Archive for the ‘Decisions’ Category

A woman’s guide to surviving the recession

March 3, 2009

I love strong women – I think we rule the world, but in a gentle, unassuming way.

One of my favourite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

So today I found a blog post by another strong woman – and I wanted to share it with you.  Penny Power is one of the founders of a business networking website which I’m a member of and this blog post of hers shows the hard work, tenacity and resourcefulness that goes into being a women in business.  I hope you enjoy it, I did!


Clear desk = a clear mind!

January 19, 2009

Have you ever found that when your desk is messy, you cannot get anything done?  You procrastinate and drag your feet, shuffling bits of paper from one side of the desk to the other!  It’s a common problem – the clutter on your desk really does act as a barrier to getting on with things because it simply reminds you of everything else you still have to do, but fortunately there is a way to get your desk clear without losing information or missing an important deadline.

I’ve run my own business for 4 years, been a mum for 6 years and worked in an office before that for more than a decade.  All of these roles involved being super organised and the one ‘paperwork system’ that I have brought with me through all of these years is my beloved concertina file!

The humble concertina file is largely underused in my opinion, but it is a fantastic way of organising yourself so that you accomplish more, meet your deadlines and avoid overwhelm!  It is a stiff board backed file with 31 individual slots inside – all numbered, and this is for the days of the month.  How you use the file is to open your days post and if it is not something that can be filed or actioned immediately, then choose a day when you will be able to manage the task and file the paper into that days’ date.

If you have a meeting with someone and need certain notes for that meeting, you can file these into the concertina pocket for that date so you don’t forget to take them with you.  If you have entered a competition and want to keep track of the closing date so you know when you might hear if you’ve won, you can file the competition entry form or flyer into the relevant date so the paper is not sitting on your desk until then, draining your energy and adding to the clutter.

I use my concertina file for both business and home.  If I have a domestic bill that needs paying by a certain date, I will not leave it out on my desk so it can distract me, I will file it in the date when I will choose to pay it.  This also means that the money stays in my bank for as long as possible, so I get the bank interest rather than the company who invoiced me!

The key is to have the discipline to check the file every day for ‘todays tasks’ but this should quickly become a habit then it becomes part of your ongoing routine.  If you find that you miss deadlines, cannot find a clear space to work or feel that you don’t have a clear head, this is a great way to ‘download’ your thoughts and get the physical paper drains off your radar whilst you put yourself 100% into something else.

Try it!  You will find that you feel lighter, your office or workspace is neater and no-one can inadvertently glance at a confidential document because it’s all neatly filed away!  I have shared this trick with several of my business clients and they love it.  It is a mechanism that yields instant results!

If you want to know anything about time management, just ask any busy working mum!

Don’t let rushing leave you out in the cold!

December 17, 2008

Have you ever been rushing in and out of the house, maybe putting things for your day into the car, and in your haste, you’ve slammed the front door shut and locked yourself out?!

I have.  I know loads of other people that have too, and it was even harder to juggle things once I had 2 kids to get into the car and get to school on time.  So I came up with a great idea and now some of the other mums at school have copied it so I know it’s not just me who finds that it works!

I wear a lanyard round my neck to which I’ve attached my car keys.  I also have a separate one for my house keys.  If I’m in and out of the house rushing back and forth, I wear the keys round my neck and when I’m ready to go, I just remove the lanyard and put the keys into the ignition!

When I get to the car or where I’m going, I just put the whole keys and lanyard into my handbag so I’m not wearing it all day!  It’s only a bit of extra fabric to carry in my handbag after all, and it keeps your hands free.  It really becomes useful when you are carrying heavy shopping, maybe at the supermarket, and you would normally  need to juggle keys, heavy items and purses etc.  You just hang the keys round your neck and it’s there ready when you get to the car!

The funny thing is that at first I felt a bit silly, wearing a lanyard with my keys on, but now it’s second nature and people don’t really notice it might look odd.  Lots of companies ask their staff to wear an ID card which they wear around their necks, so people just assume it’s one of those!

Honestly, try it, next time you have a lot to remember and are maybe getting kids or other people rounded up and into the car.  If you have kids, you’ll know that they dawdle or refuse to get in the door you hold open for them.  It’s hard enough getting them out on time so this makes life much easier!  If you don’t have kids, it is still a great tip.  At least you’ll never lose your keys again, if they are round your neck!

If you want to know anything about juggling a lot of tasks, just ask the Time Management Mum!