Friday, October 29, 2010

Things of the Past

Time to clear out the dusty and old, to make room for the new. Today, I am looking at how to handle past office and business material. Business owners who have been in business for over 10 years, know that the material starts to acquire. This is especially true if you haven't changed your office location in over 5 years. The following might help you when clearing out the past from your office.

Non Serving Usage
Outdated expired, no longer relevant items come to mind. I ran across a hidden pile of blank outdated forms. These found a home in the recycling bin.

Former Client Files and Material
If you have been in business a while, it is likely you understand the value of record retention. I have a five year client policy. However sometimes material is a useful template or example for other things. This is where a template vs. a client file becomes of value. Transitioning files over to templates, maintains your record retention plan and helps you understand the importance of what you have learned, created or observed.

Example/Template Files 
Even example or template files can become overwhelming or overfilled. Periodic clearings can help prevent overload.   

Aging Technology
I recently disposed of a plethora of floppy disks containing financial information. Of course, I had to make them unusable first - this took time. Some never used disks I donated to my community through freecycle.

Historical Reminders
Not all old items are unwanted. I ran across an old newsletter from an association that had a wealth of memories, and brought up a few "I need to call that person" notes to add to my to do list. After I added that, it was easy to toss the material. Sometimes I found information that was useful for my business time line. So I placed that in my time line pile. Stay tune for more on this in the next few months.

Historically Significant
Occasionally you may run across some items of ephemera, that might be of value to your community or business community. It helps to understand the concept of ephemera. Check out my article on my website for information on this topic.   

By keeping the above in mind, you may have an easier time of clearing out. Business Anniversaries are a cause for celebration, and a good time to make time to clear out the past, to make room for the new.

October is Terry Prince's business anniversary month. Terry started her business in October of 1983.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Shoulds and Coulds - Time to Revisit

Last year, I wrote a post about shoulds and coulds - I think it is a good time of year to visit it again.  

Are you failing to listen to the should and the could's in your life? By transforming our shoulds into "do's" and "will"s we may accomplish many things.  However, sometimes our should and coulds are things we might want to avoid doing entirely.

1. Take a look at your shoulds and coulds

Spend some time over the next few days listening to your inner talk and your external communications. Take note of the number of times you express or think the word "Should" or "Could". If you have a high frequency of shoulds or coulds, (Perhaps 5+ a day) you may want to spend some "thinking, development and planning" time around them.

2. Delve into the shoulds and coulds

After you have listened to yourself over the last few days, you may find some frequent shoulds and coulds. Take time to jot them down in sentence form.

I should get more sleep at night
I wish I could keep my desk clear
We could buy a new car

3. Analyze your should and could's for future work and change.

Let's say you want to get more sleep. How can you go about making it come to fruition? By brainstorming you may come to some possilble solutions.

For example:  

I should get more sleep -  To get more sleep, go to bed earlier or stay in bed longer. The should becomes a will when you decide to go to sleep earlier or set your alarm for a later morning wake up.

We could buy a new car - Deciding to buy a new or different car, is a process and project. You may choose to get a new car when your current car reaches a certain mileage, or if maintenance fees exceed the cost of a monthly payment. Your new car might be more advantageous when you have to start driving to your new company's office (which is further away) to keep fuel costs down. A new car might make more sense after you have paid off other debts or saved a certain dollar amount. The could becomes more of a strategy and plan development when you look at the when and why components.

4. Transform your should and could's to wills, when's, why's or later decisions. If you formalize and bring these shoulds and coulds  to the next phase you will allow more space for things to happen.

5. Erase your negative should and could's from your mental and verbal vocabulary.  Sometimes we have stuck should and could's which can not be easily transformed into action or do not warrant further thought about.

For Example:

I should have said  ..... instead of ......
I could have read the directions three times and caught my mistake (after improperly assembling a complex piece of furniture)

Spend some time working on your should and could's and you will likely transform your life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Starting Something New

It is not always easy starting something new. This comes about as I am actively telling myself that phrase, "it's not always easy to start something new". I am doing this about three times an hour, while I work at understanding a new email marketing newsletter program. I know I need to make some positive self talk phrases instead. So that would be the fifth strategy when working on something new.
  1. Work in scheduled bursts
  2. Take planned breaks 
  3. Incorporate more humor into your schedule
  4. Make sure you get some regular physical exercise
  5. Use positive self talk - Avoid negative self talk

Do you have some strategies to make starting something new easier?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hot or Cold?

When examining your life you can measure your progress towards your goals in a number of ways. Today let's consider using hot and cold. Since we are in the season of neither summer or winter (in any hemisphere) I think we can address this in a temperature model.

Let's think of "hot" as being something you gravitate towards, and "cold" being something you want to leave or escape from.
What do you have going on that you feel "hot" about? Conversely what do you feel "cool" about? By gauging your temperature towards an activity or event you may make choices that move you closer towards your future goals.