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  • Writer's picturerozapplebaum

I’m sitting here in my home office staring at the computer screen. I’m doing absolutely nothing. Feeling guilty. I was raised in a high productivity family. If I wasn’t doing something, there were negative consequences. Today, I fight that urge to be a “human doing” and strive to incorporate down time in my schedule, which ultimately improves my productivity and the quality of my work and life. But today, I’m feeling a bit depressed because I’m in the hallway, waiting for the results of very important, foundational, actions I have taken over the past few months. I sit and consider: “Have I done everything I can do to move my projects forward? Is there anything left on the table?” I pause. I listen for words of wisdom from my inner guide.

What actions can I take and when? I run through the main areas of my life: work – all revenue streams, family, spiritual practices, friends, recreation – you get the idea. I quickly write down my thoughts. Later I can organize these ideas. But for now, I just let it roll, scribbling as fast as I can.

Often, I’m told to just breathe. Doing nothing is the antidote for my overly busy schedule and racing mind. I call it my “processing time.” In a world that moves so fast, I wonder why I don’t fly out into the universe! Taking time to get grounded, consider what’s important in my life, moves me out of emotional mind and into spiritual mind. I get all the answers I need. I always schedule processing time into my Google calendar. Overscheduling, for me, leads to missed opportunities, mistakes and disorganization. Yeah. That’s my experience. If I don’t stop, I miss stuff! I forget things. My world gets chaotic.

Fortunately, I have an office at home, which I share with Conway, my Yellow Labrador Retriever. He doesn’t take much of anything seriously. Great lesson for me. So I head downstairs, tail-wagging dog happily in tow. I head to the kitchen, settle into my favorite chair, and gaze out the window at flowers on my porch, where birds and chipmunks are frequent guests. I am grateful to be alive and prospering in this wonderful world we call Planet Earth. I take a moment to PAUSE. I am grateful.

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Do you find yourself in organizational chaos? You are not alone. My “flow” when I’m in peak performance, is VERY messy, but I have developed a unique approach to streamline my processes. I’m no longer living in constant stress, neglecting any of my interest areas or stifling my creativity. Before organizational enlightenment, I missed appointments, lost opportunities and made bad decisions. And, my life was completely out of balance. Secrets to my system: Consistency. Persistence. Routine. Office supplies. Positive Mindset. Organization is a founding principle of creating life balance and to living in peace & joy.

“To do” lists are my keys to sanity. I love unloading my ideas onto the safety and sanctity of paper. What an amazing time management and prioritization tool, if used for maximum effect. Everyone is different in the form and substance of their lists – paper, digital, recorded on smart phones, but the outcome is the same: increased productivity, focus, clarity, satisfaction and profitability.

“I have a million ideas”, one of my clients told me. I don’t want to be pinned down or confined by lists, schedules or calendars, she confides. She’s a brilliant art entrepreneur – an amazing abstract painter with so much talent she glows. Stalled in the pursuit of building a thriving business by chronic last minute jumbles of frenetic activity, she was often distracted, unavailable and not painting. She missed meetings and deadlines. She began the organizational process somewhat hesitantly, not really trusting herself to operate differently. I gently guided her to confront her resistance to organization, and to move beyond it. “I know that to sell more art, I need to plan and organize,” she says, near tears. “What’s gotten in the way? I asked.

With remarkable courage, she identified her mental and emotional blocks based on core belief systems that were no longer serving her. Armed with this new knowledge, she began to make lists in earnest – a task she has spent a lifetime avoiding. And, she created a living project board, her own idea. It is simply a bulletin board on which are tacked sheets of paper representing each key area of her life: home, education, family, spiritual, fun and her three businesses, among others. Eventually she took the project board data and added due dates and time lines, and from there to an 18-month calendar. She vows to always be ready for the next opportunity, deadline or appointment. She is now prepared. More on her progress in future blog posts!

Everyone is different in how they approach this foundational key to success. There is no cookie cutter approach or “how to” methodology that suits all. Organization is a dynamic, organic process. As life happens, so your processes evolve. Share with me your struggles and success stories. Looking forward to hearing from you.

All the best, Roz

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