into areas and tackle any storage closets in one zone each week during this month. The four areas might be the garage, bedrooms, living areas, and laundry—choose areas that make sense to you.

Spread the load

Ask friends or family to help if the amount of stuff in storage is large. This can help make the task manageable. Volunteer to return the favour.

Remember—you only have the space you have!

Cull the items you have stored to fit the space you have. Specify areas in your home for needed temporary storage—garage sale items, gifts for re-gifting, or borrowed items like books or videos that need to be returned. There’s lots of school fetes at the moment – get a stall and get RID of the junk!!

Storage areas

Discard items no longer needed or used, store like items together, and clearly label storage containers and boxes. Remember that garages are often cold and damp. If you have a rented storage space, keep in mind that storage outside your home should only be used in extreme circumstances, and then only for a short period of time.

Think about what’s stored in your garage. Out of sight is out of mind. Now’s How long have you had it? What if you take the plunge and sell or discard everything in there? Would your life change in any way (other than that you’d have space to breathe in)?

October 28, 2008

Tips on Adding Simplicity to Your Technology

Filed under: Organisation, Productivity — Tags: , , , , , — inspiredhoney @ 6:13 am

5. Keep it Clean

You may not thing about it much but dust, condensation and even mold can get into your technology and reek havoc with it. Most technology needs nothing more than a regular dust to keep it in top condition. The fans on your computer are especially susceptible to drawing in all the nasties in the environment (especially if your desktop computer is actually a floor residing one). You can use your vacuum cleaner on low with the upholstery brush to clean the dust from the back of your computer. While you’re at it the same attachment works wonders on the keyboard.

Never use commercial cleaning products on any part of your technology, especially screens (it sends them cloudy) and if you are unsure always consult the user documentation or the manufacturer’s website.

EXTRA TIP :

There is of course one place where you don’t want to simplify things when it comes to technology – your passwords!

Make sure that any password you have contains a mixture of upper and lowercase characters, numbers and if permitted characters such as !@#*.

Try to avoid words that are commonly found in the dictionary and definitely DON’T use birthdays or drivers license numbers.

So there you have it 5 tips to keep things simple when it comes to your technology and one way that simple can get your technology in trouble.

October 5, 2008

Tip 4 On Adding Simplicity to Your Technology

Filed under: Organisation, Productivity — Tags: , , , , , , — inspiredhoney @ 4:57 am

4. Get a regular 10,000kms service

Just like you service other regularly used machines to keep them running well unless you give your computer a regular service the hard drive can slow down, the RAM can get clogged up and your frustration levels can rise. Many people believe that it might be time for a new computer when this happens when in fact all that is needed is a regular service.

If you are an everyday user of your computer then I would suggest a monthly clean-up and defragmentation of your hard drive using the systems tools that came with your computer. Every 6 months I would suggest a visit by your favourite technician to clean up the registry, make sure that there aren’t unnecessary processes running and to maximise the speed of the machine.

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