TedX Fargo promised to change my life....the speakers delivered throughout the day with inspiring thoughts, provoking questions, and most importantly, by showing that working outside the box can indeed provide a solution. It can also FAIL, and failure was a common theme. Failure is not a bad thing - think Thomas Edison and the light bulb, Milton Hershey and the Hershey Bar, and more recently, James Dyson, who "failed" 5217 times before coming up with the correct prototype for his now famous Dyson Vacuum.
I disagree with the common saying, "failure is not an option". Failure is ALWAYS a real, and sometimes scary option! But what if we approached it from a different perspective, looking upon failure as a narrowing of the learning curve that points us, albeit eventually, towards the working solution?
Yes, that's it. Failure is not negative. Failure is simply ruling out what doesn't work so we can re-focus on what does!
As a gentleman in an entrepreneur group I recently attended said, "there will always be naysayers around you. When you are wrong, or fail, they'll be right up there saying I told you so. When you are right, or succeed, they are no where to be found."
What about you? What would you do if you accepted that failure wasn't negative, but an ingredient for success?
I'm super excited to be at the TedX Fargo event today! I have a volunteer shift (because I'm all about many hands making light work) from 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. and then I'm free to enjoy the incredible 23 speakers from around the country, not to mention the event promises to "change my life". And, I fully expect it to do just that!
Who am I most looking forward to hearing? That's a tough one! It ranges from Nathan Clark, Wondermade's Chief Marshmallow Agent (have I ever mentioned I LOVE marshmallows?), to AJ Leon, an ex-banker turned humanitarian and Founder and Artistic Director of Misfit Incorporated. That's only two of the 23 - all will give me a morsel to walk away with, I'm sure!
Aren't familiar with TED? It started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment, and design (TED - get it?) converged. Since then it has taken on a life of it's own with talks covering practically everything under the sun. TedX's are local, independently organized TED events.
One of my favorite programs on Minnesota Public Radio is the Ted Radio Hour, Sunday nights at 6 p.m. It's a great way to end my weekend with a little thought provoking material. Even my kids have enjoyed listening to it on occasion.
How about you? Do you have a favorite TedTalk? I'd love to know about it!
What do a mesh laundry bag, baby powder, an umbrella, a make-up bag, and a plastic bin have in common? They are the 5 beach essentials you need to make your trek to the lake easy (and save on mess & stress).
What is your "go-to" item for making your trip to the shore mess and stress free?
You know the drill.....Deadline to get out the door is 10 minutes away and you're still trying to squeeze 18 minutes of "quickie" tasks into those too few minutes. Like Cinderella's stepsisters trying to squeeze their feet into her glass slipper. End result? Not out the door on time! Know how I know? Because I myself suffer from a severe case of "OneMore-itus". As in, "I'll just do this one more thing before I leave".
And, I'm not alone! According to the Planning Fallacy, it's human nature to underestimate how long a task will take, even if we've done the task before. That load of wash that'll just take a minute to throw in the dryer? More realistically it is a 7 minute time allotment. How about that email we'll just "quickly" respond to before moving on to what we should be doing? Mhmmm.....more like 9-11 minutes!
My point, you ask? These little time under-estimations over the course of a day will push us behind and make us feel like we'll never catch up. We simply cannot have more than 24 hours in each day, just as those stepsisters could not squeeze their over-sized feet into someone else's shoe. The big question is, how do we manage the 24 hours that we DO have?
Gaining control over the "OneMore-itus" beast starts with accurately estimating what I can and cannot do, in the time frame I have. It's a little painful to leave that load in the washer as I head out the door, but the feeling of arriving at my destination ON TIME, maybe even with a minute to spare, by far outweighs the initial pain.
I challenge you to try tiny time management for a day. Look at all the little tasks accomplished over a day and see how accurate your time perception is. I carried a timer with me for a day and was amazed.
Do you have an inner squirrel?
Time Magazine ran a fabulous article on March 23, 2015 in their Society/Home section on Americans, clutter, storage, and our obsessive acquisition (ok, those are my words, not Time's) of stuff.
"There are many economic and cultural factors that lead us to buy, but there are fundamental evolutionary drivers for why we acquire but then can't let it go. Call it our Inner Squirrel."
In other words, we have a need for self-preservation, and part of satisfying that need is acquisition of resources. Our challenge, however, is that the amount of resources easily accessible to us has increased over the decades. That promotes this dangerous mindset:
If having one is good, having 6 must be better.
But is it? No, and alternately, Yes! Sometimes multiples are good - if they are being used. There are things that we are fortunate to have in quantities - and they make our lives easier and more efficient. I know a woman who loves crock-pots. She adores them. She has them in every size and style - sometimes two or three of each. But this isn't her clutter. She also loves to entertain family at her cabin for long weekends - and her closet full of crock-pots lets her feed the hungry masses easily for every meal of the day - while still enjoying time with family.
There is a flip side, though, to the having. Sometimes we just have too much of a good thing.
Squirrels save nuts and seeds to sustain them physically thru long winters when food is scarce. Can they find all their hide-aways during the winter or are some left untouched? That's a piece of science I don't know the answer to, but I do know I've seen a lot of squirrels searching frantically (haven't we all been there, too?). I do know, however, that humans save things for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with our survival, and that many, many times our hideaways are forgotten!
So ask yourself one final question with our poll - and let's see if we're all a little nutty for too much stuff!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who