Project Eve

Project Eve connects women to the news, resources, networking and promotional tools that help us grow our business.

    New Post has been published on Getting Balance

    New Post has been published on

    Getting Organized: Stuff, Things and Papers Trails

    Stuff in the Corner

    At six am, the lumbering sound of the recycle truck interrupted the morning silence as it traveled through the neighborhood.  I heard it stop in front of my house, and empty the full contents of my recycle bin into its container.  No going back now with the choices made over the weekend to lighten my load, and get rid of things. Since my daughters left the nest, a new-found energy to downsize infused my life.  I feel ready to move to a smaller home.  I do not want to manage stuff, and desire a smaller living place so that time, money, and energy are with friends, traveling or visiting my girls.

    I sifted through boxes of things, and more things – stuff, papers.  The last 30 years I kept magazines, newspaper articles, and old school papers from my college days, and from my daughters’ school years – elementary through high school! I had boxes of cards celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, get well, bereavement, cheer up, friendship, and thinking of you expressions given to me throughout my life. Not only cards mailed to me but I managed to secure and store cards sent to other members of my family. The cards documented our journey through life.   Sentimental evidence difficult to discard because it is proof I was here, went to college, had a family, and belonged to a community of friends.  Occasionally I need visual, written evidence that I loved deeply, cherished my daughters, and enjoyed incredible friendships over the years. 

    While working on my undergraduate degree, I enjoyed social history research.   Before Facebook and email correspondence, I cherished the excitement of sifting through primary resources such as letters or cards.  For example, a love letter between a famous writer and her partner provided a unique historical glimpse of issues that impacted their lives.  As I picked through the stacks, I thought that my daughters might be interested in reading through old letters, journals, or greeting cards for a bit of family history.  I also came across letters from a childhood friend who recently died of cancer and wondered if her children or grandchildren would want to read the news and thoughts she wrote about her beloved family to others.

    My mom condensed my childhood collection of schoolwork and pictures into a box.   Throughout my life during difficult decisions and tumultuous times, it helped to read stories I wrote as a child or comments that teachers made on my report cards.  Not to drown in memories or the horrible quicksand of would have, could have, should have – rather to gain glimpses of reference points into characteristics that distinctly belong to me and light a path for future endeavors.

    For the time being, I downsized from five boxes to three, and that is not a bad beginning.  As for schoolwork from the girls’ collection of stuff, I saved selected artwork and all of their writing. I think they will one day enjoy reviewing the poems, journals, and essays they wrote from elementary to high school.  

    Share your time saving tips, blogs, recipes, and ideas for better living with Getting Balance’s community of women seeking happiness and wellbeing today.

    — 5 hours ago
    #stuff recycle truck papers cards downsizing memories social history new beginnings 
    New Post has been published on Project Eve

    New Post has been published on

    Strategic Planning: Not an After-Hours Activity

    Merely stating that you have to carve out time for strategic thinking doesn’t make it so. For many small business owners already overwhelmed by all they have to do, an activity has to be valuable if it’s to be added to an already bloated calendar. The results achieved, especially in a highly competitive and fast-changing business environment, make strategic thinking a must!

    strategtic thinking priority 300x200 Strategic Planning: Not an After Hours ActivityEven when deemed vital for business success, many small business owners treat strategic thinking as an afterthought — an end-of-day activity when the hustle and bustle of the business day comes to a close.

    By that time, decision fatigue sets in and, with no one to hold us accountable, it’s increasingly easy to put off this vital activity until another day.

    Another day turns into next week, which turns into the following month. And, so it goes until a calamity stops us dead in our tracks. Sounds only too familiar, doesn’t it.

    Strategic Planning: Hindsight is 20/20

    Wouldn’t it be grand if a small business came with a crystal ball? It’s frustrating, stressful, and exhausting to work long hours only to discover at the end of a month, quarter or year that targets have been grossly missed. Ack!

    Sadly, by the time, it’s too late.

    It’s easy to blame the economy when business isn’t growing as we would like, but that’s really only part of the problem. The other culprit is the failure to make time to think strategically.

    Strategic Planning: Your Future Awaits

    Generally used in game theory, such as chess, strategic thinking involves the application of unique business insights to help your small business grow. Simply stated, strategic thinking is the logical process of knowing where you are, where you want to go, and how you’ll get there.

    Strategic thinking affords you the opportunity to use data to glean valuable insights. Rather than hope an intended strategy nets results; strategic thinking expands the likelihood of achieving your small business goals.

    Strategic Planning: Prioritize Your Small Business Success

    The ideal time to maximize the benefits of strategic thinking is the first thing each morning. Before the rush of the day’s activities pulls you off track, strategic thinking sets the pace and the direction for your day.

    Although strategic thinking sounds like a complicated process, it’s simpler than you may realize. Follow this eight-step-process to make strategic thinking a priority and realize how it fast-forwards your small business:

    1. Set aside the first 20 minutes of your day (before opening email).
    2. Eliminate distractions.
    3. Focus your attention.
    4. Gather your strategic thinking tools, including your goals, metrics, results, and performance.
    5. Look for trends or patterns of performance.
    6. Dig deep enough to understand the root cause or opportunities available to your small business.
    7. Develop a plan of action for the day that aligns your actions with your business mission, vision, strategies, and goals.
    8. Implement as planned.

    Strategic thinking is the most important daily activity for any small business owner. It ensures what happens during your day isn’t just busy work but that it moves your business to the next level.

    Stop doing — and start thinking — strategic thinking, that is!

    Jackie Nagel, Founder of Synnovatia, arms small business owners and entrepreneurs with tried and tested strategies for business growth. This article first appeared on Synnovatia. Let’s connect: Linkedin | Twitter | Facebook | Google+

    — 6 hours ago
    #business skills  #small business strategy  #Small Business Success