I always thought I was pretty confident, yet now when I look back, I realize I wasn't nearly as confident as I could have been and I wasted a lot of time as a result. As a result of joining Toastmasters I gained more confidence and it allowed me to pursue my own business and get more involved in my industry's association also. Both of these experiences have proved to be valuable enterprises for me.
The business I started thinking about has expanded a great deal due to Toastmasters and now includes Speaking and Workshop opportunities. Without Toastmasters becoming a Speaker and performing workshops wasn't even a thought of mine yet now I see the great potential I have to move my business into more area's and broaden my market. It is very exciting!
If you feel that perhaps you could benefit from a little more confidence to go after your personal dreams and turn them into reality, then I urge you to consider checking out a Toastmaster club near you.
Speaking skills is just part of the package with Toastmasters.
The skills you learn at Toastmasters even include things that will help you in your work, such as how to hold short effective meetings. Part of being well organized in business is having effective meetings so learning how to facilitate a meeting is something I think many companies need to do to stay competitive.
Many companies and organizations already recognize the benefits of the Toastmaster Membership as they have their own clubs or pay for their employees membership. The skills employees bring back to the company can turn a good company into an outstanding company.
Here I would like to review several of the benefits a Toastmasters Membership offers:
Confidence is something that can benefit you in many ways. From giving you the courage to start your own business, getting a promotion at work, being able to ask for things you want and to just generally feeling good about yourself.
Don't underestimate what a little confidence can bring you.
As Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right."
Learn more at Toastmasters International
A recent accident I had last fall brought something to my attention. Head injuries can be a very serious mater and the typical symptoms after a head injury are difficulty concentrating, remembering information and keeping track of events. For those that may suffer memory loss as a result of an injury or otherwise I want to share a little of what I know, as poor memory, to some degree, can be dealt with by learning to be more organized.
Yes, recently I suffered a motorcycle accident, I am lucky enough that I did not break any bones, yet I did manage to hit my head pretty hard in the fall and knock myself out for a few minutes.
I was taken to the hospital very quickly and treated for the lacerations to my face as well as being given a C.T. scan to check to see what damage may have been done to the 3.5 lb piece of gray matter between my ears. Well, as it turns out my head did take a pretty good blow and the C.T. scan showed that I had a small amount of bleeding in my frontal lobe. The doctor said it will probably be OK yet I needed to be watched for a few days to be sure I was ok. For the first day every two hours I was asked to repeat the details of my name, birthday, date and my location over and over as well as having physical checks. By the second day they spread these checks out a bit and as my condition improved I was able to get out of bed and walk around.
As I quickly learned while doing some light reading in the hospital, Head injury's can be a very serious mater and the typical symptoms after a head injury are difficulty concentrating, remembering information and keeping track of events. There are also other symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, anger and depression too. Lucky enough for me my injury was not too bad and I didn't suffer from any of these problems. Yet for the sake of those that do suffer I want to share a little of what I know, as poor memory, to some degree, can be dealt with by learning to be more organized.
For example the need for notebooks, calendars and personal organizers is more of a necessity than a convenience when you are apt to forget daily tasks and appointments. Memory loss can rob an individual of many things as they are not able to keep up the pace at work and or at home, forgetting valuable pieces of information, getting overwhelmed by too many tasks or distractions and more.
I feel in most cases that the effects can be reduced by taking steps to get you set up with an easy to use system that works. To help with this I would like to offer some suggestions and tips. These suggestions may seem basic enough but you would be surprised how many people I meet, that haven't even suffered a head injury, that still forget appointments and cant find documents they are looking for, so perhaps almost everyone can get something from being a little more organized.
I find that one of the best ways to stay organized is by writing yourself notes. It is best to write things down while the thoughts are still fresh. Write complete notes and keep your notes in one place. This means getting a good notebook and keeping it near by at all times. You can also use a voice recorder to help if you feel you need it. This can be a convenient way to take notes as you can speak into it while the thoughts are fresh in your mind, yet remember, you will have to transcribe them later on. What ever method you chose, be sure to keep it with you for when you need it. My other tip to you is get something of quality that you can use for a good long time. You are worth the extra cost and being more effective and productive as a result will have its own rewards.
Another simple yet effective way to help you remember things is to keep notepads close by in highly visible areas of your home or work, such as the front door and the Kitchen door. You can use these to make notes to yourself to remember to check that the stove is off before you leave the kitchen or that you have your wallet with you before you leave your home. Also be sure to keep a notepad handy by the phone as well.
The other one thing that I think everyone should have at work and at home regardless of how well or how poor their memory may be, is a fingertip file system. Simply put a binder that contains your personal calendar, your "to do", "to buy" & "to pay" lists, your expenses, receipts and even your contacts list. This fingertip file is an all-in-one daily reference which can help you to never forget an appointment or a payment again. I will not go into depth as to how this binder is put together within the course of this article, yet I will say it is relatively simple and it can easily be created to suit each individuals needs depending on how busy they are in certain areas of their life and work. Check out your local office supply store for all kinds of organizing options available to use in this binder, there are lots of great items available to make your binder to your liking.
An active "to-do" list is also very important to have handy as well. Write down all the things you need to do each day and review the list first thing in the morning or the night before, or both if you can. Prioritize what really needs to be done, figure out what the best order is and how to best fit the tasks into your day. Keep in mind geographical locations for places that you need to go for even better efficiency. It is a good idea to review your list with a family member too and when possible ask them to help remind you of important information or tasks you need to do. For even better efficiency try to schedule the important or challenging tasks for your best time of day, such as mid morning.
Recently I attended a speech given by Peter Legge, International Best Selling Author & Speaker, and he had some excellent advice about keeping a "To-Do" list, yet he called it his "Super 6" which I really liked. His advice is to write down the top 6 things you need to do each day in order of priority. What ever you don't get done one day you simply move to the next day and continue on. Like the name "Super 6" suggests, don't make the list to long. Add to your list as other items get crossed off. This way you are more likely to complete tasks more effectively and you won't start too many projects without completing what you have already.
So, there you have it, take notes, keep you files in order and keep a running task list and you are on your way to being more effective than ever. I hope that these tips and advice help you get started to being more organized today regardless of how good memory may or may not be. There are many great systems available to organize your space, desktop and files and home and work.
To some, the task may seem daunting at first but I can assure you that once you have a good system in place it is easy to maintain and you will have more time to do the things you really enjoy doing. Professional organizers like me are always available to help you get started as well.
Well thank goodness I don't really live in a box, perhaps a smaller than ideal apartment, yet certainly not a box. What I am writing to share with you is a personal experience I have had last summer while staging our home in order to sell it.
There I was, going through everything I owned to see what I didn't need. De-cluttering is one thing but staging your home for a sale is something else and requires a lot more sacrifices. To make the apartment look like a showroom requires getting rid of everything personal to you. Even for a tidy freak like me, I still found it difficult at times.
Boxing up all my belongings was challenging, even knowing that the storage unit we have rented is close at hand. I mean, it is not as though I was throwing everything away never to see it again, yet as I put all my pictures, extra clothes and mementos into boxes I had to pause and think a bit from time to time. I mulled over how much I needed these things around and when I may need them again. Separation anxiety was what I went through and I empathize with anyone that is going through this.
What I did do to make it easier was to use the 4 T's Grid method; it managed to make some tough choices a lot easier.
Here's how it works; there are four categories that everything you own can fall into. These categories are based on only two criteria, making it even easier. The two criteria used are; Emotional Attachment and Functionality. In considering these two criteria and what level each item holds for you, you can easily judge which items fall into the following categories: Treasures, Toys, Tools & Trash.
Treasures are items with high emotion attached to them but are low in functionality. Those are destined for the storage in a staging situation for sure. In everyday life you may still want to keep a few around close at hand to reminisce over from time to time and that's about it. For example, in my case these were pictures I had of my family and friends.
Toys are things that have high function and high emotion, such as my partner's painting supplies and my PC. There was no chance we could part with those items so they stay.
Can you guess what criteria Tools falls under? If you guessed the opposite of Treasures your right. Tools are high function and low emotion. Things you must have, like your dish rack or perhaps your night lamp. It is hard to cut back in this area unless you have more than one of each that you don't need. For example having two coffee kettles or more than one clock in each room might be a bit excessive.
Last of all, hopefully least of all; Trash. Theses items are low emotion and low function. It kind of makes you wonder why you even bought them in the first place doesn't it. I'll get into that topic in another article soon. For me, trash was things like old outfits that didn't fit anymore and where kind out dated and my old motorbike helmet that was so old it wasn't safe to use anymore. I had little trouble tossing those things, yet once I was able to look at them objectively using the 4 T's method. It really made it a lot easier.
Now, where was I? Oh yeah, putting my life in a box. So, after spending a week, every evening, to clean out every bit of stuff we own that wasn't truly needed, I had an epiphany. Now that it's all gone I realize just how much stuff I thought I needed that I don't even miss. Our apartment is a clean and tidy as a showroom at the Furniture store and I feel great in it. It's easier to keep clean and there's even more room. I still have the items I really need and it is enough for me.
The bright side of this is you don't need to be moving or selling your place to do this. Storage units can go for about $65.00 to $100.00 a month, if you don't have enough storage at home. I found a great local place in New Westminster called "Queensborough Mini Storage." They were very affordable and secure, and I feel comfortable leaving my valuable belongings there.
Many of the things that we put in storage are things we definitely want to keep for when we have more room and the value of them outweighed the cost to store, so please keep that in mind also when considering this type of clean up.
If you live in a small place and want to de-clutter yet find it hard to part with items it may give you comfort to know you can keep things close at hand yet clear your space and gain more space and peace of mind. Who knows, while going through your things you may just decide to let go of some "trash" for good too.
Need help to do this; afraid you can't do it on your own? Call me and I would be happy to go through the process with you and give you the moral support you may need. Like a band-aid, once the strip comes off the pain of it fades fast, it did for me.
Be happy in the space your in.
To get you started on the right track to having a more organized and efficient office, I offer up a creation of mine. This guide and checklist to "Having the IDEAL Office!" will help you set up an office that is easy to work in, thus making the task of keeping organized a pleasure, not a chore. If having an "IDEAL" Office pleases you, read on.
Did you know that the average white collar worker losses 55 min's a day due to disorganization? For a small company of only 10 people that could mean lost wages of over $35,000.00 per year.
Can you just imaging taking that kind of cash and just burning it? I can, I've seen it done. In my article "The Cost of Disorganization" I speak on that topic to some good detail.
So, you may ask, where is the time going? Well, usually it lost when employees are not able to find their needed tools, files and references in a timely fashion. A lot of this can be prevented with a well laid out office and some basic organizational skills.
It is true that the driving factor that pushed me to start Tidy Tiger Solutions was the witnessing of great need for effective organization in the work place. I must say that although I enjoy organizing homes, the challenge of Taming Paper Tigers is my first passion.
So today, to get you started on the right track, I offer up a simple creation of mine. This guide and checklist to "Having the IDEAL Office!" will help you set up an office that is easy to work in, thus making the task of keeping organized a pleasure, not a chore. So if having an "IDEAL" Office pleases you, read on.
Review these five areas and create you IDEAL office today:
1. Properly set up available supplies and equipment.
2. Review floor plans to see if used to best advantage.
3. Have enough supplies for your needs.
1. Desks should be roomy, useful and comfortable.
2. Work spaces clear & clean as well as drawers purged of the unnecessary.
1. Additional tables can provide ready to use workspace when needed.
2. Keep areas, like cabinet tops, free from clutter and near enough to use.
• Computer to be easy to reach with cords assessable.
• Peripherals close yet not on direct work spaces.
• Be able to reach printer from the chair.
• Put action files within arms reach.
• Ensure cabinets are well positioned and in good working order.
• Make sure files are secure.
Use this like a checklist and go through your office making the necessary changes one by one and I guarantee that your work will be so much more productive and even more enjoyable as a result. If you feel you are ready to start and need a change, yet may need some help to get started, then professional organizers like me may be the answer.