Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome to my site!

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Hello, Just wanted to properly introduce myself. Please post any questions you may have or contact me at goodtobeorganized@hotmail.com.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Networking Magic

Last night I hosted a networking event for 15 local business owners at the Curious Palate (yum!). It was a wonderful event and a nice exercise in organization (albeit event organization, not space organization).

The thing that is most wonderful about person to person networking is...well...the fact that it is person to person. There is something magical about hearing someone talk about their business: To see them light up when sharing, to hear little anecdotes about how the business began, to hear what was learned in the process of growing the business, and especially to hear the business owner speak about their vision for the future of their business. One cannot help but want to help the business owner after that and that is what is magical.

I am sold on the idea that no business is an island. The strongest businesses are run by people who have a strong network of trusted people. I feel so fortunate to be making and maintaining these connections. I believe these are the connections that will benefit all in the long run.

A big "yes" to networking!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NO MORE TO-DO LISTS! NO MORE PRIORITIZING! HALLELUJAH!!!

Last night I went to a Professional Organizer's networking event/lecture. The topic was "Time Management" and the presenter was incredibly lovable. She gave us tips on how to prioritize, how to create to-do lists, how to find short-cuts and streamline our businesses and how to dream big. All wonderful things and I listened to what she had to share because she is a successful person in our industry.

At the same time, the message of "Prioritize" and "To-do's" is anti-GTD. And I realized the true freedom of working with the GTD methodology. It's like it all begins to sink in, what David Allen says. To-do lists DON'T work. I mean, they do work in the sense that they point to the things we hope to accomplish. But, they are also, by their very nature, set-ups for failure. Life happens in the span of time. And that means interruptions, unexpected/unforeseeable events, human foibles, fatigue and all the other factors that can crop up on any given day. The "To-Do" list doesn't save us from those things. Prioritizing doesn't save us from those things. They ARE a part of life and must be accounted for in our quest to get things done.

I like the fact that GTD is sinking in more. It makes it all the more uncomfortable, not having the system fully in place. But even that is good - it makes the hunger for it stronger too. I am convinced, pretty absolutely, that David Allen has hit upon the truth of human activity in our daily life. He really is on to something...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Universe conspires to GTD

I am excited! Life does that, it excites me with all of its wonderful little mysteries and coincidences.

I mentioned in one of my first posts that I was introduced to "Getting Things Done" by a friend. Well, this friend is not a person I see all that often. In fact, he is a customer at the diner where I work part time. So really, I only ever see him when he has a hankerin' for some good old fashioned home fries - or black beans, yes John, I know you prefer black beans :)

At any rate, that same friend came in to the diner today and after sharing with him how much I have benefited from the introduction to GTD, we talked a little about our struggles. Motivation to do it alone: neither one of us has it. SOOOOOO John suggested we...da da da da!!!!! HELP EACH OTHER! Brilliant!

So I asked that we start with his office because I am dying, just dying to go through this process as a facilitator. I really think I have a pretty good understanding of the process. We shall see, right? We are, after all, the blind leading the blind. But the cool thing about this is that we both know that we're blind. In this, it's all an experiment to see if we can actually set each other up to get things done!

I sometimes just marvel at how wonderful the Universe is at working things out. After all, I could have never thought of such a plan. And yet I was craving, absolutely craving the opportunity to give this methodology a try, to facilitate the process with and for someone else. How cool is this?!

Next action: Email John re: date for first GTD office assessment.

Signing off.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Networking Event - Life Hackers


Oh...If there is one term I dislike it's "Hacker".

I hate it! I associate it with serial killers. Or lumberjacks. And yet, "Hacking" is the word of the day isn't it? Actually, it's even become kind of an overused word. I bet in many circles the term "Computer Hacker" is archaic...we've probably already moved on to more modern terminology. But I am slow, so I am only now coming to appreciate the term for all it's worth.

At any rate, a few weeks ago I was in search of a group of people who follow the GTD approach so that I could learn and share from them. I found a website called meetup.com (which is incredibly rich in networking and activity groups). One of the groups I found in my area - the one that most closely related to GTD - was the "Life Hackers" Group of Culver City. So I joined!

And then, of course, I wanted to MEET UP so I organized an event. Only a few RSVPed, but for those I was grateful and excited. So...I made my LIFE HACKERS MEET UP sign (so that my fellow Life Hackers would find me at the designated restaurant) and I created some typical mixer questions (Tell us about yourself: What do you do? What made you decide to join the Life Hackers group? What kind of tools or methodologies do you use to be more productive? etc). I was poised to host the night of productivity bliss. No one showed. Well, that is not entirely true: My dear friend Briss (who is a natural Life Hacker, very organized, very very productive) showed up and for that I was incredibly grateful.

But nothing is lost. Nothing is ever lost. And what this opportunity afforded me was a chance to contemplate the term "Life-Hacker" and to see where I stand on the spectrum of productivity/efficiency/streamlining etc. Here's what I discovered: I am a minimalist. I believe the key to "hacking" into life is plugging in. Plugging in, not necessarily to more sophisticated software or PDAs, but plugging in to life. Plugging in to what seem to be It's Natural laws. Plugging in to simplicity.

From my point of view, External Life Hacking begins when we are organized and our environments (our home, offices, creative spaces) are at rest: When we feel we can move in and around our space with comfort, ease and grace, when we are free from the weight of clutter, when we enjoy what we see in our immediate space. Internal Life Hacking begins when we are ordered within: When our relationships with others are harmonious, when we take care of our selves, when we are at peace with ourselves and our decisions. These ARE the shortcuts to living a productive life.

It's far too easy (and seductive) to distract ourselves with looking for the next methodology, gadget or technology which will put our lives in order and make us feel like more productive human-beings. I say this from a point of authority because I am guilty of looking for the one thing, that one thing that will help put life into a little box that I can understand. The code that I can crack. But I also know that I am most productive when I just do the very next indicated action. When I apply this to my life, I feel less resistance, less procrastination and much more enthusiasm. If that ain't hacking into something good, I don't know what is.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Out of the Closet!


As a result of 5 (count 'em 5) shots of espresso yesterday, I finally mustered up some motivation to look at my skeletons in the closet. Here they are:
<------ <--------- <--- <----- If I could make these arrows go vertical, I'd show you some more of the mess. But you get the picture (he! he!). In short, the professional organizer is not always so organized herself. And what we have here in this picture are (according to Mr. Allen) PROJECTS (anything requiring more than one action step). In this closet we have old journals (to be read, discarded, burned, who knows?), piles and piles of C.D.s (Do I import them? Use them as coasters? Frisbees perhaps?), photos (Oh! I really don't want to have to learn how to scrapbook, though I do have an appreciation for the art), memorabilia (My ex-boyfriends wrote the nicest letters) and art and craft supplies. There is work to be done here. And I have known it. And it has weighed on my psyche for a while now. But without "capturing" these items, they have always just been there swimming around in the back of my mind, only to surface whenever I opened my closet door.

Now, however, they have been captured on my projects list. I am not saying I am going to make any move on them anytime soon. But they are there ;)
And...I did tidy up the closet a bit too last night as I was waiting for my overly-caffeinated nervous system to allow me to finally get tired.

I also found myself very grateful for being (somewhat) organized. I think if the rest of my apartment was a disaster, I would find the Getting Things Done idea too overwhelming (at least to do alone without the help of one of David Allen's helpers...or even...David Allen himself! Oh! That is too much to dream!). I may not be working at a "mind like water" level, but I am getting a less ripply mind using some of the tools of the GTD methodology. That is a good thing!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fraidy Cat

Sigh. I chalked out July 1st and 2nd for Step 1 and 2 of the GTD process (collecting and processing) and I did not take action. I could feel it coming, the storm of uncertainty, the excuses, the F-E-A-R.

"What is there to be afraid of? It's just a little collecting after all!"

You're right! You are so right! There is nothing dangerous about collecting. But, I started feeling afraid that I wouldn't have what it takes to do the whole process. Here were my excuses: "You don't have an big inbox, Heather, how are you going to collect all the items?" "What if you pull all of these items out, sit them in the center of your room and fail to process all of them? Then you'll be stuck with this mountain of to-do's and you'll just have to move it into the closet anyway." "You don't have all that many items anyway because you are pretty well organized already. Though, you should be MORE organized because you are, after all a professional organizer. What would your clients think if they saw your place? Oh God! They would think you were a fraud! Who would hire you?!?!? You better clean up, girl. Fast!"

So instead of collecting, I did my dishes, threw away some clothes that no longer fit, and reorganized my kitchen cabinets and drawers. I will say my apartment feels nicer as a result. But the fact is...I am still operating on a "put fires out" kind of basis when it comes to my work flow. I know that in order for me to find that peaceful flow Mr. Allen talks about, there is work to be done. Starting with: COLLECTING.

I am not happy with myself for being such a resistant Fraidy Cat, BUT I am grateful for this resistance in one sense: At least now I have a deeper sense of compassion for my clients when they feel resistance to undertake the organizing process. It's simply not an easy thing to gear up for mentally. There is a lot of emotional stuff around all of this. Even simply attempting to be more productive brings up some of those odd human foibles (fear of success, perfectionism, uncertainty, etc.). This is all for good.

I'll continue to go at a snail's pace. Better to be a Slow-And-Steady-Snail than a Fraidy Cat, don't you think?