Happy New Year loyal weekly tip readers:
I know I’ve been gone a while. I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t write much last year because I didn’t feel I had much new to say. I’m tired of all the content clutter out there…the same stuff over and over again. I will not waste your time with that. I will write this year when I have new thoughts that I think you would find valuable. I hope that will be often.
Many of you signed up to receive my weekly tip years ago when I wrote exclusively about organizing. I have evolved and so has what I’ll share. I will be writing this year about organizing, productivity, and leadership as they relate to quality of life and making life easier.
This week I want to share with you my alternative to New Year’s resolutions and goals. This year I want to ask you to consider writing down your intentions. For many years people wrote about SMART Goals with the SMART meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I’m asking you to throw that out the window and write your SMART Intentions. Here’s a graphic I made to help you:
Consider what you want for this coming year. Set your intentions today and I am sure you will indeed have a happy NEW year.
Do you have a project to do, but don’t know where to start? Most of us don’t have access to complex project management software, nor do we want to make the time investment to learn to use it. I’ve developed a simple project planning process that yields many of the same results without the learning curve.
1. Get a stack of Post-its
2. Write down each task associated with the project. Don’t worry about writing them in any order, just write as fast as the ideas come to you. Be sure to use a new post it for each individual task.
3. Put the post-its in order. Consider – what has to come before another step, what would be the most logical way to do the work, if there is any significant wait time, and what would be best for you? During this process you may think of extra steps. Create a post-it for those steps and insert them into the process.
4. Assign a length of time it will take to complete that step to each post-it – it could be 15 minutes, an hour or a week.
Most days we have too much to do, too much on our plate so to speak. If we continually fill our lives with things to please others or only do those things we think we should do, our lives become unfulfilling and mundane.
Think of life like a Thanksgiving plate. I’m confident that on Thursday you’ll be selective about what you put on your plate so that you’ll have room for all your favorite things. If you fill up on rutabagas and parsnips just how much room will you have for sweet potatoes and pie?
Live your life like you fill your Thanksgiving plate – be selective about how you spend your time – and you’ll be more satisfied and fulfilled.
It’s surprising to see how many of my clients are traveling at this time of year. So much is going on that sometimes people tell me they wonder if it is even worth the effort to get out of town. Add to that the stress of re-entry and it’s no wonder our vacations don’t do such a good job of sustaining us. Of course I have a solution – and it is in that old fashioned form of a list.
I’m all about lists supporting you in getting the right things done, and we do that by creating zones in the list. For travel the list I suggest looks like this:
To make it work for you do as follows:
Sometimes just the smallest thing makes a difference. We spend a lot of time on computers and if we could do what we needed to do faster than there would be more time to do the things we want to do. Here are my Top Ten Google Search Tricks that help me save time.
|1.||Spell||Don’t know how to spell a word? Type in the word spell and your closest guess. As long as your guess is reasonably close, Google returns the correct spelling||Spell infintesimal||Infinitesimal|
|2.||Google Images||When looking for a product, type in product description and select “images” for your search tool (grey options across the top – 3rd one)||Desk top file and select “search images”||Pages of desk top files pictures that you can shop from|
|3.||Define||Need a definition? You don’t need to go to a dictionary website. Type in “define” and the word.||Define Complementary||Full dictionary definition|
|4.||Minus Sign||If you want to find something but leave out certain results use the minus sign||Caterpillar – tractor||Insect options not machinery company options|
|5.||Date Range||To identify a range of years use two periods. I use it often to get the most current technology results||iPhone updates 2013..2014||Only listings posted during that range of dates|
|6.||Timer||Let your computer alert you after a certain amount of time? Type in “timer” and the length of time.||Timer 10 minutes||A countdown timer that dings when you are out of time|
|7.||Math||Don’t have a calculator handy? Google does equations. Type in the equation and you’ll get the answer||365 * 24||8760|
|8.||Weather||What’s the temperature outside||weather and zip code||10 day forecast|
|9.||Answers questions||Google is just like your smart phone’s assistant (Siri)||When is daylight savings 2014||Starts March 9, Ends Nov 2|
|10.||Exact Words||When searching for exact words use quotes to delineate the exact words you are looking for||“Michael C. Jones”||Only searches that have the words Michael C. Jones, in that order.|