The battery recycling process…cool video

I like knowing what happens once things are donated or recycled and this is a great video on the battery recycling process.

Call2Recycle® is the only free used battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted 35 million kilograms of used batteries from the solid waste stream and established a network of 30,000 public collection sites. – See more at: http://www.call2recycle.ca/who-is-call2recycle/#sthash.yI3mnLBL.dpuf

 

 

Great new app or great way to avoid?

The next time you begin to download that super cool new app to help you “get organized” ask yourself what isn’t working within your existing system that’s inspired you to spend time downloading and learning a new app.

It might be easier to tweak what you already use instead of spending time learning something new. Maybe you’re downloading the new app to avoid doing what needs to be done or you simply want the rush of something fun and new. I get it, I really do because those feelings are way more fun and satisfying (short-term) I  think you’ll agree though that taking the upper hand on something that you’ve been avoiding is more satisfying (long-term) than any app could ever be!

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If you are still looking for some awesome apps – here is an awesome list of home improvement apps and here the ‘best apps for getting organized’ list of all lists – good luck pulling yourself away from this one….the best apps to keep you organized

 

 

 

 

Employee Accountability – Setting up the systems

Maintaining accountability can be a challenging task if you don’t have an effective follow-up system in place.

Imagine that you ask assign a team member a task and they are to get back to you in one week. If YOU don’t have a follow-up mechanism in place the likely hood of you forgetting what you’ve asked them to do is fairly high, unless you have a good memory. If  THEY don’t have a system in place to allocate the time to complete the task and then send you the information you’ve requested by the time specified then you have a team member who is stressing out to meet a deadline ….or because they’ve missed a deadline.

Systems make the cogs run smoothly

Systems make the cogs run smoothly

And even worse (yes it can get worse), is when you forget and they forget – In the future they won’t feel a strong desire to be accountable to you and your trust begins to decrease. The lack of systems can quite literally interfere with your overall productivity and employee satisfaction.

With a system in place – let’s call it a ‘delegation process’ for you and ‘calendar and task management management’ for them – you can both trust  each other!

If parts of this sound familiar to your work flow then it’s a perfect time to sit down and have a conversation with your team member(s) about implementing executive skills into your daily workflow: delegating tasks and tracking them plus calendar and time management.

Go ahead and strengthen the team around you!

Feel Good Foods and Fire Alarms

The kitchen fire alarm went off the other night, which isn’t entirely odd when I’m cooking in the kitchen. My children thought for the longest time that the fire alarm meant dinner was ready! My point here though is that this night it sounded just after 11pm. Crumbs

The crumbs in the toaster oven were the culprit, not burning toast (I say with some sort of pride that I didn’t burn the toast). So I promptly began to clean the toaster oven and, within approximately five minutes, my entire toaster oven was shiny clean.
The issue I battled during that brief cleaning spree was, “Why didn’t I clean it sooner?” I had noticed the crumbs accumulating in the little toaster oven for at least a few weeks, thinking to myself, “I should really give that toaster oven a good cleaning.” Yikes, a few weeks!
What had stopped me from cleaning it before the fire alarm? Why had I actually waited until the alarm woke the entire house before I decided to clean the darn thing out? Those are not rhetorical questions – I was really looking for answers.
Here are my thoughts on why we wait until the ‘crumbs set off the fire alarm’. 
  1. We know certain things need to be done but we procrastinate, hoping to avoid the inevitable.

Some common things we avoid ‘cleaning up’ are our eating habits, working late, or perhaps having a difficult conversation with a friend. It could be letting a friend go, or letting go of some emotional baggage.

2. The things that set off the alarms are usually the things that make us uncomfortable. So, instead of dealing with it, we avoid it altogether.

When the things that we know need to get done are left to accumulate, we soon find our personal alarms going off. And there we are, asking the question, “Why didn’t I just clean up the crumbs sooner?”
Side Bar:

Those of you who eat toast with honey late at night understand why I was using the toaster oven at 11pm. For those of you who don’t understand, ask your friends. Inevitably one of them has a similar late night “feel-good food fix” that they will share with you.

What little crumbly mess are you going to ‘clean up’?

This article was originally published in May 2007

Calendar versus Tasks

Sample Calendar

Sample Calendar

We use calendars so we know what we need to show up for but where do you keep track of all the tasks….. by tasks I mean the tiny action items that require time to execute but don’t necessarily get scheduled into the calendar?

A task can be a call you need to make tomorrow or in one month’s time. Tasks can be the supplies you need to pick up for the office, a course you need to register for or the new toothbrush you need from the drug store.

The rule of thumb is to keep all similar tasks together and then complete them together. If you have 5 follow-up phone calls to make and each will take approximately 10 minutes then you will need to schedule one hour into your calendar to make those calls.

If you have three errands that need to be done – dry cleaners, grocers and drug store then you’ll want to look at your calendar to see when it’s convenient to do those errands. While your reviewing your calendar may notice that you’ll be driving by the dry

Sample Task List

Sample Task List

cleaners on Wednesday  – now you just need to schedule it in and then stop at the dry cleaners on Wednesday.

A calendar for all of our appointments and a list of ALL tasks that need to be done are essential procedures so that we can free up our minds and be confident that everything that needs to get done is accounted for.

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Basement flooding – a bit of a silver lining

Here’s an email I received from one of our wonderful clients

“Hope you are having a great summer . Here is something to add to your blog and organizational savy-ness: best reason to have an organized basement, when your whole basement floods you are very happy to have it all organized in waterproof tubs that can easily be moved to another location and nothing is wrecked. Plus very minimum damage to household items.

We flooded twice … And I have had to rip out entire basement, thanks to our organization of items, at least that part has not been difficult and I did not lose many personal items.”

Thanks L for sending me this email – I’ve been thinking about you so much and hope the renovations are underway. We actually have a few other clients who are in a similar situation – so sorry that you’re going through this and I’m so happy we used the air tight containers!

Rubbermaid-clear-medium

Rubbermaid Storage Containers