Tag Archives: Thinking

Traffic Light Thinking

The traffic light is a great metaphor for reviewing where you are in terms of project development and productivity or creativity in general.

Project Development – Are you at a standstill? Have you come to a red light? Full stop?  Are you at a transitional time when you are in caution mode? Are you in the flow with the green light going full speed ahead? Knowing where you are on a project, in terms of the traffic light,  is a helpful tool to  monitoring your activity and progress.

Creativity – Everyone is creative in their own way. You can look at your personal or professional creatively in terms of the traffic light. Are you being creative and flowing, as in being in the green light? Or are you in a cautionary or transitional phase as in yellow. Maybe you are at a stopping point and are at the red light waiting for time or inspiration. Again the secret is to be aware and clear on where you are in terms of the traffic light.

Knowing where you are at the traffic light is a great tool for understanding your productivity and creative status. Green may be good, but too much green may be exhausting and unhealthy.  A long time at yellow may mean you are in a transition and may need to try other things. This could include seek help from others such as a coach or make some required changes. Being in the red may be frustrating, but it can also be the well needed rest. Red can also be the warning sign to make some changes

 

Try using the traffic light metaphor in  measuring or examining some of your projects or activities. Let me know what you think.

 

A shout out to Shannon for getting me thinking about this today.

 

 

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Curator Vs. Caretaker

Are you a caretaker or curator of your special materials? I am talking about your private or personal family collections. What is the difference you ask?

When we first inherit or start to collect material we may be just caretaking. And that is Okay. Curating before we are ready can be a big mistake.

Do you let the special material sit in the box and wait to deal with it later? If this is the case, then you are a caretaker.  Or do you sort, label, arrange or classify and make some sort of arrangement of the material?  Curators do that.

Good caretakers pack and store material carefully, in safe spaces free free from harm. Inquisitive little children or pets,  pests or rodents can be an issue. Water or humidity or excessive heat or even excessive temperature changes within a short period of time can be a safety factor. Bright lighting or direct sunlight can also be damaging to your collection.

Are you ready to go from caretaking to curating your collection? The time has to be right. Maybe you are too tired of caretaking the collection so perhaps the time is right to pass the collection along to someone else to curate. After all not all caretakers have to curate.

Wise curators are deliberate with their plan. They think it out before they proceed. They seek advise if they need it. They don’t have to go it alone. Books, associations, organizations and solo practitioners are out there to provide assistance and advice to the curator. Remember seek help and guidance and think it through.

 

Books 

An Ounce of Preservation – A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs by Craig A. Tuttle

How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick

How to Organize Inherited Items: A Step-by-Step Guide for Dealing with Boxes of your Parent’s Stuff by Denise May Levenick 

Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions by Don Williams, Louisa Jaggar

The Unofficial Family Archivist: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia by Melissa Mannon 

Consultants

Terri Blanchette   http://timesorters.com

 

Website/Blogs

The ArmChair Genealogist  written by Lynn Palermo*     lynn@thearmchairgenealogist.com

The Family Curator written by Denise May Levenick

Family History Secrets written by Wendy Percival. This British site is more about writing and creating – but done in an interesting way.

The Practical Archivist written by Sally Jacobs

 

 

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy an article I wrote about ephemera many year’s back called Don’t Throw That Away!

 

* This blog was inspired by a post a few months ago by Lynn Palermo regarding curating and creating. If you read my last blog post and book review you would know I am showing my work. Denise May Levenick’s book, How to Organize Inherited Items: A Step-by-Step Guide for Dealing with Boxes of your Parent’s Stuff, also uses the three concepts of Curator, Creator and Caretaker.

 

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Filed under Caregiving, Client Management Strategies, Creativity, Knowledge, Organizing, Terms

Show Your Work

9780761178972Austin Kleon’s  Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered published  written in 2014  is a quick and helpful read for all ages,  Share Something Small Everyday is a simple yet wonderful concept  explained and nicely diagramed in chapter 3. This concept is perfect for aspiring creatives and artists to understand and immediately begin the process. Share Something Small Everyday is also a great strategy for young high school S.T.E.M. students who want to start distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack

Open Up Your Cabinet of Curiosities , chapter 4 brings home the gem “Your influences are all worth sharing because they clue people in to who you are and what you do – sometimes even more than your own work.” Kleon.  In this regard, Austin believes you should always give credit where credit is due and don’t share what you can’t credit.

Learn to Take A Punch is a chapter about building resilience, something all creatives, leaders and visionaries need. I almost passed this by on the first glide by but realized the value upon preparing for this review.

This under 225 page book will take you no time to read, yet will provide some useful and practical insights for some parts of your own work  or your client’s. The thing to remember about this book is that it is SHORT, therefore don’t expect too much.  However, it’s the words and wisdom in this little book that will come in handy from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay Tuned

Life is a little complicated – so it is a good time to tell my readers to check back from time to time. I will be resuming my blogging within the next few months. Meanwhile check back on some of the thoughts from 2012.

In The Flow

Carrot or Stick?

Rushing – All in your mind?

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Three Losses in Five Years

The Three Losses in 5 years Syndrome

Over the past 10 years, I have come across a subset of individuals who begin a sudden onset of chronic disorganization.  These are individuals who are  serving as family caretakers who have experienced at least three significant losses in their life over the span of 5 years. This subset has usually served as primary caretaker for either parent(s), spouse or sibling(s). Many of them also serve as the executor of one or more of these estates.   Many of these individuals seem to take about 7 to 12 years after the final loss  to come to terms with this in their life.

What I would like to see is a more active approach to treating this,  more on the onset prevention than as an after effect treatment.

It would be beneficial to have physicians and their staffs work to identify caretakers who are already at two losses in five years, and encourage them to get additional support through grief counseling, caretaker support group participation and for those financially able,  consider the services of a skilled professional organizer.  A skilled professional organizer can do wonders to help the “primary caretaker client ” in terms of time management, goal setting, project planning and management. Many professional organizers can help establish bill paying and document management systems to handle the growing paperwork that complex and long-term medical conditions usually entail as well as documents for estates probate.  A professional organizer can help the client simplify his or her life and environment as well as serve as a body double for difficult and often procrastinated tasks.

While a professional organizers services are not inexpensive, they are a valuable tool that may help the primary caretaker live a more vibrant and fulfilling life while and after experiencing heavy losses in their life.

The Three Losses in 5 Years are primarily death losses.  For some, however, one of those losses can be the loss of a pet, divorce or significant job loss.

I believe more research and education is needed in this area. Let’s hope that this syndrome can be more clearly understood and helpful strategies for success developed and promoted to the general public.

 

This is a best of post from 2010.

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Filed under Caregiving, Client Management Strategies, Communication Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Productivity, Terms, Thinking, Time

Rushing – All in Your Mind?

Last week I covered the physical reasons for rushing – now I want to cover the other causes of rushing a project or activity, along with some preventive strategies.

We tend to start rushing if we find we were spending too much time in our “head”  concentrating on something else and need to catch up. The key here is to first acknowledge that you have been unavailable and then secondly work out a schedule to complete your task safety and productively.

The second reason for rushing can also be caused by allowing ourselves to  follow the pace of others. This can be dangerous and have less effective results. Again the key is to first acknowledge that you are “doing this”. You might identify the “doing of this” by observing your talking speed or your walking pace. If you find yourself speeding up your voice pace or copying the walking or movement pace of your client or co-worker you have likely caught their rushing bug. After observing and identifying your case of rushing, it is time to take a deep breath and physically slow your pace down. A short five-minute water break might be in order to help you go back to the more normal calmer state of your being. Your client will likely be able to use the break to slow themselves down.

Rushing is a way to create problems for yourself, your company or client. By being aware and understanding how rushing can affect you or your client,  you can consciously work to avoid it. This will allow you to create a more productive,  safer and calmer working relationship and working environment.

Link to earlier Stop Rushing post.

This is a best of post from 2010.

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Filed under Client Management Strategies, Communication, Communication Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Philosophy, Productivity, Terms, Time

Look at the Done’s In Your Life

Are you in need of some encouragement or motivation for yourself or your client? Take a few moments to look at some of the accomplishments you have made from the time you were born. Everyone has done some great things. If you are finding your list short or boring, you may want to examine your “done’s” from a different perspective.  Sometimes perseverance and tenacity are the characteristic strengths to celebrate. Here are a few key words to get you or your client’s thinking in this direction.

I have Finished

Example – high school, completed online course, read Bleak House

I have Progressed

Example – got a job after college, received advancement in company, went from board member- at- large to president of organization

I Survived

Example – lived in a house undergoing remodel for one year, sustained working for world’s most difficult boss for a year in my twenties,  managed three-hour daily commute for 18 months

I Maintained

Example – I maintained a full-time job while raising 3 children, I maintained my attendance at exercise class for two years, I maintained reading at least 3 books a month for the past year

I Stopped

Example – declined to utilize local poor quality dry cleaners after receiving bad service, changed physician due to ongoing appointment inconvenience issues

Once you have done this insightful exercise you may find it helpful to start an accomplishment or achievement journal. You may also want to read my earlier blog on Looking at the Un’s in Life.

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