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One mid-March day in 2001, I experienced perfect peace.
My then-boyfriend Mark and I were at his mother’s home in Florida. It was mid-afternoon and we had been tired and decided to take a nap together. He and I had been dating since the previous September and, though I didn’t know it then, seven months later he would propose to me and I would joyfully accept.
On that sunny central Florida day, though, none of that mattered because I was completely in the present moment. We clung together, fully clothed, on the bed in his mom’s guest room. And I knew peace. I return to that memory sometimes and always re-experience a flash of that peace, that sense of all being right in the world, of safety and love and feeling fully alive. That may have been the moment I knew what I had with Mark was special.
What strikes me now is that connection between presence and peace. When I’m multi-tasking, I don’t feel peaceful. How can I when I’m doing two things at once, which by definition means that I’m not fully present for either of them? Listening to an audiobook while I straighten the house doesn’t detract from my performance of those extremely habitual housekeeping activities. They are so routine that I could almost do them in my sleep. But multi-tasking does diminish my sense of being fully present. And it leaves me feeling more jangly then serene. That’s not good or bad…just something I’ve noticed.
Presence affects every area of life. For the last few months, I’ve been focusing on being more present and mindful when I eat. It started December 1st, when I decided to eat less. I figured that if I really paid attention to what I actually did eat, I would feel less deprived about what I didn’t. Turns out it works! When I pay full (or, honestly, just more) attention to how food looks, smells, feels and tastes, I enjoy it more and require less. So far I’ve shed fourteen pounds without effort or deprivation. Who knew this was possible? Actually, many people. I’d read and heard of mindful eating for years. It just had not appealed to me. I didn’t want to be present with what I ate. And, perhaps not coincidentally, I did not experience great peace with food. Eating wasn’t a battle; it was just a habit, which is to say an almost mindless activity.
Peace did not come immediately. For the first few weeks, I felt anything but. I was frustrated that my metabolism no longer worked with the way I’d been eating for the past thirty years. And I felt lonely. So lonely. Since I work out of my home and my husband travels frequently, I eat most meals alone. I’m an introvert, so being alone usually fills my energy tank. But even introverts have limits. I’d apparently reached mine and hadn’t known it. No wonder I watched TV or read books while I ate! It distracted me from the isolation I experienced breaking bread by myself. When I set those diversions aside, I felt the pain at meal time and even cried a couple times. If this was being present, a future full of it looked grim.
But something shifted along the way. I realized I could take the loneliness. I leaned into it and discovered its textures and limits. Not surprisingly, it eased as I stayed present to it and accepted it. It also eased because I began to act on my need for greater connection with other people now that I was painfully aware of it. I started talking about it with some friends. I let my husband know how important our shared meals were so we could have more of them. And I somehow opened myself up to healing. Without any conscious decision, I began meeting face-to-face with people more often for work and personal connections. It has just unfolded naturally and effortlessly. I’m experiencing the beauty of being a creature that instinctively recalibrates once it gains awareness of being out of alignment.
And I’m OK with that. At peace, you might say. I’ll sometimes get out of balance with my needs. I’m human. If I give my mind the quiet it needs to be present, though, it will naturally lead me to peace. Nowadays, I recall that perfect cuddle on my future mother-in-law’s guest bed and enjoy the memory without wistfulness. I’m making new memories of peaceful present moments almost every day. It makes my life–and my belly–feel full. Maybe I’ll let go of the audiobooks while cleaning next…
How you look at an event determines your response. If you’re relaxed and welcoming, you feel more in control… As Dr. George Pickett said, “What you call ‘interruptions’ is my work.” Instead of seeing emails, calls and drop-by’s as interruptions, view them as welcome opportunities to problem-solve and be of service. When you do, you feel calmer and work more productively.
Forbes online writer Jacquelyn Smith has published another productivity-tip-laden article, this time on staying productive during the winter when many of us would rather hibernate in our warm beds. The article
The Chicago chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers has a new book club that will meet twice a year and their inaugural book selection is Stop Organizing, Start Producing by Casey Moore. “It’s a huge honor to review my work in this way,” says Casey. “I can’t wait to hear what they think!”
Yes, it’s cheesy, but I love holiday letters. It’s fun to look back on the year and reflect on blessings and growth. If you like them too, or you just want to see how my year went, click here: Casey’s holiday letter 2012
And have a Happy New Year!
As 2012 draws to a close, here’s a strategy to stay productive personally and professionally. You’ll “produce” peace within and with others (e.g., family) when you can accept what is instead of always trying to engineer what “should” be.
Casey’s eTip: Practice Acceptance, Not Correction
“Just for today I will be agreeable…courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.”
(This eTip brought to you by the Drive (Attitude) link in your Productivity Chain.)
Great tips for staying sane and productive this holiday season in this Forbes article for which I was a contributor. Worth the read and the image version’s great, too.
It’s 3 weeks to Halloween, 6 to Thanksgiving, 12 to New Year’s. Here are a few ways to get ready ahead of the curve this season:
* Decide how YOU want your holidays to be (simple, fancy, etc.).
* Consult family about who’s going where…these decisions can take weeks.
* Book your travel ASAP so you have more options.
* Make your gift list and start shopping.
(This eTip brought to you by the Planning link in your Productivity Chain.)
A survey of Human Resource managers found that 83% thought your desk reflected your professionalism. Not very orderly…not very professional. You won’t get fired for it, but clutter may limit your advancement–fair or not.*
Casey’s eTip: Clear the Clutter One Scrap at a Time
Piles and scattered notes reflect decisions deferred. To clear the clutter, decide the VERY NEXT ACTION for each item, one paper or post-it at a time. Put those actions on a list and the papers in the trash or the file drawer.
(This eTip brought to you by the Organization of Objects and Data link in your Productivity Chain.)
* Source: 2011 OfficeTeam survey (Spirit magazine, SWA, 2012-05, p. 36)
Running relieves my stress, keeps me fit, helps me sleep and keeps me mentally sharp. This September 2, my husband Mark and I ran the Virginia Beach Half-Marathon. It was my fourth time and his first. I was so excited to run with him. It was definitely my most fun race yet. You can see us crossing the finish line and with our medals afterwards.
Nowadays “teamwork” has come to mean “don’t make waves no matter what.” In reality, successful teams’ members challenge each other to be the best, whether they’re in sports, military, business, art, etc.
Casey’s eTip: Embrace Disagreements within Your Team
When disagreement arises, step into it, not away. What can you learn from others’ perspectives? Their ideas might clarify–or improve–your own. As an old Yiddish proverb says, “If all pulled in one direction, the world would keel over.”
(This eTip brought to you by the Communication/Relationships link in your Productivity Chain.)
I recently returned from a 12-day trip with my husband Mark. We hiked a 170-mile section of the Appalachian Trail from (roughly) Bennington, VT to Pawling, NY. Despite the brief, almost daily showers (and very swollen feet), it was so fun. Here are a few images: https://www.dropbox.com/gallery/23179784/1/FamilyPhotoShare?h=7f3c8a
The Institute for Chronic Disorganization, of which I’m a member, now offers low-cost teleclasses for the public. It’s a great opportunity to learn about a problem that affects many people, including those with Attention Deficit Disorder. To learn more, click here: http://www.challengingdisorganization.org/content/public-teleclasses.
The annual ICD conference, which takes place in Chicago, will offer sessions for the public, too, on September 19 from 6 to 8 pm. The theme is Why Can’t I Get Organized? Some Causes and Solutions for Disorganization. The registration fee is $15 prior to September 17 or $25 at the door of the event. To learn registration details, go to http://challengingdisorganization.com/content/2012-conference
Casey Moore has been nominated for the prestigious Founders Award of the National Association of Professional Organizers by Jan Wencel (www.lifecontained.com) and others. “It’s an honor to be nominated, to be recognized by my peers in such a way,” says Ms. Moore. “I’m thrilled, whatever the outcome.” As NAPO’s website explains, “the Founders’ Award is presented to a member…whose outstanding contributions have helped move the organizing profession forward. Through the Founders’ Award, the association says it admires and respects the recipients’ professionalism and achievements and is proud to have them as industry colleagues.” The award will be announced at NAPO’s annual convention, which will be held in Baltimore this March. [January 23, 2012, Chesapeake, VA]
Casey will appear on the “Building a Better Life” show hosted by Edith White on Hampton University’s WHOV (88.1 FM) today, January 9, at 12:00pm ET. You can listen live at http://whov.hamptonu.edu/. Check it out and maybe call in.
Improve your productivity by being friendly with others (strengthening your Communication/Relationships link). Connect with the admin staff at your doctor’s office. Get to know the security guard in your building. Remember that the faceless customer service agent on the other end of the line is a father, aunt, friend to others–a human being as worthy as you. Your friendliness may pay dividends down the road when you need special assistance. Even if it doesn’t, your open attitude will make you feel better about the world.
I’m pleased to announce that I earned the designation of Certified Organizer Coach®. In 2009 I began intensive training and practice through the Coach Approach program led by Master Coach Denslow Brown and ADHD Coach Cameron Gott. Certification required a certain number of hours of coursework and real coaching hours, a recorded call, and a live, juried coaching call. It was like graduate school and now I’ve got my degree. To learn more about my productivity coaching, download this pdf. — Casey
Hampton Roads’ Inside Business magazine recently featured Stop Organizing, Start Producing in an article about new books by local writers. Check it out: http://www.insidebiz.com/news/virginians-produce-trio-business-books-0.
I’m excited that I get to do a talk in Chicago for a national company this week. I’ll show them how they can use Microsoft Outlook to increase their productivity. It’s one of my favorite topics. It’s especially fun to show high-performers how to up their game a bit more. Best way to learn Outlook? Right-click everything.
Congratulations to all the Administrative Assistants around the world. You are the glue that holds organizations, departments, and people together. There has been a trend for the past few decades to cut administrative positions and it’s a huge mistake. What you do matters. How you do it matters. I’ve been one of you. I’m always honored to work with you, and I hope you have a wonderful day.
I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of professionals at TowneBank, one the country’s fastest-growing regional bank/insurance/realty/enterprise phenomenon, located here in Hampton Roads (southeastern Virginia).
Several of my clients have qualified for Chairman’s Club, meaning they performed exceptionally well and are being rewarded with a lovely vacation, courtesy of Bob Aston, Towne’s founder. I hope all of you have a fun time and let go of work while you’re away.
Just got back from the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers. It was an amazing experience. NAPO recognized FedEx and Soles for Souls for their amazing productivity and charitable works. And my colleagues loved the Productivity Chain model. Thanks to everyone who attended the session, bought the book, and made the conference happen.
Here’s what Bob Aston, the highly productive and successful founder of TowneBank, Hampton Roads’ #1 regional financial institution, wrote about Stop Organizing, Start Producing: “The Productivity Chain is unique in its simplicity, yet compelling in setting forth a ‘GPS’ track to high performance. Congratulations on a job well done!”
Casey Moore’s new book, Start Organizing, Start Producing, is available for purchase today. She shares her secret for getting and keeping high productivity—a strong Productivity Chain. She helps you stop wasting time in your efforts to save time. It’s all told in Casey’s direct, easy-to-read style.
Topic: “Stop Organizing, Start Producing”
Description: Stop wasting your time getting “organized” (again) and start producing results instead. Learn the secrets to sustainably high productivity that Casey shares in her new book, Stop Organizing, Start Producing, which will be released that day.
Time: Tuesday, March 1, 7:00-9:00 PM ET
Location: St. Patrick’s Catholic School (1000 Bolling Avenue, Norfolk, VA)
To Register: click or copy and paste the link below. If you have difficulty, use the link next to St. Patrick’s above. https://app.etapestry.com/cart/StPatrickCatholicSchool/default/item.php?ref=1948.0.189006963
Casey Moore has unveiled her new interactive website, www.CaseyMooreInc.com. This well-designed, powerful site (produced by Tom Noffsinger of The Primm Company) is completely connected with social media, with an interactive blog feature. You, the user, can not only learn about how Casey can help you become more productive in general, but you can ask Casey your questions directly as well.
Casey Moore has completed an intensive training through Denslow Brown’s Coach Approach program and submitted her certification application today to the Applied Coaching Institute. For the past two years, Casey has taken eight classes (over 70 hours of class time) and logged hundreds of coaching hours. She’s also worked with mentor coach Cameron Gott. While many people call themselves “coaches,” only a small percentage have actually trained in this specialized discipline, as Casey has. The skills she has developed and have enhanced her ability to help her clients. If her application is accepted, Casey will become a Certified Organizing Coach later this year. Stay tuned!
Casey Moore’s upcoming book, Stop Organizing, Start Producing, includes productivity industry leaders who have either reviewed the book or agreed to have their work covered in it, including Brian Tracy, Dr. Stephen Covey, David Allen, Denslow Brown, Barbara Hemphill, Judith Kolberg, and Patty Kreamer. Casey’s book will shake up this conventional wisdom about “organizing” and productivity.
Casey Moore will provide a series of productivity workshops for Norfolk-based law firm Rutter Mills, working with attorneys, management and key staff. The first workshop in the series is titled “Take Your Performance to the Next Level (The Productivity Chain Approach) and will take place in early March.
To have Casey help your organization become more effective, fill out the online contact form now.
On April 8,2011, Casey will speak at the National Association of Professional Organizers 23rd Annual Conference and Organizing Exposition in San Diego, CA. Her speech is titled, “Being Organized Isn’t Enough: Conducting a Comprehensive Productivity Assessment of the Office Client.”
Don’t wait! Learn more about scheduling Casey Moore for your next meeting or conference. Call 757-560-2872 or complete the online contact form.
You can read my latest article, “Clear the Clutter” for Small Business Insight magazine, at http://smallbusinessinsight.com/clear-the-clutter/. You can also listen to my latest interview with The Specialist at http://www.mysalesandmanagementtraining.com/interviews/