Are you being held prisoner by your paper? File cabinets ready to implode? Are you spending too much time searching for items/information? Will one more email push you over the brink of insanity? Would you like to find anything in 5 seconds or less? Regain control with productivity expert Stephanie L. H. Calahan of Calahan Solutions, Inc.
Old T-Shirts - Here is Where to Send Them
Normally I don't write about too many home related things on this publication, but I learned of this company today and thought it was too cool to pass up.
Much thanks to Peter Shankman for the introduction in his fabulous newsletter (more on that in a minute.)
Do you have a pile (or piles) of old T-Shirts that you don't want anymore, but that are are taking up space in your home? Today I have the solution for you!
ReTees is a company that takes your old unwanted t-shirts and recycles them into great green products. Why T Shirts? In today's age of disposable clothing, the T Shirt reigns supreme. They are cheap, cheerful and "fast food fashion". In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 11.8 million tons of textiles were generated in 2006, or 5 percent of total municipal solid waste. The company has other great facts out on their site about why they are focused on t-shirts. https://www.reteez.com/facts.php
Today's tip came from my HARO newsletter (Help a Reporter Out - If you want some of the best media leads around - check out www.helpareporterout.com - It is free!) As Peter states
"ReTeez - And quite frankly, this is cool as anything! Care about the environment? Want some awesome holiday gifts? Check out ReTeez - a fun and funky Canadian company that creates fabulous items from discarded T-Shirts. As a runner, I've got HUNDREDS of shirts. I've checked out their signature T Shirt tote bags and found everything from Jimi Hendrix to Hello Kitty and Krispy Kreme to Hillary Clinton. Guaranteed to be an original! The problem is that when we tire of that cute little number, it has a good chance of rotting away in landfill sites. So make some one happy and do some good this Holiday season! ReTeez offers free shipping on all orders of $50 or more within North America. What are you waiting for? Check out www.reteez.com now!"
This intrigued me so I thought I would go check them out... It is really COOL! They take used t-shirts and turn them into all kinds of different things. Here are some snap shots of a few of their "upcycles"
They will pay your shipping to send them your shirts for reuse. https://www.reteez.com/pages.php?pID=2...
posted on: 12/27/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Does Lack of Confidence Impact Your Productivity?
We all have those days. You know the kind I'm talking about. The days where nothing seems to go right and no matter what you do, things seem to fall apart. The day where others are telling you that you can't more than you can.
Your ability to pick yourself up and start again during those days is hugely important to your ability to make something really extraordinary happen.
Today, just take a a short moment and watch this video: http://wimp.com/bigfailures/ It inspired me today and I hope that it will inspire you too!
To your success!...
posted on: 12/20/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Strategies for Working From Home
posted on: 12/13/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Are You Living Your Passion?
I hope that you are doing well and that your Recently in the US we celebrated Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a traditional time to think about all of the things in our lives that we are happy about and thankful for. It is so important to be able to remember what those things are. . . especially when things may not be going the way you want!
Frequently we juggle many activities every day. Sometimes they are things we are passionate about and sometimes they are not. Are you living your passion? Is your time spent on things you are grateful for? If not, maybe the following story will help you.
A friend of mine, Patricia Noel Drain, shared the following story and I liked it so much that I thought I would share it with you:
I want to share with you a story that I read years ago in a book by a very popular writer, James A Michener. The book is called THE WORLD IS MY HOME.
He tells of memories of an old apple tree when he was a young boy. The apple tree, that had once been abundantly productive had lost its energy and ability to bear any fruit at all. The farmer, on an early spring day hammered 8 nails, long and rusty nails into the trunk of the tree.
That autumn a miracle happened. The tired old tree, having been goaded back to life, produced a bumper crop of juicy red apples bigger and better than they had seen before. When asked, how this had happened, the farmer explained, "Hammering in the rusty nails gave it a shock to remind it that its job is to produce apples."
Michener goes on to say...
In the 1980"s when I was nearly 80 years old, I had some fairly large rusty nails hammered into my trunk---a quintuple bypass heart surgery, a new left hip, a dental rebuilding, an attack of permanent vertigo—and, like a sensible apple tree, I resolved to resume bearing fruit.
But I was almost 80 years old: much of what I would like to do would have to be left unfinished. Since it took me about 3 years to write a long work, if I had 30 viable subjects the task would require 90 years. That would make me 170 when I finished and I could not recall any writers who continued working so long, not even in the Old Testament
Between the years 1986 and 1991 I would write 11 books, publish 7 of them, including 2 very long ones, and have the other 3 completed in their third revisions and awaiting publication. It was an almost indecent display of frenzied industry, but it was carried out slowly, carefully, each morning at the typewriter and each afternoon at research or quiet reflection.
One nagging question remains. Did the old tree get back to work producing apples only because the shock of the rusty nails reminded it of death? By analogy, did I labor so diligently because of my age and the approach of a time when I could work no more?
All I know is that...
The job of an apple tree is to bear apples. The job of a storyteller is to tell stories, and I have concentrated on that obligation.
Thank you James Michener for such a powerful reminder!
Boy! I don't know about you, but I have had some very rusty nails hammered into me in the past. Those painful reminders that change needs to happen quickly.
I know that this is going to sound a bit odd, but I'm grateful for those rusty nails. I would not be where I am today without them! I'm grateful for pain I've experienced. Pain was given to us to teach us so that we can learn. ...
posted on: 12/8/2008 10:41:06 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Save Money - Work from Home - but be Ready for Mobile Challenges
With the rising cost of gas, many employers are looking to telecommuting or 4-day work weeks to help defray the cost of commuting. Employers look at cutting down on workers' commutes I love this idea!
However, if you are considering making a change to your schedule, or to where you conduct your daily work, there are some things you should consider:
Have a dedicated work space
If you are going to work one or two days a week from home, make sure that you have a dedicated space to do your work. The kitchen table is not a good place to "make camp." The space you set up should allow you to do everything that you do when you are in the office. Remember, telecommuting is still a new concept for a number of employers. Anything that will make you less productive will make it harder for your employer to continue to support the idea.
Keep the TV & other distractions away
When people first start working from home, it is very for them to get distracted. Could be running to the kitchen to get a snack, or stopping to watch a "few minutes" of TV. When you set up your space, be honest with yourself and eliminate as many distractions as possible before they happen.
Pajamas are Good for Some & Not for Others
Some people can work from home in the comfort of their PJs, but for others it would be a recipe for disaster. Clothing can make a psychological difference in how seriously you take your work. Be honest with yourself and dress for your success.
For example, I learned that if I'm in sweats, I am WAY too comfortable and I get sloppy with how much I can get done in the day, however, if I have on jeans or slacks, I can get a lot done.
Have Systems to Handle Your Mobile Office
If you end up working a few days from home and a few days in your company office, having a good system to get things back and forth is very important. If you don't you will end up either
- leaving something at one location and needing it at another, or
- taking everything with you in your car and never having room for people to sit!
Think through what types of things you really need at home. Only take those things. Make sure that your action systems can go with you rather than duplicating them. In upcoming posts I'll show you how you can set up a system to work with you on the go.
posted on: 10/4/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Are You Financially Responsible With Your Business?
Where do you spend your time? Where you choose to spend your time directly reflects the financial outcome for your business.
Today, I'll focus on ways that you can evaluate and adjust how to spend your time so that you can positively impact your bottom line.
What are your strengths & what are your weaknesses?
When working in your business, there are a number of activities that we need to do. Some we are fully suite for, others we are not. Try this exercise. I have listed various areas to consider. Take the time to list these out. Now, I'm not expecting you to take hours to do this. I'm looking for your gut reaction. Ten minutes max.
- What things do you do naturally that take little effort?
- What things do you not do well?
- What activities do you find you procrastinate ...
posted on: 9/27/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Understand Your Roles
How many hats do you wear? Well, not literally, of course. You hear that phrase all of the time. Wearing many hats. What that essentially means is that in life, we all have different roles that we play in different groups. If you don't consider those roles, it can cause you time management issues down the line.
Well, let's see... I am wife, mother, daughter, sister, volunteer, business owner, friend, counselor, coach, dog sitter, sales person, marketer, room mom, committee member, employer, board member, etc. In about 5 seconds, I have already listed a number of roles that I play in life. Each role requires different levels of energy, skill and time.
Remember Your Roles When Scheduling Priorities
When ever someone asks you to do something for them, you have choices to make. In the past, I have talked about nice ways to say no. When you go through the decision making process make sure you remember all of your roles. Often, when we are asked to do something, we evaluate it based off of the role we are currently "sitting" in. Then, we agree and a few days later say "Oh! What did I do??"...
posted on: 9/20/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Create a Fabulous Action System!
A while ago, Rob Collins from WCIA asked me to come back on the morning show. So, up at the crack of dawn I went! ...
posted on: 9/13/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
What is on your desk? Does it help or hinder?
There are different articles in the news every day that cover the topics of organization and productivity. Some are good and some are not so good... However, today I read an article that shared a tip I had never heard of before!
Want To Get Promoted? Easy Time Management Tips To The Rescue!
This author, Michael Adams, covers three tips to increase your chances of a promotion -- all organization and productivity related. My favorite tip, and one that I had not heard of before -- evaluate what is on your desk! The author goes on to suggest that you should pick 5 items that are on your desk and take a long honest look at each item. Does it promote your productivity, or does it distract you from it?
So, in that spirit, let me share some examples:
If you have any kind of action system on your desk it would aid in your productivity. Rather than having piles on your desk you have a great desk system that aids in your productivity....
posted on: 9/6/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
Schedule Your Day to Reflect Goals and Priorities - Part 4 - Align Your Time
Scheduling your day can be challenging for many. (This is especially true if others add activities to your calender! I have had others adding to my calender for over a decade now!)
Today I'll talk about how you put the pieces together to schedule your day....
posted on: 8/30/2008 10:30:00 AM by Stephanie Calahan
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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.
My Favorite Websites for Business & Office
- The Publicity Hound
Are you new to the business world and don't know where to start to get your business the recognition it needs and deserves? Then this site is for you! Joan Stewart aka the Publicity Hound shares all kinds of fabulous information about getting free publicity. Sign up for her free tutorial and learn ways to get noticed now!
- Paper Tiger Productivity Institute
Get resources for organizing your business!
- The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords
Google has a system that makes it possible, for the first time in the history of the world, to deposit five bucks, write a couple of ads, and instantly get access to over 100 million people - in less than 10 minutes. It's called Google AdWords and it's hot. In fact it may be the first and best thing to do to get traffic to your site. But it's not always as easy as I just made it sound - AdWords has some nuances, and most people have a rough time at first. Well my colleague Perry Marshall has written a very helpful e-course called "5 days to success with Google AdWords" and there's no charge for it.
- 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!
- Guerilla Marketing
Most sales people spend all day dialing for dollars, chasing prospects who are mentally if not physically backing away from them, and they waste most of their time chasing deals instead of closing them. At the same time, most companies spend all kinds of money on advertising and don't get nearly enough bang for their buck. Perry Marshall's "Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People" is an information-packed audio CD that discusses 21 principles that you can use to eliminate cold prospecting and wasted advertising dollars in today's fiercely competitive B2B marketplace.
My Favorite Organizing Tools
- EasyReach Find & Workspace - ask for a 30 day free trial
EasyReach Find & Workspace are the ultimate in digital organization. Spend less time looking for information and more time working with it.
- 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
I LOVE this paper organizer! Get control over your loose receipts, business cards, personal taxes, home office taxes, expense reports, business documents and personal documents. It is amazing how it can read off of the papers it scans.
Get control of your desk with the SwiftFile Desktop filling system. They can be ordered with or without the matching file box. This is the Best Action Filing System I have seen.
- Send Out Cards - Try their free guest account
This is one of the best tools I have ever used for contacts, reminders and physical cards too! Go to the site and check out their free guest account. Better to see it for yourself than for me to try to tell you.
My Favorite Websites for the Home
- Mrs. A's Coupon Organizer
Mrs. A's has done it again. They developed a great coupon organizer that allows you to find things quickly and actually USE the coupons you cut out.
Introducing BOX4BLOX ™... the Simple Toy Storage Organizer for LEGO ® That Gets Rid of That "Lego Disaster Zone" From the Floor ONCE AND FOR ALL!
- Send Out Cards - try their free guest account!
This system lets you type a message then they print it in your handwriting, stuff it, stamp it and mail it when you tell them to. All for LESS than what you would pay to buy a card at a store.
My Favorite Goal Setting Tools
- My Goal Manager
MyGoalManager.com's Online System takes Goal Setting to whole new level! If you like online tools, this one is fantastic.
- 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.
My Favorite Books on Time & Productivity Management
- 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
How To Work Less And Make A Lot More Money!
- 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.
Our Web Sites
- Steph's Blog - ProductiveAndOrganized.net
- Company Site - CalahanSolutions.com
- Company Media Room
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- Connect w/ me on LinkedIn
- Friend me on Facebook!
- Friend me on MySpace
- Connect w/ me on Plaxo
- Stephanie's Bio