Is clutter blocking your energy?

I challenge you this week to look around your house and clear one area that has gotten a little cluttered over the summer. We get busy and things pile up and stagnate. Putting things back in order takes a little time but you’ll feel calmer in your space. You can breathe. You can settle in. Your energy will lift just looking around.

Perhaps there’s a counter with supplies out at the ready. A table with this week’s mail. A nightstand with tissues, hand lotion, and a few unread books. An entryway filled with boots, coats, and umbrellas. A bookshelf packed to overflowing. A desk with open files, a coffee cup, and surplus pens. A closet filled to overflowing. Continue reading

The Joy of Color

I’m reading a great new book: Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee. Lee opens the book with studies and thoughts about what makes a moment joyous and settles in on something quite simple: color.

If you want to change a drab day, a drab building, or a drab party, add bright, warm colors and you add a pop of joy to the world. Think birthday party balloons. Chinese dragon parades. Maypole ribbons. Hot air balloon festivals. Fields of wildflowers. Can you picture any of these in black and white? No! Just thinking about these colors brings up a bubble of joy.

“Color is energy made visible.”

Lee believes that energy is all around us and that bright colors have high energy that’s contagious.

If you need a little pop of energy, you could try something as simple as… Continue reading

Improve your organizational skills by changing what you eat

If you aren’t feeling good about what you’re getting done, it might not be an organizational issue – it might be a matter of health. When we push our bodies to the limits, it’s not a surprise when the quality of our work suffers.

Here are some easy steps you can start this week to improve your health. Continue reading

Is singing the new exercise?

No matter what type of work you’re doing, finding a “like” community can help you accomplish more and have more fun with what you’re doing.

In Daniel Pink’s book, When, he writes about the benefits of choral singing – a unique kind of community. If you’ve ever sung with a group, you know how it lifts your spirit even more than singing solo. “Happy” countries, like the Netherlands, have regular gatherings where everyone sings. And I think group singing is why so many of us love theater – both participating in it and being part of the audience.

It’s not a stretch to think that singing makes you feel good. But check out the other benefits Pink lists for choral singing: Continue reading

Stay humble. Stay grateful.

As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how important it is to take breaks and how hard it is for me to take a break. And if you saw my post from last week, you know that my refusal to take a break resulting in the Universe knocking me flat with a broken ankle. Won’t take a break? How about a nice, quiet week in bed?

I’m going to take a risk here and admit that as bad as I am at taking breaks, I’m also terrible about asking for help. I love being efficient and independent. I’m the one who is here to help you! You do not need to help me.

Except that I’m in a cast for 8 weeks and can’t drive!

Here are my organizational lessons, and lessons in humility, from the past two weeks: Continue reading

When the Universe grants your wishes

As you may recall, I did a post a couple of weeks ago talking about how important it is to take breaks, and how terrible I am at it. I ended the post vowing to try to take breaks during the day. I went another week and did not make any progress.

So you know what the Universe did?

Continue reading

New business goal: Make the workplace great for the workers

I spoke at a “Lean” conference on Friday. Lean is a way of doing business where you do everything you can to run a business efficiently while still deeply respecting the people you work with. You’re making improvements that may help the bottom line, but your focus is on creating a better workspace. This conference was a great fit for me!

The last speaker was my favorite. His name is Kevin Hancock. He’s the President of a huge lumber company here in Maine, Hancock Lumber. As you can probably tell from the name of the company, he is family – 4th generation. What was fascinating about Kevin’s talk is that he hardly has any voice. He suffers from a rare ailment that makes his throat spasm when he talks. He’s been dealing with this for a couple of years, and while it was painful in a way to listen to him, he assured us it doesn’t cause him pain – it’s just hard for him to communicate. Continue reading