Friday, January 24, 2014

Momentum Vs The Frog

One of the things that I have been thinking a lot about lately is productivity.  Not that I am a slacker by any means, but several things are going on in my life right now that make upping my productivity game a necessity.   One of my colleagues has decided to leave the company.  That means that until his replacement is found and up to speed, I will be a one-woman show.  I will be moving to a new apartment in just about a month, and so that means I have lots of purging and packing to do at home.  On top of all of that, I have at least two trips between now and then, so yeah, my plate runneth over.
There are a couple of prevailing trends in productivity right now.  One is the Eat the Frog theory.  This is based on the Mark Twain quote, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”  As the quote describes, this theory says that you should do the biggest, hardest, yuckiest thing on your list first.  Once the worst thing is crossed off of your list, it is easier to roll through the remaining items because it is all downhill from there. 
This is a concept that definitely works for me when I have something on my list that I really don’t want to do.  For me some examples are:
·         Redlining contracts
·         Cleaning the bathrooms
·         Exercising
·         Giant, detailed analysis projects
·         Expense reports
In most cases if one of these things is on my list and really needs to be done, I better make myself eat that frog first thing in the morning; otherwise I will do my best to procrastinate until the last minute.  Plus, when I procrastinate, it is always on my mind - mental burden to carry until it is done. 
Another theory of productivity is to Build Momentum in your day.  This theory says that one success will build upon another until what seems impossible is achievable.  The idea that small wins lead to big wins.  We begin to feel productive and that desire to achieve becomes satisfied.
For me, whereas the Eat the Frog theory works when I am procrastinating, the Build Momentum theory creates a sense of drive through the day and gives me a lot more gratification at the end of the day.  Some examples of momentum builders for me are:
·         Showering and getting fully dressed first thing in the morning
·         Having a clean work space – whether it is the kitchen counter or my desk
·         A clean house
·         Crossing things off my to do list 
·         Making a plan
·         Quick household clean-ups before bed
·         Brainstorming with someone
There is almost nothing that gives me as much satisfaction as organizing, completing, and creating white space.  So it isn’t a shock that all of my momentum builders are along those lines.  These are the things that make the day fly by and give me a feeling of fulfillment.
Lately, when I start my day I have been really focusing in on how I am going to approach what needs to be done this particular day.  Will it be an Eat the Frog day or a Momentum Building day?  I have had both this week, and can say that approaching them intentionally with one of those specific strategies has been very helpful.  It helps me focus in on the most important thing and creates purpose behind my actions.
There are days when getting “getting it over with” is the best course of action, and there are some days when the most productive thing I can do is to build on the small successes.  These are both entirely different concepts with the same result of increased productivity. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm Ba-ack!

Bet you thought I had given up blogging for good.  I don’t know if anyone even still has links to this website so don’t know if this will just go out into the world wide ether, or if anyone will read it.   I guess if I get any comments I will know.

Just seems like I have a lot on my mind that I feel needs to be documented.  I am going to be moving to a new apartment in a month.  Moving is always a time to purge, organize and decorate something new.  This time, I am trying not to spend too much, although there are one or two splurges out there. 

At work, there are some major changes going on, which always makes me research and think about interesting productivity and leadership concepts.   My mind has been on overdrive on these subjects for the last month.  I have made some changes and am pretty excited.

And, last but not least, there is the ever present personal growth section of my brain.  A new year with a fresh start always makes me look at these topics with new eyes.  I am trying, trying, trying to leave perfectionism behind and get in the arena.  There are some new thoughts I have on this topic as well.

So, if you have actually found this teeny-tiny corner of the internet and find it interesting, welcome!  I love constructive dialogue and other resources.  If it isn’t your cup of tea, that is cool too – there is plenty of room for everyone on the internet.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Pad

Lot's of people have been asking for pictures of my apartment.  Now that it is feeling like home (and I cleaned), I spent the morning taking some photos for the curious.  Here is what living on the 36th floor in Philly is like....

Here is the floor plan for my apartment.  All 747 square feet of it.

And this is my front door.

Sources:  Picture Frames - IKEA

The entry way is sort of a long hallway, but there really isn't much room to put a table or a bench or anything interesting.  So I went with a photo wall.  (Ehem...still missing some photos of my favorite people...cough, cough, sister's family, cough cough..)

Then you turn left down a short hall toward the bathroom, storage closet, and bedroom.

 Sources:  Beatles sign - Etsy

And here it is in all its porcelain glory.

 Sources: Floor Mat & Shower Curtain - West Elm
Brush Jar - Anthropologie
Towels - Restoration Hardware
Art - Saturday Market, Portland

Looking into my bedroom from the bathroom.

Sources:  Desk and Dresser - IKEA

Here is my favorite part of my bedroom.  I guess that is good, since sleeping is the primary function.  I would love to replace that book shelf with a faux built-in using IKEA book shelves.  Challenge, I need someone, somewhere, with the equipment to cut the pieces to make it look built in.  (Insipiration, here, and here.)

Sources:  Headboard, Quilt - Pottery Barn
Red Pillow Cases, Throw, Curtains - West Elm
Left Lamp - Pier 1
Right Lamp - One Kings Lane
Night Stands -
Book Shelf - Container Store 

Another view of the bedroom.  I had the sign made from a vendor on Etsy.  If you want to know the story behind it read this blog entry.

Sources: Red Lamp - Target

And back the other direction toward the bathroom.

Heading back to the living room.  Here is the view from the front door. The door to the right heads to kitchen.

The kitchen is small but very functional. 

 The large cabinet on the end hides the washer and dryer.

One of my next purchases will be a cafe chalk board to cover the electrical boxes at the end of the kitchen.

Sources:  Cookie Jar - Anthropologie

And here's the living room:

Sources:  Arm Chair - Craig's List
Wine Fridge - Wine Enthusiast
Wine Racks - Amazon
Nesting Side Tables -
Throw Pillows - Pier 1
Brown Lamp, Pouf -
Sofa - Raymour and Flanigan
Green Tray - West Elm

Sources:  Clock - Gift from my Parents
White Lamp Near Kitchen - Family Treasure
Large Round Basket - Santa Fe

Sources:  Blue Glass Vase - Gift from my Grandmother
Art - Dania Furniture
Left Side Table - World Market
White Lamp - Boutique in Philly

 Sources:  Mercury glass candle - Pier 1
Bird painting - family friend
Blue Vase - Gift from my sister from Prague
Shells - Collected on vacation in St. Maartin
Orang Gord Bird - Peru
C -
Fish Gurgle Pitcher - gift
Green Candle Sticks - Pier 1

 Source:  Bar Stool - World Market

And now for the best part of living on the 36th floor - The VIEW!

Looking out my window to the left (North), you see this view.  That is a statue of William Penn on the top of city hall.

Shifting slightly to the right, you see a view of the Delaware River.  Oh, and that domed building, has a restaurant in the dome that is a great spot for lunch.  This is the best view at sunrise.

Shifting a little more to the right, or looking square out my windows, the view is of the building next door.  You might think this is a bummer, but at least there aren't a bunch of windows in this view.  I leave my living room blinds all the way open all the time, and never have to worry about privacy.

This is the view looking right out my window.  If you squint, you can see all the Philly stadiums.

And for all of you that want to know how high 36 floors really are...this one's for you!  That is the intersection of 15th and Locust down there.

So there you go.  A tour of my place.  I have to say that this place is more "me" than any of the others I have had.  It is filled with things I love from gifts and souvenirs, to wine and plants.  I have kept focus on a William Morris Quote while decorating, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Some of my furniture is fancy, and some of it is not.  All of my furniture has at least 2 jobs to do in this small space.  It feels simple and collected, but most of all it is a reflection of my travels, the people I love, my experiences, and my style.

I love to have visitors, so let me know if you are ever in the neighborhood!