Monday, June 30, 2008

So what do you think?? Increase productivity or decrease human communication?

A wonderful Professional Organiser from the US, Alison Carter sent a link to an article about how Instant Messaging (IM) is helping increase productivity is some workplaces. Read it here!
mmmmmm.....This got me thinking. Are we dehumanising the workplace even more with a move to this type of communication? Don't get me wrong, I am all for increasing productivity, however as a person who works from a home office and often yearns for face to face communication, this seems weird to me. I can certainly see the use in some instances but for IM to become the norm in an office environment just seems like overkill and depersonalising.
Often we ask the questions, "What is wrong with society?, Why the increase in Crime?, Don't people care any more?". Some of this can be answered by looking at how we are becoming less and less personal in our interactions with each other.
Kids do not pick up the phone and call friends any more, they text each other. People no longer just stop by and say hi to their neighbours and friends as we are too busy. People seem to be forgetting how to relate on a face to face and conversational level.
So I worry that this type of "communicating" in a work environment will take us another step closer to not needing to address each other on a "real life, human" level.
Like I said I am all for increasing productivity, but at what cost? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Inbox Zero - Merlin Mann, 43 Folders.

Here is an amazing tool for those of you who think you are unable to tame your email inbox. Check out the video.

This takes an hour, but it will be an hour well spent. Or you can just subscribe to his blog.

Enjoy and have a fab weekend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gain and extra hour at work - without doing overtime!!!

Have you ever wished you could get an extra hour in your day to get the stuff done you need to at work?
Today I am going to share with you a couple of tips to get that extra hour in your workday. There is a catch though. It will require some action on your part. However I can promise you that if you take the prescribed action you will get that extra time.
This is a quickie but certainly a goodie, so here it is. If you do this when you go to work tomorrow I promise your productivity will rocket.
1) DO NOT check your emails as soon as you arrive in the office - I can hear you all groan now. But hey, the emails will not go anywhere. So do not open your email program, YET.
2) Take out a piece of paper and write down all the tasks you need to get through that day, make sure you note all the tasks, even the yucky ones.
3) Pick the two tasks that you least want to tackle. You know like that awful phone call you need to make or the difficult proposal you need to write. Then DO THEM NOW, FIRST, PRONTO. Great, I bet that feels better
4) Now you can check your emails.

By changing your morning routine to do these things in this order, you will have an increase in productivity that will equal at least an extra hour of time. HOW? I hear you ask.
The reason is:
1) Your emails are a distraction, each email you respond to will take between 2 and 20 minutes of your time. So by prioritising your day before you get sidetracked by emails you have a clear picture of what you really need to achieve.
2) Doing the two hardest and least desirable tasks first makes the rest of the day a breeze. All your other tasks will be a cinch after doing the hard stuff. Also knowing you have a horrible task to do can distract you, so getting it done first decreases the amount of mental distraction you carry throughout your day. This mental distraction will reduce your ability to perform effectively, so getting rid of it makes you more effective = productive.
3) Checking your emails after setting your daily priorities and doing the hard tasks allows you to approach your inbox with a renewed perspective. You know what your priorities are and you are less likely to waste time on emails that do not serve a purpose.

So go on, I dare you to challenge yourself to get an extra hour in your workday and increase your productivity. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Oh and while you are in your email program, switch of that pesky "you have mail" notification, ahh there you go another way to increase your time and reduce distractions.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Seems my website is working again and also I seem to be getting my emails, hooray. Life resumes as normal.
Have a fab one, thanks Jeri and Julie for reading, checking and commenting. you guys rock.

What is it with me and Technology?

I woke at 4am this morning, still on Europe time I think!!! So I got up at 5am and thought I would tackle some work.
We have the AAPO AGM today and Committee meeting as well as a weeks worth or being away to catch up on. So communication is vital today. However I log in to outlook and get error messages, then I try and check my mail through webmail, and get more error messages. My website is DOWN. I am on a technological desert island. Totally cut off from the world, LOL. At least that is what it feels like.
I am finding technology more and more frustrating. My webmail keeps telling me (3 times in past 2 weeks) that my mailbox is full and emails will be rejected. I log in and there is nothing in my mailbox, go figure. This always happens on a Sunday or when I am overseas, so a quick fix is not easy. My web hosts take ages to reply to my emails, if they bother at all, which doubly sucks.
Biy what is it with getting good reliable and working service these days??
I just needed to vent big time. But hey if you want to email me with sympathy or ideas, you can't, your email will bounce, AAARRRGGGHHH.
Thank you to blogger for giving me the forum to vent my frustration at 5.41am on a Monday morning while I am jetlagged, and thank you for listening.
I think I will go walk the dog, Banjo, in the dark and rain this morning, maybe that will help me feel better?
I promise a more upbeat non venting post later today or tomorrow. also I will be back with news of the ISP being fixed, sooner rather than later, I hope.
Have a great Monday, cause I sure as hell ain't..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello from Ireland

Just a quick note from "rainy" Dublin.
We have had a great 5 days in Ireland and loads of interesting journeys and dinners. I am currently sitting in "the Clarence Hotel" in Temple Bar Dublin. Pete and I are about to go and visit the Guinness Beer factory. I will stick to my cider, and we are heading back to NZ tomorrow.
I will do a much fuller report on my return, but just wanted to say hi.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Special Announcement - Yippee to me!

Last night was our monthly Chapter meeting for NSANZ - Christchurch (National Speakers Association of NZ). I almost did not go as was feeling a touch under the weather, and still have preparations for my trip to Ireland tomorrow.
Well I am glad I did, as we had some fantastic speakers; Anne Howie and Jennifer Manson from our membership ranks and then the special guest for the evening Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw
Also as part of the night our President, David Clarkson, presented me with my ASM (Accredited Speaking Member), this is the first award on my way to the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation. I also received my completed Professional Development Certificate as well, along with Roydon Gibbs & Jocelyn Scott.
I am so excited as I have achieved this in 18 months as a member of NSANZ - Christchurch Chapter. I love my speaking career, it is something that really lights my fire and I am truly passionate about. So this recognition makes it all worth while. I encourage all my fellow NSANZ members who have not applied for Accreditation to get on the path, it is really a great way to set you up for speaking success.
I apologies for the very "me centric" post today, but I wanted to celebrate and share my success.
Wendy Davie A.S.M

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ahh Saturday Musings!

I am sitting in my office, looking out at beautiful large snowflakes drifting down outside. I am also listenisng to "The O Myth"
This is a fantastic Blog radio program by my NAPO buddies Krista Colvin and Brandie Kajino, so have a listen a great program on getting everything done. Fantastic job you guys, you really are trailblazers inthe industry.
Wow, snow is still falling and I need to get ready to go to the Cancer Society fund raising ball tonight, we will get a bit cool in our ball gowns in the snow, LOL.
I am also excited to announce that I am lined up for a 2nd term as the President of AAPO (The Australasian Association of Professional Organisers).
I have a wonderful team on the executive committee for the upcoming year, they are Angela Esnouf - VP, Wendy Hanes - Secretary, Gaye Cherry - Treasurer and Karen Koedding, Rebecca Johnston & Rebecca Mezzino as our general committee members. I would also like to publically acknowledge Sarah Cottman & Angela Miller-Davis who have been an amazing asset to AAPO during the current Committee Term, Thank you to both of you for your amazing support and work over the last 12 month.
Well I had better get ready for the Ball, have a wonderful weekend.
PS: The above pic is of my kids in 2005 when we had a big snow at our house, you can see we have a fab driveway fro tobogganing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Auckland Professional Organiser & other stuff (the big Stuff)

I am sitting in Auckland Airport waiting for my flight home, still feeling very chuffed about the brilliant job Jane did yesterday in my Boy's room.
I have been up here for the day meeting Clare Gregory, who is my new Organising Consultant in Auckland, and let me tell you she is wonderful. It is great to finally be able to offer services in NZ's largest city, Auckland. I know that Clare will be brilliant.
I heard yesterday the TV3 is starting a new program "The Big Stuff" in a couple of weeks and it will no doubt do wonders to lift the industry profile here in NZ. A few AAPO members (myself included) were approached to audition for a TV3 program a while back, and while the job seems to have gone to a "Life Coach" not a "Professional Organiser" if this is the same program. I am confident it will portray the industry in a great light.
As for my audition, I was told they "liked me" (whatever that means) but being in Christchurch made it too hard for me to host the program, as it was being filmed in Auckland (1hour 20mins by plane away), I even offered to commute for the role, but missed out.
However when my book is released in September, I know that I will be incredibly busy with that and all the speaking I am booking up at present, so things certainly must happen for a reason.
All the best to the team at "The Big Stuff" for the premiere on the 19th June, I will miss it as I will be in Ireland, but I look forward to the reports I will get from my spies (the kids) at home.
However if you are inspired after seeing the program or any other of it's type, you know where to come for the most experienced Professional Organising Service in NZ. Yes US........shameless self promotion I know, but hey we deserve it.
Well I am looking forward to seeing the family tonight and flight leaves shortly, so will sign off. And as for Christchurch being too far away from Auckland, I woke at 6.30 in CHCH, breakfast with my daughter at home, flew to Auckland, had 3 meetings in Auckland and will be home in time for dinner, too far phewy, LOL...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yes I am human, but we did it!!!!

Whoohooo, you have no idea how good it feels. I did it, took the plunge and hired and organiser!! Yes today I had an amazing 3 hour session with Jane Madison-Jones, one of my amazing Christchurch Consultants, and became a client for a day.
It was brilliant and I am unsure why I waited so long. The best thing (other than the fabulously organised room) was I walked a mile in my clients shoes.
I felt sick to my stomach and nervous for 2 days leading up to our 11am appointment. This was at the prospect of "airing my dirty laundry" to someone else. Wow, it is hard, but so worth it. Everyone expects me to so organised, and normally I am, however my boys room had got to the stage I felt I was fighting a losing battle so I surrendered. I let the boys be in control of their room, what a disastrous disorganised mess it became. The boys are 8 and 10, but hey I do not believe a mothers place is to pick up after her perfectly able bodied children, so I let them be in charge of "their space" Here is the result:

Well enogh was enough, I was so over their stuff and clutter, it felt too hard to tackle on my own, yep this Professional Organiser is human, and called in my expert.
We worked hard and I delivered 40 kg (88lbs) of stuff to the refuse at the end but we have a fabulously organised and tidy room. Not sure how long it will stay tiday for but definatley organised.
We are about to demolish that end of the house to do a major renovation in the next few months, so some said why bother, but this is the reason why, check it out:

So I dare everyone of you out there to get stuck into the Organising project you have been putting off. I can tell you it feels BLOODY MARVELLOUS!
If you feel it is too hard then get some help, stop putting up with average when you can have fabulous.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Welcome to Winter

Hey Team,
Well it is officially winter here in NZ, June 1st. Only three months till spring, and you know what that means for a Professional Organiser, yep the busy season. Spring cleaning comes alive.
Now here is an idea, just for fun. How about you spend some of those upcoming cold winter days sorting your stuff. MMMM, now why? I hear you ask, because then when Spring comes you can get of your Winter cushioned butts and enjoy the warmer weather instead of Spring cleaning. Now there is an idea I could go with.....
So lets get into some Winter decluttering so you can enjoy a Spring Fling, instead of Spring Cleaning. The next day off you have that is cold, wet and miserable get into your wardrobe and biff out all the stuff you no longer need or love, then hit the pantry & fridge, then clear out your bookshelves and so on till winter is over. You will thank me for it, I promise.
Now for all my loyal friends and colleagues in the northern hemisphere, I say to you, just get out there and enjoy your Summer leave the decluttering till next winter, just kidding!! We know there are icky days in Summer too sometimes, so you guys use that. Then come next winter for you, icky days can be spent on the sofa with a good red and a great movie.
Ahhh gotta love Winter. Rug up my fellow southern hemi readers and rock on in summer for you northerners.