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Blog: Paper And Information Management
Even When It Is Quiet. . . We Should Listen

19319679It is about midnight here and I am inspired! How well do you listen? I mean, REALLY listen? To yourself, your surroundings, others...  Maybe you should try the test my son and I did tonight.  It has given me some new insights I'll share now.

Went for a walk

Ever since my little guy was old enough to walk on his own, we have had a spring/summer tradition. We wait until it is quite dark and then he and I will take a walk, just the two of us, around what ever neighborhood we are in. Once we got Danny (our Havanese puppy) he came along too.

There is something about walking at night (especially if only lit by the stars and moon) that makes me more receptive to new ideas, so it is a fabulous time to talk with my son (who is also a night owl.) He is 7 and is already getting into that phase of adolescence where he does not talk about much when he comes home other than "fine" or "OK" or "what's for dinner I'm hungry." When we go for our walks though.... things are different. He really opens up and we talk about all kinds of things. I learn and so does he.

Sat and Listened

Tonight, we came upon a park bench and decided to sit down for a rest before heading back. It is a BEAUTIFUL night. The air was a perfect 73 degrees with a slight breeze and NO humidity.

When we first sat down, we chatted for a moment and then it got quiet -- or did it? I asked my son to name all of the things he heard. At first he said "Nothing." I encouraged him to pause and really listen.

We heard

  1. The wind blowing past our ears
  2. The rustling of the leaves in the branches above us
  3. A train whistle in the distance listen
  4. Cars in the distance on both sides of us (east and west, but at different distances) listen
  5. Crickets chirping listen
  6. The puppy sniffing
  7. The rope from the American Flag across the street banging up against it's metal pole
  8. A dog barking in the distance to the east listen
  9. A car driving by listen
  10. Mom kissing son on cheek listen

"Wow! for a quiet night, it sure is noisy!" he said.

Uh... Steph? How Does This Relate to Productivity & Organizing?

Great question!  The noise of our lives will frequently drown out other "sounds" that our environment is trying to tell us.

Your surroundings have an impact on you even if you think they don't. 

The sounds we heard on tonight's "quiet" night were relaxing and calming to us.  So much so that when they combined, our mind ruled them out and all of the sudden we did not hear. They were there. They were impacting us, but until we made a conscious effort to focus, we did not even know they existed.

Your physical space has the same impact on you. It can be good, or it can be devastating. What does your surrounding space do to you? When you really listen, do you come to the same conclusion?

Office desk prior to organizing Office desk after organizing and a happy Colleen Reynolds at her desk WJBC's Colleen Reynolds did not realize how much her environment was impacting her, but she never went into the room... To see and learn more click here.

What do you hear when you "listen"

Share your stories and thoughts! Comment in the comment section at the bottom of this posting on my blog.

To your success!

P.S. For my parent readers.... during the school year we have a strict 8:30 pm bed time.  During non-school weeks, Mom lets it slide as long as his attitude stays in check the following day. Besides, as he went off to bed he said "Mom, thanks. I am glad that I spent time with you. That was fun." In a few more years, he won't want to take that time!  (reference recent articles I have written about focusing on your priorities...)

posted on: 8/2/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
category: Paper

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Paper And Information Management

by Stephanie Calahan

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About Stephanie:

Stephanie L. H. Calahan is a Productivity and Organization Consultant, Coach, Speaker, Author. She is also the founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. – Productive & Organized, We'll Help You Find Your Way a premier productivity consulting firm, serving a national and local clients in corporate settings, home-based businesses, and residential environments. Her organizing expertise, Computer Science and HR backgrounds give her a unique perspective on what works at work.

Stephanie's Website:


My Favorite Websites for Business & Office

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  • The Definitive Guide to Writing & Promoting White Papers
    If you sell any kind of complex service, technology or sophisticated product, a White Paper is the best way to educate your customers about that technology. You can use a white paper to build your credibility, get free exposure in the press, attract new customers, and drive new technology into change-resistant, conservative markets. Most white papers are either too technical (boring) or too commercial (thin and cheesy) - but Perry Marshall has written a guide that shows you how to strike the perfect balance. But what's most important of all, though, is promoting and publicizing your white paper - because the best white paper in the world is no good unless somebody reads it!
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  • EasyReach Find & Workspace - ask for a 30 day free trial
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  • Paper Tiger Software
    The Paper Tiger software is a powerful filing system that uses the power of your computer to help you get organized and stay organized. Find anything in 5 seconds! We use it both at home and at work.
  • NeatReceipts Scanalizer
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My Favorite Websites for the Home

  • Mrs. A's Coupon Organizer
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My Favorite Goal Setting Tools

  • My Goal Manager
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  • My Motivator
    My Motivator is a great online service that helps you identify your goals and then stay on track with those goals with audio to learn from and reminders that are sent to you.

My Favorite Books on Paper & Information

  • Taming the Paper Tiger at Home
    Strange as it may sound, having the right information at the right time can help you save money or have a good time. Barbara Hemphill tells you how to tame the "paper tiger" with quick, practical solutions to managing every piece of paper that comes into your house. She'll show you how to decide what to keep, what to toss, where to keep it—and most important—how to find it exactly when you need it, so you make room for your life!
  • Taming the Paper Tiger at Work
    Despite the promise of the paperless office, most of us are mired in the stuff—and deluged with electronic information as well. The use of computers, e-mail, the Internet, and faxes probably forces you to contend with more paper than ever. But setting up and efficient system to organize all the information is easier than you might think. Barbara Hemphill will show you how.

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  • 30 Hours A Day - Ultimate Time Management Program
    How Much More Money Would You Make With An Extra 6 Extra Hours Of Productivity Every Day? Drop-dead Simple Tutoring Of Rapid Results Coach Dave Navarro Makes It Easier Than You Ever Thought It Could Be.
  • Outsource And Delegate
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  • Successful Time Management
    Successful Time Management. An Easy-to-read, Ebook That Will Have You Getting More Done, In Less Time, Than Ever Before. It Just Takes A Few Minutes Each Day To Put These Time Management Systems In To Place.

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