Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Multi-tasking: Friend or Foe

Very few subjects in the world of organizing are such hot button issues as 'multi- tasking.' However it certainly has its devotees! While I never like to waste time, I am not a fan. Let me explain.

If you are in a doctor's waiting room, why sit idle? This is a great time to get caught up on your paper work or even better give yourself an opportunity to start that novel you have been longing to read. If dinner is in the oven, why not toss in a load of laundry to fill the time before dinner is served? Maybe you can set the table while the food cooks and the laundry spins! These are examples of getting things done.

But if you are in the habit of working on the computer, talking on the phone and writing all at the same time, I have to ask how you feel at the end of the day? Exhausted, depleted and weary would be the responses I would expect. The first set of activities were each getting your full focus even though they seemed to be happening at the same time. The second set will fry your nerves as you direct your attention in multiple areas at once. Or at least attempt to...

If you are suddenly angry with me and feel I am making you wrong or trying to take something away from you that works, don't fret. I'm simply sharing what works for me, my readers and my clients. Give it a try. Examine how you multi-task and, most importantly, how you feel when you are done. It's fun to experiment with different ways of thinking, doing and being, isn't it?

I am a long time practitioner of yoga, both the physical postures and the ancient philosophy that the postures are a part of. I am writing this post on Wednesday, June 24th. In just two days I'll be leaving for the second of four yoga retreats I am honored to enjoy each year. I will write again next week with the renewed sense of peace being on a mountain top always brings to my Soul. I hope your week is productive and your weekend brings you a time of renewal. It's summer after all, you deserve a break.

My system of organizing, by the way, is called 'Zen Organizing" and is expressed in all (soon to be seven) of my books. The new 'One Year to...' series best captures this system. I invite you to read more about it. If the home is your area of challenge "One Year to an Organized Life" is for you. If you languish is a sea of chaos at work, you will enjoy "One Year to an Organized Work Life." Late this year "One Year to an Organized Financial Life" will be out. We're all concerned about our finances, aren't we? And yet so few of us receive an adequate education in this area. My new book is written with Russell Wild, a financial planner who makes the arcane world of finance accessible. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did writing it with Russ!

What have you got to lose by embracing 'Zen Organizing' except perhaps tension and turbulence? What you'll gain is peace, calm and oh yes, productivity.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacations, packing and time...

June 22, 2009

Earlier this month I returned to China for a second visit. I love history and Beijing has centuries of tales to tell. Shanghai is 'only' about 100 years old but its mix of traditional Chinese culture and the China of tomorrow is heady. My internal time clock is still getting adjusted. I tend to get sleepy around 5 pm and be flooded with energy around 1 am. An amazing turn of events for a woman who dubs herself the 'Queen of Sleep.'

For the past 11 years I have been traveling the world with a small suitcase that blissfully fits in any overhead compartment. This trip I took just what I needed and restrained myself from buying things I didn't need. The day before we were due to return to the U.S., however, the shopping gods struck a blow: I stumbled upon something I didn't purchase last time: a silk comforter. They are as light as a feather and yet warm in winter and cool in summer. I had to have one.

Here's a little packing tip that isn't in any of my books: very often the manufacturer will pack an item with unnecessary padding. If you remove it from its factory material, you can tuck it into a corner of your suitcase. Somehow we squeezed my new queen size comforter into a postage stamp size suitcase. I remember the challenge each night as I crawl under the cover of my sweet silk comforter.

Happy travels everyone!

Regina Leeds

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June 2009, in China

June 2009, in China
At the Summer Palace outside Beijing

About Me

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I will always be grateful I grew up in Brooklyn, New York.  It was a rich atmosphere that introduced me to different races, creeds and professions.  It seemed that anything was possible if you were willing to work hard to achieve your goals.

I'm a yogi which means that my spiritual path is that of yoga principles that have been handed down for over 5000 years. Yoga is an ancient philosophy based on the Gita, the sutras of Patanjali and yes, the Bible. The postures are a key element as is meditation. We honor all paths.

I got my first dog when I was 6 years old after a full year of begging.  She was a collie and her name was Queenie.  As an adult I've had 2 golden retrievers.  A female named Miss Katie who came into my life when she was 3 months old and an ancient male golden who came to me when he was 15.  I'd like to have a Great Dane next but we'll see what the universe has in store.

I've been organizing clients for over 24 years and writing about it for over ten.