Sunday, March 21, 2010


I’m going to work on my business plan today. (Well, after I make a cup of coffee, type the minutes from last night’s meeting, start a load of laundry, weed the flowerbeds, tidy the kitchen, finalize and post two blogs, help my husband with the taxes, and go to yoga class.) I am so off track!

Know the feeling? Here are some techniques I use to keep myself on track:

Create a workspace where you feel good. I’ve tried out a couple areas in my home. One room is smaller, darker, and seems to block my energy. The other is larger, has more natural light, and inspires me to work longer; it’s my office now. Set up your office space where you can close it off, cover it up, or shut the door and not feel guilty at the end of the day.

Define work hours. I love freedom from my former job and supervisors. I’m the boss—that sounds so good to me! BUT, I have to continue to stick with my work hours in order to grow my business. I’m pretty sure the flower will become a weed if I don’t pay proper attention to it.

Make a list. I’m more industrious on the days I make a “to-do” list, provided I don’t overload my list. If I don’t make a list, I inevitably find something – anything! – to do other than what I should be doing. If you get off track, forgive yourself and start the next day with a clean slate.

Change your scenery. I go to my other offices—a local coffee shop or the new library—to rekindle my creativity and stop myself from nibbling on food. Try it!

Use distractions to give yourself a mental break – and then get right back to work. At this moment, my cat is walking across the keys on my keyboard, which forces me to stop typing, for obvious reasons. (Her helpful blog contribution: juik6t5xsdbv0op76yt2q1vgf;). I embrace the interruption (and pet the cat) because it gives me a mental break and helps me refocus on my work. As soon as she wanders off, I jump back into the current project.

Last, but not least: I stop several times during my work day to tidy my work space; untidiness jumbles my mind more than all of the above.

Stay organized!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I created my home-based professional organizing business a couple years ago because retirement, from the Air Force Reserve and Civil Service, was looming. I wanted new challenges and had a strong urge to tap into the creative side of myself. You might imagine how this side of me had gone dormant after years of a highly structured, steeped-in-tradition, hierarchical job where many decisions made at the top quickly slid down the chain of command and landed in the lap of the lowest rung of management.

My job now is one-person deep—me. I love it. I'm the sole everything of my business: administrator, secretary, bookkeeper, marketer, salesperson, tax preparer, etc.

(This probably is a good place to interject that I took zero business classes in college—only upper-division psychology classes for me!)

Yes, the learning curve has been steep. I had to figure out: where to start, come up with a business name, pay license fees, set up a checking account, and create forms, marketing material, a website, and a pamphlet, and so on. Oh, and ALL decisions were and are made by me, a bit unlike previous jobs.

I am a challenge to myself because of my extreme self-criticism, which leads to procrastination and zero decisions made. That’s hard to admit. Two months ago, I couldn't make up my mind—write a newsletter, or create a blog? I wrote articles for a newsletter, found fault with them, and buried them on my hard drive. (I almost buried them in the backyard, but the hard drive was easier!)

Then, three events occurred in slow succession: I received Publishing a Blog with Blogger, by Elizabeth Castro, a clear, succinct, step-by-step book, (with color pictures!); I picked a blog title; and I decided to get over myself.

I want to thank Amy for the book, Molly for name suggestions and editing, and my twin for her Forever (like the stamp) support regarding anything in my world.

My blog is launched. Progress?