Posted in Planning, Procrastination, Training, tagged Continuing Education, Organizing, Planning, Procrastination, productivity, Time Management, Training on May 30, 2011 |
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A couple of weeks ago I travelled to Moncton to deliver a workshop on Overcoming Procrastination at the IAAP Atlantic Conference for a group of over 80 very enthusiastic women. Wow, it was good fun and we had some interesting discussion about procrastination and why we do it.
We brought up the topic of laziness – is procrastination laziness? Some people thought that sometimes it was laziness but most of the time not so much. It seems to go much deeper than that in a lot of instances.
Is procrastination due to perfectionism? In many cases it may very well be. We often wait for the perfect conditions, saying to ourselves, “I’ll do this when …” or “I can’t do this until …”. However, as the quote says, “Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for the perfect conditions.” (Gary Ryan Blair).
I have this article that I cut from The Globe and Mail several months ago which I pulled out in preparing for the workshop. It’s all about perfectionism and procrastination and how they may or may not be linked. According to the article perhaps it is not about perfectionism even though studies show that it is. Apparently perfectionists who procrastinate are more likely to seek help from therapists so they turn up in research numbers more often. Gee whiz, I needed therapy for that, who knew! If you are a perfectionist you feel worse about putting things off and therefore seek help to overcome it.
Hmmm . . . being a recovering perfectionist myself I still think that I wait for the perfect conditions to start or finish certain things and somehow they always get done before the deadline, always. Perhaps that’s my perfectionist standards or just the nature of the expectations of others that Professional Organizers always do everything ahead of schedule – how’s that for a little added pressure!
The article goes on to postulate that procrastination is, in fact, a result of impulsiveness. Say what? Impulsive people (you can tell I’m not one) live impatiently in the present moment and want everything right now. Showing self-control or delaying gratification is difficult for impulsive people. So, anxiety over a deadline leads directly to procrastination. And impulsiveness, they say, causes disorganized procrastinators who are mighty distractible. Impulsive people find it difficult to plan work ahead of time which leads to a lot of late nights just before the project deadline.
Wow, pretty complicated stuff, don’t you think?
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Posted in Education, Learning, Small Business, Training, tagged Continuing Education, Junior Achievement, Making a Difference, Non Profit Organizations, Our Business World, Small Business, Training on March 20, 2011 |
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The last few weeks I have been volunteering for Junior Achievement Nova Scotia delivering the ‘Our Business World’ program to grade six students. It never ceases to amaze me that kids are interested in business at such a young age. And, wow, do they know a lot of stuff – go figure!
The program focuses on 4 modules:
- Organization – we discuss the skills needed to start a business, all the resources you have to consider and the various types of businesses in Canada.
- Management – we talk about the role of management in a business, the decisions a manager has to make and we focus on how to hire employees and what we need to consider.
- Production – in this lesson we actually produce pens and discuss productivity. Students learn about various methods of production and have fun testing unit production versus assembly line production.
- Marketing – students learn about the imporance of marketing a product most importantly pricing and advertising. We discuss advertising strategies and students create their commercial to sell the pens manufactured during the production lesson.
Every time I think about this amazing program I wish someone had come to my grade six class to talk to me about starting a business. Perhaps I wouldn’t have waited so late in life! And, the other thing I think about is how little I really knew about starting a business back in 2002 when Get Organized! Professional Services was only a dream!
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Posted in Goal Setting, Learning, Planning, Time Management, tagged Annual Planning, Change, Continuing Education, Employees, Grow Your Business, Money, Organizing, Planning, productivity, Profit, Time Management on February 6, 2011 |
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Last weekend I attended a retreat with a business group I belong to. We were very fortunate to have a session facilitated by Jol Hunter from Grant Thornton.
The most meaningful part of the 24 hours we spent together was something all of us as business owners want to know about and that is how to grow our business and make more money.
Jol identified 4 essential elements to making more money:
- Know Your Business
- Know Its Value Creation
- Involve Your People
- Be Disciplined in Execution
Here are the key points to consider in order to be certain we are on top of the 4 keys above.
- Know the formula for making money in your business. For example, in a service based business that might be ((# of hours x hourly rate)-expenses)/# of employees = profit/employee
- Work the formula relentlessly
- Have a plan to improve the current performance of the formula. For example, will reducing expenses have a positive impact on the profit per employee?
- Have a plan to make the formula produce more tomorrow. What should the formula look like in 2 or 3 years? More hours? Higher hourly rate?
- Execute on your plan
- Know where the value is created in your business. What is your distinctive advantage? Why do people buy from you?
- Work deliberately to increase your value-creating ability. Enhance the reason people buy from you
- Ask your people how they would score your business. There are several key questions to ask including – Do I know what is expected of me at work? Do I have the opportunity to do my best every day? Do I receive recognition regularly for doing good work? Do my opinions seem to count? (Wow, my last employer had it all wrong – no wonder I started my own business!)
- Ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how organized are you? (this point was music to my ears!)
- Have you analyzed how you spend your time? (Yes, I have – whew!)
- Is it time to bring on more support so you can truly spend time on the important things that will ensure you grow your business and make more money? (Yes, it is!)
And, after we’ve done all of the above, Jol says we need to ask ourselves, “How can I make sure my business is ready for the future”?
Holy cow, don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of work to do!
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Posted in Education, Learning, Training, Uncategorized, tagged Centre for Women in Business, Continuing Education, Harold Taylor, Organizing, Professional Organizers in Canada, Small Business, Solopreneur, Training on October 31, 2010 |
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Well, it seems that Conference season has kicked into high gear yet again this fall. As usual I have had the good fortune of being booked by several associations to present workshops at their conferences and be a part of their professional development weeks which is always good fun. I so enjoy being a small part of a much bigger educational opportunity and admire companies and associations who are true learning organizations.
The exciting news this week is that I get to go to my own professional development conference where I’ll be in the audience instead of in front of the room (for the most part). Professional Organizers in Canada has been hosting their annual conference since 2000. So exciting to be attending the 10th annual conference and this year we’re in Montreal - yeah!
Not only will I be continuing my education as an organizer by attending sessions such as ‘Online Tools for Maximum Productivity’, ‘The Impact of Technology on Time Management’ (with time management guru Harold Taylor), and ‘Do I E-Shred This?’ but I will also hear two great keynote speakers. In addition, I’ve got several one-on-one meetings scheduled with specific people I want to learn more from and I’m sitting on the ‘Ask a Senior Organizer’ panel. There’s nothing like being grilled by other organizers about your business – yikes!
I know what you’re thinking, three days with a group of over 100 other organizers, you’ve got to be kidding me. Believe it or not we’re not all Type A personalities (although I think the majority are) and we’re not all suffering from mild OCD (at least I don’t think we are?). Many of our members have transformed their own lives from chaos to order and are now able to teach others how to do it.
I have to admit I’m glad to be picking up a few more CE credits for my certification, but I have to say that my favourite part of the conference is always seeing my organizing friends from across the country and meeting new friends. I do love to socialize and being a ‘solopreneur’ can be tough at times. There’s nothing like sharing business ideas and challenges with a group of your peers who really get it.
Speaking of sharing with peers who really get it, upon my return from Montreal I’m heading to the Centre for Women in Business Conference the next week. This time I’ll be learning about growing my business and sharing with women from all walks of life for one day.
I think I’m going to be all ‘conferenced’ out by that time and ready to get back to work on my business and working with my clients equipped with all the tools to provide even better service than ever.
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