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.

 

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!

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