Well I am one-third the way through July and I have been enjoying my organization journey very much. The last few days were somewhat hectic with a funeral yesterday and a ball game in San Francisco on Wednesday. I was able to fit in yoga and some walking but didn’t focus too much on organization podcasts and the break was fine. I have been following the self-talk recommendations from Zig Ziglar with a morning and night-time ritual of reading several paragraphs of positive self-talk and I find it really helpful. It is subtle in a way but I do feel a difference. Today I thought I would continue with a couple of episodes from the Stop Procrastinating Now Podcast and I was happy to find the sentiment of positive self-talk surface in both episodes I listened to today. The first was on Emotional Intensity and talked about both internal and external intensity and the importance of fueling that to get things done. Steve talked about low intensity and lack of motivation and that it is often learned which means we can learn to be more intense in how we approach life. The next episode was on the idea of Reference Emotion which was described as an opportunity to control how you approach your day. In other words, starting the day with some thought of how you want to feel and how you want the day to go is important. This is where the parallel came in with the Ziglar Self-Talk approach. I know in my own experience I used positive self-talk before important meetings and work presentations. I learned that way back in college in a speech class I took and how important it was to visualize a successful presentation. That was probably one of the most important things I learned in college and I consistently applied that principle in my work. Many of the concepts, ideas, and principles I am listening to in the podcasts are things I already have heard or learned but hearing them again is a reinforcement and is helpful in moving me toward a successful July project. Lastly, I listened to Zig’s podcast on Balance in Life and I think that is always a good thing to revisit. Balance is important for our health and well-being and should be an element of a successful life. In retrospect, I was not as balanced as I should have been in my career. I regret that I spent more time at work than I should have. I felt at the time that I needed to do it but I wish I had practiced balance more. In the end, the work organization never really appreciates it or cares. You can sacrifice yourself for work but it is an empty sacrifice as the organization moves on and generally forgets. Your family, as well as yourself, are much more important and that is why balance is so important.
I think this week I will re-group and set a few concrete goals for the remainder of the month. I’m enjoying this July journey.
I have been busy listening to podcasts about organizing, procrastination, and getting things done! There are actually some good ones out there and although most of what they share I have heard before, it is nonetheless motivating me to get things done. Since my last update on July 4th, I have listened to approximately 5 podcasts. All of them have had a little nugget or two of good information. The main thing I am finding is that it is making me think about what I want to do to organize my home and my life, and it also helps me understand that this is something that people do have a problem with so I am not alone.
Organizing 365 Podcast with Lisa Woodruff in a whole house challenge with an episode to deal with each specific issue or problem. Lisa shares her experiences and offers some advise which is pretty good. The episode I listened to was #001 (I like to start at the beginning!) and tackled kitchen paper. At first I didn’t know what to expect — kitchen paper, wallpaper, wax paper, what?? However I got it immediately as she discussed the paper that accumulates in the kitchen, mail, notes, receipts, etc. I thought I was the only one with that problem but no it is real for a lot of people. She provided information on systems to help manage the paper and a definite weekly review so that the paper does not get out of hand.
Stop Prograsting Now Podcast with Stephen Stavrekis from Canada. I listened to the Premier Episode and this podcast is only comprised for 10 episodes — similar to a training module. It was actually very good and enlightening. I know I am not the only person who procrastinate so there was no aha there. I did learn though that procrastination is a feeling and that visualization of completing the task successfully is very helpful. He cautioned against forcing ourself to do something where we have procrastinated and instead, look at it positively and visualize success so that you want to do the task. I thought this was an interesting perspective. I know that many times I procrastinate about something because it is unknown, or the outcome is unknown and there is an element of fear associated with the task. I liked his approach to positive visualization and that resonates well with the self-talk concepts presented by Zig Ziglar. I think I will listen to the remaining 9 episodes in this podcast.
Organizing Mindfully Podcast – Episodes #4, #5, and #6. I listened to these while I cleaned my house on Monday, 7/6/15. Episode #04 was titled Organize the Clutter with Julie Ulmer. Episode #05 was Learn About GTD – Get Clear Space and Be Present with David Allen. I liked that one as it refers to the benefits of being organized in that we have more space in our brain for other things. Getting clear is a great concept, and it is something that can be achieved on a regular daily basis instead of once a year when we go through everything preparing to go on vacation. I think everyone has experienced that. It is an intense period of organizing and making decision so that you can relax on your vacation. It generally feels very good as you think you have a handle on everything. Well, following the GTD system, that can be an everyday feeling. The last episode was #006 Organize then see Transformation and Obtain Goals with Sarah Buchwalter.
I am also working on the Motivated Moms app to keep things up around the house and although I’m not doing each and every task listed for the day, I am doing quite a bit and it does make a difference in the house. There is a satisfaction in feeling like you have mastered the house routine and that things are generally clean. So from my perspective, the Motivated Moms app is really a maintenance app and I need to do maintenance even as I organize. I think maintenance is in some ways harder to manage and to get motivated about so I consider this an important component of my July project. Maintenance, along with organization, should help me move forward.
Motivation is the spark that lights the fire of knowledge and fuels the engine of accomplishments. It maximizes and maintains momentum.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Today is the fourth of July. I think sparklers are appropriate and this quote just nails it for me today. For my walk today, I selected two podcasts to listen to – Organizing Mindfully and The Ziglar Show – Motivation & Inspiration to Fuel your LIfe. The OM podcast featured an interview with David Allen which was really good and provided some good information. Primarily I walked away from that interview with a sense that you need a place for everything and that you don’t have to be perfect all the time. In other words, a creative mess is okay as long as you can clean up quickly. That is a simplistic summary but I did get it and understand that as we create we often make a mess and that is okay but once that process is over we get back on track. That actually sounds good to me. However, the podcast that really got me excited was the Zig Ziglar one which I found this morning before my walk. I’m looking at all types of resources out there to get me motivated and excited about my July project. The episode I listened to was #320 titled “The most life changing thing you’ll ever encounter.” It was really about positive self-talk and the importance of doing that daily, both morning and night. I know from experience that this works but I have not done this consistently or really monitored the impact of a daily ritual of positive self-talk. I’m going to do it this month and as soon as I got home from my walk I looked at the Ziglar website and signed up for the self-talk cards. I know this may seem hokey but I’ve always done hokey and have benefited from it. I think there is really something to this positive self-talk and frankly I’m really motivated and my engine is fueled! I’m truly grateful for that and that I’ve ignited that spark again. Happy 4th of July!
Organize Mindfully — those are two words that individually resonate with me and together they are definitely intriguing. I have been feeling somewhat unmotivated and that is not something I am comfortable with. I like being energized around an idea or concept or project or something that gets me excited and enthusiastic but the last week or so I just have not been feeling that. I have given it thought and tried to reconcile with the feeling but in truth, I like to feel excited about getting things done. There are lots of things going on right now and all of those influence the way I feel. One is the weather and the heat does impact my energy. We have had several days over 100 degrees and lounging around in a cool house sounds more appealing than running around getting things done! I’ve also been somewhat slack on using my Motivated Moms app which helps me keep the house clean and organized, and most importantly, my eating and meal planning has gone by the wayside and my digestive track feels it big time. I think that could have something to do with my energy level too! It is not busyness I seek but a feeling of creating an environment that is comfortable and allows space for creativity.
So, today, as I was getting ready for my morning walk, I decided to check out some different podcasts and looked at the Top Charts for Podcasts on my phone. I looked at quite a few but two stood out for me. The first one was Organize Mindfully (hence today’s title), and the other was Getting Things Done. I am familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done concepts and have his book. I tried to use it when I worked but wasn’t able to be consistent with it. The idea of organizing is something I like and I always feel I am in a perpetual state of organization! So I decided to listen to an episode from each of these podcasts as I walked. And as a result, I found was my project for July — organizing! And I’m excited… which feels really good. Following is a recap from the podcasts I listened to this morning.
- Organize Mindfully – Be Inspired to bring organization into your life. This is a twice a week podcast hosted by Mark Dillon who interviews organizing experts and designers as well as mindfulness experts like Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. I was intrigued by this idea of mindful organization as I am not seeking out organizing in a robotic way or seeking perfection and living life by a checklist. And mindfulness is something I aspire to and practice meditation pretty consistently to become more mindful. The first episode I listened to was called 002-Simplify your life and embrace your true self with Jennifer Ford Berry. It was an interested 32 minute interview and the main concept I came away with was to have a vision of what you want your result to look like. I equate that to Steven Covey’s “have the end in mind,” which helps provide direction and structure to whatever you are taking on. I checked out Jennifer’s website and looked at some of her products. She does have a new book on inner clutter which I think is an important concept and that one needs to work on both inner and outer clutter to really get organized. She also focuses on the concept that organizing is liberating and ultimately can result in more energy and creativity.
- Getting Things Done – GTD. This podcast had a more business focus and is designed to support listeners at every stage of their GTD practice. The episode I listened to was 05-Daily Habits with Charles Duhigg broadcast on June 17, 2015. The episode was 25 minutes and the main thing that stuck with me was the idea that little things done consistently, good or bad, will have a huge impact. Charles Duhigg is a reporter for the New York Times and also the author of a book titled “The Power of Habit.” Charles used the example of deciding between a salad and a hamburger everyday and that if you consistently choose the hamburger for 365 days, it definitely makes a difference. I know this concept is true but to hear it discussed, and to give more thought to it, it is something I will use as I make decision and prepare plans. They used the concept with the idea of money, saving and or spending which is probably easier to grasp. There was a lot of discussion about habits in general and the idea of routinizing things that you want to do consistently. This made me think of my Motivated Mom’s App which helps with housework and other household chores. He identified a trigger, a routine, and a reward as part of habit formation. I visited his website to get more information and there is a lot of free resource material he has offered on his site. I’m definitely going to see if his book is in the library and also review his free materials.
I didn’t start out today thinking I was going to find my project for July, but I am glad I did. It was just what I needed and now I feel really motivated about the month and I look forward to some of the things I will learn, or relearn this month. This month my focus will be on learning about the concepts of organizing through listening to podcasts, reading books, and searching for information on the internet. I would like to incorporate new habits as I go along so that at the end of the month I have a clear vision of how I want my home organized and a plan of action to make it happen!
This is a good quote for where I am right now – July 2015
July 2015 – I know it is July and I feel a little regret that I didn’t record any of my May or June activities for 27 Things. I don’t feel big regret, just a little twinge of the r word in hindsight. However, I am keeping a journal, a daily journal, that I have been pretty committed to and find that I like doing that. But this blog was designed to help me do bigger things, track my progress, and help me feel somewhat accomplished. Maybe 27 things is too many things to try and cram into a month. I don’t know but I would like to continue to identify things I want to do and record my progress. At this point, the beginning of July, I don’t know what I really want to do for the month. Retirement has done funny things to my sense of getting things done and it is a more relaxed way of approaching life and actually, I think that is a very good thing. Maybe I don’t need to feel accomplished! Maybe I feel okay just the way I am living my life today. I could toast to that! Cheers.