Monday, January 20, 2014


Here we are again...  I'm re-thinking my blog(s) because I've gotten a bit off track & am melding the 2.  THIS blog is supposed to be about work space organization and efficiency (my specialty).  The other blog (Tchotchskes) is supposed to be my designer fun, "look what I've found" shopping/spending blog.  I'm re-thinking the "re" theme on this blog that it would be better suited towards Tchotchskes, and by the way, I adore the name "Tchotchskes" (chotch-skeez), but not everyone understands it, identifies it, can pronounce it, defines it, so is it working???  So much more interesting than "accessories" but, again, if the meaning is lost...

I have a theory:  if you have to define something, its time to go back to the drawing board.


Friday, January 10, 2014


30 Days of Hustle by Jon Acuff:  Days 1 - 10

So far, so good - I'm being intentional with my time, although I've let a few hours of wasted time slip thru my fingers.  :(  Haven't done a lick of exercise since January 1st and have eaten my weight in chocolate since coming back to work.  HOWEVER, I'm chipping away at my main goal, which is my "Hustle" quest and my focus for the month of January.

A quick recap of the exercises Jon Acuff has us do and what my participation is in them so far:

Day One:  What's my 30 Days of Hustle goal?  To organize my papers - my "brain dump" - and get that mental chaos under control.

Day Two:  Why do I want to do this?  The clutter in my brain, and of my file piles, and on my desk is inhibiting me from doing other things...

  • first off, I need to be able to find what I need for what I want to work on, right?  
  • Secondly, I need the space freed up to make room for what I'm trying to accomplish @ the moment.  
  • Third, the chaos is distracting.  
  • Fourth, it's my freakin' job, for gosh-sakes!  'Nuff sed.

Day Three:  How am I going to do this?  By tackling one piece at a time in a 3-step process.

  1. Step One:  gather all papers together from the general paper clutter collection points - desk top, kitchen counter, top of the filing cabinet, catch-all cupboard in the main living area and sort all piles are gone (I have a box for each category), except for the "immediate action items" (aka "IA")
  2. Step Two:  IA items completed first (note:  this is a never ending process, because there is always something that needs to be acted on, but if you fall behind on this task, you could be treading in very dangerous waters - not returning calls, forgetting to mail a birthday card, missing an insurance payment, losing track of a reimbursement check - etc, so getting it under control & establishing a system for maintaining that control is an absolute MUST!).  
  3. Step Three:  Category by category, box by box, paper by paper, going thru one by one until 100% completely filed and cataloged, with a defined maintenance program and process routine schedule!  

Day Four:  Make it FUN!  Ugh, how???  Add in an element that makes it enjoyable.  My fun element is to turn on HGTV while I work.  I never have time to watch this network, yet I find many of their programs inspirational & motivating.  By having the TV on this channel "keeping me company," I not only have visual stimulation, but I will probably end up with an idea or 2 that I'll want to implement somewhere along the way.  :)

Day Five:  When will I work on this (be specific)?  The first 30 minutes of every work day will be spent reviewing & organizing my to-do-list and formulating a plan of action to complete the day's goals.  I commit to a working lunch hour for the month of January where I will set aside 30-45 minutes of this time towards my Hustle Goal.  I commit each weeknight evening, between 6:30p - 7:30p towards working on this, and will use the time between 7:30p - 8p to manage my emails & take notes for what needs to be tackled the following day.  Weekends, I commit to a 2 hour block of time, 8a - 10a, both Saturday & Sunday, doing the same.  

Day Six:  Where will I work?  At my desk, which is really an antique kitchen table because I prefer a large worksurface (and since I tend to pile - hence my current dilemma! - I need the spread-out-able room).  I will stand, not sit, for the sorting process.  When it's time to tackle any IA items that come up from my most recent sort, I will spend the last 15 minutes sitting at the dining room table completing those items (or adding them to a specific time on the calendar to be completed - ex: scheduling a long-overdue doctor's appt would need to be made during the doctor's office hours).

Day Seven:  Identify who you will be accountable throughout the process.  Ha, Acuff said this would be easy, but it's not.  I can't think of anyone I want to be accountable to about this & don't ask me why.  I guess I'll make this blog my accountability partner...  if I think of anyone else, I'll update this.

Day Eight:  Envision the Future!  Make a dream board, write an article for a magazine as if I've accomplished the goal, take real pictures and map it all out...  OK, fun exercise but I don't have time for this!  OK, OK, I'll make the time & will share in an upcoming journal entry.

Day Nine:  Minimize the Goal by 50% - the idea behind this is that it will makes it less intimidating if you see the halfway point of accomplishment as a measure of success.  Hmmm...  so, if I only get to the point of managing my IA tasks and sorting all the papers into their respective categories - and then maintaining that part of the process, but never actually re-sorting & purging the boxes themselves, then I'll have accomplished 75% of the overall goal (since my goal is a 3-parter, I'm having trouble with the 50% marker), I should celebrate!  Well, ok, I know I can reach that level, at a minimum, by January 30th.

Day Ten:  Know (and admit) the triggers.  Yikes, I don't like this one, especially since I know one of my triggers is the television...  Well, ya see how this works is, you honestly identify those things that make you fall off the wagon.  For my Hustle Goal, the television is a MAJOR distraction - depending on the show (Matlock, Murder She Wrote, Perry Mason, Mystery Woman, Columbo, Jesse Stone, Lifetime TV movies, reality TV programs or ANY hilarious sitcom, such as King of Queens, Friends, Frasier), I will end up WATCHING the TV & not working.  This is also the case with news or a documentary.  So, I know those are my triggers & not to turn the channel to them...  HGTV is different.  Unless its a competition show, such as Design Star, or a Sarah Richardson program (must sit transfixed whenever she's on), I can work thru those with little distractions - often just the reveal catches my attention and if I think I want to revisit it in detail, I'll hit the "record" button before the show ends & can go back later when I have more time.  So, even tho TV is a distraction trigger for me, I'm sticking with my Day Four Fun Element on that one.  Other triggers are magazines (definitely a part of my paper clutter so a necessary evil), email, Facebook, text messages, interesting news items on my home page, food, boredom, phone calls, the dogs, the cat, my son's stomach & his social needs ("will you take me to..." requests, or his impromptu decisions to spend time with Mom, therefore invading my work space, commandeering the television, usually to a sporting event, talking incessantly, moving things, rough-housing with the dogs causing my piles spread hither & yon!), Pinterest, home housekeeping requirements, my husband's curiosity with how I'm spending my time...  WOW!  I have ALOT of triggers!  I get it - this is why people invest the money in an off-site office for their home based business.  OH MY!

So, there you have it:  Days One - Ten.  I have some assignments to complete (damn vision board and establishing some family boundaries) but otherwise, I'm engaging in this program and chipping away at my physical & mental clutter.  #feelinggood

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


REsolutions, REvelations, REservations...

Those words have become my theme for starting a new year.  Well, really, any new beginning.

2014 needs to be a new beginning for me so lets add one more word:  REflections.

I've had a tough year.  It hasn't been good.  I've been beaten down & I wallowed in defeat.  I don't like that.  So, I took some time to be introspective and REalized I needed to make a better effort to bring on those life-changers I've been thinking about, mulling over, contemplating, but not acting on.  No drastic giant leap of faith (yet), but daily baby steps in the right direction.


I read recently that REsolutions are a waste of time and energy, that our behaviors tend to not change, no matter our good intentions.  We should instead concentrate on ONE major goal - a bucket list item - and work on achieving that this year.  Hmmm...  something to consider...  if I were to focus on one bucket list item (there are so many!), I think it would be write to be published, so that's going to be my focus for accomplishment this year.  I've already set up a meeting with a freelance writer to pick her brain on how to get started.  Blogging regularly (as I keep promising) is another activity in that direction.  Starting and keeping a journal is another way to get more comfortable so I've set a goal to journal every day.  I'm not looking for an income as much as I'm looking for my voice.  I'm REsolving to stop dreaming about the stories in my head & start writing them down.

Jon Acuff challenged his readers to partake in "30 Days of Hustle" and today, Day 1, the kick-off, he encouraged everyone to pick ONE thing, a goal, we're going to focus on over the next 30 days and challenge ourselves to do something daily that propels us toward accomplishing that goal.  Today's assignment is to pick that ONE thing and declare it!  Well, not really.  That is an option via his Facebook page, if you are so inclined, but what you really must do is write it down & post it where you will see it EVERYDAY.  It should be a REflection of your personal goals & values, and it needs to be specific.  I've really done some soul searching on this one because I've had just a tough, mentaling draining year so I feel like my goal should be something towards making that necessary drastic life change, but my heart isn't in it just yet.  I'm feeling very discombobulated so it seems fitting that I should get that confusion in order first.  I've REsolved to spend the next 30 days working on "paper organization."  Bleh.  How boring, right?  Well, my thoughts are this:

  • 1) it is a necessary evil I'm severely behind on;
  • 2) being disorganized, paper-wise, inhibits my other goals - I can't be creative if my idea file is in 4 different drawers filed under 4 different names; I can't work on my son's graduation memory book if my pictures are everywhere but in an album; I can't get my finances in order if I don't know where my receipts and statements are...  See what I mean?
  • 3) how can I seriously present myself as a successful, professional expert on business development and space planning if I am an behind-the-scenes disheveled mess?  Now, let's be clear - my papers ARE collected together into like materials, as I encourage my clients to do when we're working on getting them organized.  But my buck has stopped there.  Whereas I coach my clients to take the next step & organize their collected materials into specific categories, I've kinda-sorta fallen off that wagon.  It's become a "someday" project for many years now and I've decided it needs to be a higher priority.  Hello, "someday is now."  ~sigh~
  • 4) REmember this is a 30-day challenge, not a year long challenge.  If hustle thru this & accomplish it in 30 days (which I can - and will - do), I am opening myself up to focusing on something else afterwards (getting out of debt, starting a fitness program, building my client base...)

I "met" Ali Edwards through my scrapbooking interest (temporarily abandoned now, but not forgotten and NOT forfeited!) - she's one of the greats and is highly acclaimed for her creativity.  Many years ago I learned of her annual one little word focus initiative - the idea is to pick a word as your focus word for the year, something that REpresents your passion, interest, goals, values, etc.  I've thought about it over the years, but have never partaken.  I'm not going to register for her program, but I am REsolved to participate in my own little way.  The words that have come to mind are "authentic" (because I need to concentrate on staying true to myself, "focus" because I need to FOCUS, very much indeed, and "craft" because I need to hone my craft(s).  I'm going to write all 3 down on separate pieces of paper, shuffle them & pick one.  Whichever one I pick is the winner.  Here goes...

FOCUS it is.  Well, whaddya know.  

Facebookers are sharing some interesting thoughts of 2014:  "7" is the number of perfection, so "14" is double perfection.  Apparently, this year is supposed to be super-perfect, doubly-perfect year!  Interestingly enough, in Numberology, 2+0+1+4 = 7.  Coincidence?  I've decided not.  And I'm REsolved to make the most of it.

Another phenomena on the 'net is tonight's new moon.  Rarely does a new moon appear on January 1.  The last one was 19 years ago.  Due to some recent heartache, I've learned lives can change drastically in a minute, so 19 years seems like a very long time to me right now.  If this new moon on the first day of the new year is special & promising, I'm jumping on the bandwagon.  Hail to the new moon, hail to the new year.

Insanity is doing the same thing over & over, yet expecting a different result.  Um, that sounds like stupidity to me and I am REsolved to not waste another year - another day - being stupid.  I have too much life in me to live, so, hey, 2014, bring it!