Monday, December 31, 2012

Another year coming to the end

Want to wish everyone a Very Happy 2013.

May next year be a great year and will be posting my 2013 goals in the next couple of days along with how I did in achieving my 2012 goals.

If you are out tonight please be safe and see you in 2013.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Busy time of year

For most people this is a busy time of year.  Besides balancing the normal daily routine there are so many other demands of our time.  Besides the extra demands of our time there are all the different family commitments that go along with this time of year.

How do we juggle all of the extra demands of our time when we are busy enough normally?  Well it comes down to setting priorities and sticking to these priorities.  I know that I have lots of demands of my time at this time of year but I figure out what needs to get done and what can wait until after New Years.  I may not always be able to keep the items that can wait off my mind but at least I am able to remember they aren't urgent right now.

Over the last few days I have figured out what I can set aside and what still needs to get done.  It's amazing when you realize that there are tons of things on your to-do-list but so many of these items can be put on hold for a couple of weeks.  Of course putting the items on hold means that they are going to be there in the new year but at least for now they become a little less important.

Of course there are still the family and friend commitments that are on the list for the next couple of weeks but at least knowing what needs to be done and what can wait is a start.

So remember go over that to-do-list and see what can wait and what needs to get done.  The goal over the next couple of weeks to try and relax a bit and not be stressed out about the items that remain on the to-do-list.  Now take some time to relax and enjoy being with the people you care about.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cars and drivers

How often have you been out in a car and actually told a car off because of the behaviour of the car and driver. Of course the car cannot hear you and of course the drive can't hear you as well. It is fun sometimes to listen to what you actually say to the cars and drivers. I know one of the conversations I had was this morning. A car was in the way and of course I started talking to the other car. “Will you just decide where you are going and go because you are in the way.”

OK, as I said, yes I have talked to cars wanting them to behave different and I know that isn't going to happen. Maybe what I am really trying to do is release of the stress that I could end up storing up if I didn't react in someway. Yes, I know that my husband gets a good laugh of out of the one way conversations that I have with cars. No, the car isn't going to change what it's doing because it is actually the driver that is causing the car behave like it is. So really what I am trying to do is get the car and driver to behave in a way that I think it should be behaving.

Of course, I am not sure why the car is behaving like it is and there could be very good reasons. In some cases, the driver may not know exactly where they are going or they could be issues with the car that I don't know about. So, maybe I should try and not talk to cars and try and figure out other ways of dealing with the stress I get when cars are in my way.

So next time a car gets in your way instead of talking to the car maybe you should take the couple of seconds delay as time to think of pleasant thoughts. Now, I just have to remember to actually practice the pleasant thinking instead of talking to the cars.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Documentation and its importance

Lately I have been dealing with a major project with a deadline of the end of November. At the beginning of the project it looked like it would be a pretty easy project, but after doing some discovery I found out that the project was going to be a lot more work than first anticipated.

The project was to gather information together and submit it as a complete report. That sounded pretty easy until I discovered that the information was in various spots and some of it wasn't even documented so I had to do the documentation as well. I am not complaining about the documenting because that is something that I really enjoy doing. What I did learn through all of this is the importance of good documentation of policies and procedures and the need for having extremely good organization of these documents.

Organizations have to realize that documentation is required because if it is just in a person's head it can be easily lost. What if the person leaves the organization or isn't able to work for some reason for a long period of time. It is going to cost the organization a lot of extra time and energy to figure out how something is actually done instead of being able to look at the documentation and quickly do the work required.

I have heard people say that there is no need for documentation because I know what to do so that is what is important. Well it's great if you plan to be around forever and never have to be away from work, so no vacation or sick days. So even if you don't want to document what you do because you feel that it could result in you being let go, I am telling you that it's extremely important to document what you do. What if the company is audited for processes and you are asked to show documentation about your job, can you do it?

So yes documentation may be a lot of work to do it but having it does really help an organization. With proper documentation you can show that you do what it documented and what is documented is what you do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

School schedule

When I was going to school you were suppose to be in the school yard before the final bell rang. If you were late you had to go to the office and explain why you were late getting to school. I don't remember having to go to the office because I was always in the school yard ahead of that bell.

What I have noticed around where I live is when the final bell rings I still see a lot of children still walking in the neighbourhood not even near the school yard. Has society changed that much that we don't respect the start times anymore. Maybe that is why so many people today arrive at work whenever they want, because that is what they have been doing all their life.

The other thing I have noticed is that on days that there is school I see quite a few children in the neighbourhood mall with their parents during the school day. If the child is sick they should be at home and not shopping with their parents. If the child isn't sick they should be in school learning instead of shopping. I know if we were caught out of school there were prices to pay because the parent was reported especially if you were just avoiding school. Maybe part of this lack of caring is because now a days schools can't fail a student until they are in high school. So now a days it looks like you don't have to really learn and you will advance to the next grade no matter what. So many students have the entitled attitude and the automatic passing could be part of that. There is no real cost of not doing the school work, I know that when I was at school if you didn't complete all your work you failed and had to repeat the same grade again.

I guess what I am really saying is there really isn't any discipline now a days for children going to school. They seem to get there when they want (this could be the parents fault or the child's fault) and miss school for what seems to be no reason. Years ago you learned early on that school had a schedule and you worked within that schedule unless you were really sick.

So if someone can explain the new school schedule to me it would be great because I really don't understand it. This school schedule may not apply to all schools but I know it applies to the school near me and that is what I can use as a reference.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Writing a bit at a time

I know that I have given myself a challenge to write 1,000 words each day and one thing I have discovered is that it is difficult to sit and write that much all at once. So what I have decided to try and do is try and write at least 500 words twice a day so that I can see that I am progressing. Understanding your writing style and how you can achieve your goals is something that isn't going to happen overnight. I know that I have sat for days looking at a blank page and just got frustrated because nothing would come to me. Other days I can sit down and write and it seems that I can easily work through an entire idea and see a completed blog or article.

One of the other things I have discovered is that when I want to focus on writing I need to ensure that I am not connected to the internet. The reason for this is if I am connected it gives me an escape and then I end up losing a lot of time on the internet instead of trying to focus on writing something. The internet can be a great tool for writing to look up things relating to what you are writing about but for me right now it doesn't help me get things done.

I think working on this blog entry has helped me realize why I can write when we are on an escape from home. Normally when we are away I have limited access to the internet so I don't have that distraction that I use when I am at home or at work. The other reason for my writing is not just limited internet access it is also that I have limited other distractions when we are away. Maybe what I need to do is when I decide I want to write is to ensure that I don't have internet access for a little while.

I have read that you need to have an area where you do your writing so that you can limit the distractions around you. I know that I don't have an area where I do my writing because I seem to write different times and even in different places. I have tried having an area where I write but I found that I couldn't write in that area but could write in different areas.

So writing a bit at a time is going to help me reach my goals and I am also going to limit my access to the internet while I am trying to do my writing. Bit by bit I will get into the habit of writing each day and then I will happy seeing results more often.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Organzing my thoughts

One of my challenges is finding a method that I can keep all my different ideas organized so that when I want to sit and write they are all quickly available to me. The biggest challenge I have with this is I end up noting my ideas in different notebooks and different devices so the ideas end up all over the place instead of in one spot. Ideas happen when they happen and I am not going to stop documenting them I just need a better way of keeping them available to me.

I have tried writing them on paper and keeping a file handy but there are times that I don't have the file with me and I want to sit and write. I have also tried to keep the ideas on my iPad and again I don't have it with me when I want to write so the ideas aren't there. How can I keep all my thoughts with me all the time? What device or method can I use to achieve this? I have tried Dropbox to store ideas but it only works when you have internet access and an electronic device handy. So this is one of the challenges that I am currently facing, too many ideas and no one method seems to work for me.

If I could find a tool that would help me keep track of my ideas and always be with me, I think I would do more writing because I don't have to rethink ideas. I know a lot of people can sit and write something from start to finish but I am not one of those. Sometimes I can write something all the way at once and other times I get an idea but can't seem to find all the words to put it together into a complete thought. Another issue is sometimes you get an idea when you can't sit and write due to other commitments.

So the organizing of my thoughts and keeping them handy is what I am currently dealing with. Yes, way too may ideas and I need a way to keep them organized.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Writing with a purpose

Today I decided that I am going to try and write at least 1,000 words of something. I am not sure what I am actually going to write about but at least it is worth a try to see how much 1,000 words actually works out to be.

Setting goals. I think it's great when people have goals that they have set for themselves and they can achieve them. I think I need a goal for my writing so that I can ensure that I actually get some writing done most days. I have read a few blogs and they have mentioned that to ensure they get writing done each day they have set a goal of 1,000 words each day.

In my previous blog I was mentioning that for me I always find a reason not to sit and write instead of trying to get into a habit of sitting down each day and working on something for a little while. One thing, I have come to realize is that I need to set aside some time each day no matter what. Yes, I have a busy schedule but I need to ensure that I have taken some time to work on the various blogs and articles that I want to complete.

The actual habit of writing each day is something that I am finding so hard to do and I know that once I make it a habit it will be so much easier for me to do. Even yesterday after writing the blog about the challenges of writing, I found that I came up with a lot of different reasons why I couldn't continue to write. So here I am sitting in front of my computer today determined that I am going to at least spend some time working on my writing instead of checking out the various websites and blogs that I easily distract me from what I originally sat down to do.

Why is it that so many of us have such a hard time writing but we have lots of ideas running around in our head that we want to get out onto paper. I know I have a habit of writing down all the little ideas that I have that I want to expand on but it's the expansion of these various ideas that I find so challenging. In some cases, I find that I can write at various events that I go to even if there is a presentation going on in front of me. Yes, I go to events and try to listen to presentations but if the topic isn't of interest to me I can block it out and actually get some writing done. In some cases, I am writing down ideas and in other cases I can complete an entire blog entry or article while at the event. In some cases I think it's because I don't have all the other things around me distracting me and I can focus on a task at hand.

Where I can write. Some of my longer writing has been done when we are taking an escape from our normal schedule and I am relaxing. I know that I have been able to write for a few hours at a time during these time and it is so rewarding when I come away from an escape with articles and blog entries that I am very happy with. For me, I love to be able to sit and look out at different scenery and it seems to help me focus on different ideas. Some of the blog entries refer to a sound I have heard or something I can see and other times the blog entries have nothing to do with where I am.

Now, I am feeling a lot better about my time today because I am actually seeing that I can sit and work on a subject for a while and actually see results. Lots of ideas have come into my head while I have been writing this blog entry and I know that I am going to continue working on the ideas. One thing that I have fighting is the feeling of checking different things on the internet instead of continuing my writing. So you can see that it is possible to focus on writing if you really want to and get something down instead of finding a million reasons why you can't find the time to write.

I am going to continue working on my writing and I know that some days I may not be able to write 1,000 words and other days, I know that I am going to be able to write a lot more than that. The other big thing is finding a tool that shows you how many words you can actually written instead of trying to guess. If I can continue to write each day and see that I am achieving my goal I think I am going to feel a lot better about my writing. I am going to track how many words I write each day for a while because it's important to see days that are very good and days that aren't so good.

Not everyone can write easily and I understand that. For me, I want to express some of the ideas and feelings that I have so my writing is how I can do it. Some people can draw their ideas and others can vocalize their ideas, I can write them. So here I am knowing that I can actually write 1,000 words and have to admit that it hasn't really been that hard to do.

So thanks for reading this entry, I know it is a lot longer than a lot of my other entries but I really wanted to see if I could do it. The word count of this document is now 990 words so I can safely say I have written my 1,000 words.

Bye for now.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Writing

I am sitting here thinking about all the different blog entries that I want to complete. Yes, lots of ideas and of course now I just need to sit down and write all of these different blogs.

One of the biggest challenges about writing the blogs is actually sitting down and writing. I quite often say I am going to write and then I let something else get in the way. I keep saying I want to write more but I am the one that isn't letting it happen.

It is amazing to read blogs where others are saying exactly the same thing. People want to write, but of course we let things get in the way. I have so often said I was going to set aside an hour each day to write, but of course other things come up and my own writing gets put aside.

I know I have some goals that I have set for myself with regards to writing, so the other way I am going to achieve these goals is to write.

It's time for me to start putting my writing back on the schedule instead of letting it slide off. Now I ned to remember that writing is a part of me and I do want to achieve me writing goals.

Time to go and write for a bit longer and maybe see how much I can accomplish today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Understanding demands and what you say

Over the last little while, I have seen a few people who figure that as soon as they ask for something to be done, they expect it to be done immediately.  What has happened with people understanding that they are not the only one's asking for things.

I know as a business co-owner we have times that we are extremely busy and things have to wait, and times when we can quickly get something done.  No matter what you do, some people get upset because you didn't do their work fast enough when things aren't instant enough for them.  This is happening more and more and it does get frustrating.  Understand that if you don't give me all the information that I require to do the work, I can't do the work.  Also remember that you aren't the only one asking for my time and you don't know my schedule. In some cases I am working on something else you already sent me so the next item is going to have to wait until the first thing is completed unless you explicitly communicate the revised priority.

Another issue is how you ask for something to be done.  If it is clear and concise it makes it a lot easier to complete the work.  If you don't explain what you want I have to guess at your expectations or I have to ask you questions.  Oh, when I send you an email please read it and reply, because I am not writing an email just because I feel like it.  Remember complete information means the work gets done, incomplete information means the work has to wait, or is not done the way you want.

This post is being written after a burst of where I had to repeatedly ask for information to complete the work instead of it being provided in the first place.  I understand that not all the information is always available at the beginning but at least let me know that the information is to follow up and actually follow up.

I am organized and I do my work so don't say I need to be organized just because some aspect didn't meet your belief of what organized means. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Your views on stuff

I have recently been dealing with some issues and am getting very frustrated with people wanting to push their views of things on me.  I understand that everyone has the right to their own opinions and views but please don't keep pushing your views on me.

One of the things that gets frustrating is when someone only communicates with you when they want to push their view.  If you don't want to talk to me at a different time please don't talk to me now.  Everyone has the right to express their opinions/views but enough is enough. 

The big issue for me is on a daily basis we all get enough news and views and it can be a little overwhelming sometimes.  I have been very polite and have felt that I could not figure out a nice way to express my frustration but I am now going to do just that.  Basically if you don't include me in other communications that are important please don't include me in the mass mailings or even jokes/videos that you may think I might like.

I think this is an issue that everyone has to deal with at some point and now it's my time to deal with it.   I  hope that people understand what I am saying because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but this is getting frustrating.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Goodbye seems like a word that is easy to say but sometimes it can be the hardest word for someone to utter. That is me right now, as I am going to have to say goodbye to someone that I love. The goodbye isn't because I don't love the person any more it's because the person has passed away. The goodbye isn't even a real goodbye because this person is going to be in my heart for the rest of my life.

As I sit here and try and write this, I am remembering all the little things that happened when I was able to spend some time with this wonderful woman. She of course had her ways but she was always willing to sit and listen to what was happening in our lives. The discussions we had were always very interesting because she wanted to understand and continued to learn right up until she died. She was someone that made me feel very welcome in her home and was willing to show me all the different projects she was working on or ones that she had recently finished.

This lady was a fighter and now she doesn't have to fight any longer as I know over the last few months the fight was very difficult for her but she continued on. Knowing that she is finally at peace does make the saying goodbye a little easier and also knowing she will always be in my heart helps as well.

So the goodbye that is going to be said isn't a final goodbye just a goodbye to the body as I know she will remain in the hearts of everyone she touched.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I am who I am

Sometimes you find someone that wants you to change to meet their expectations.  I have come across this type of person and all I can say is, I am who I am and you cannot change me.

It is very interesting to see what a person will do to try and make you who they want you to be and not let you be who you are.  In a lot of cases if someone tries to change me without a very good reason they are going to find someone that will fight back.  I have my own values and ethics and theses are extremely important to me and have made me who I am.

I understand that not everyone is going to like all of me but they have to accept that I have my values and they need to respect that.  They also have to respect who I am and what I stand for and not try and make me someone different.

People have to understand that everyone is different and have their own views of things and even if you don't agree with a persons views understand that you don't have to, but you should at least hear their view.  Being able to accept someone for who they are is important because if you try and force a person to change they may change but not the way you wanted them to change.  In my case I did change, I changed the way I dealt with the person instead of letting them change the core of me.

I am who I am and I am not going to let someone else try and change me just because I don't meet their expectations.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Writing on a Schedule

For me writing on a schedule doesn't work.  Some say you must write so many words a day while others say write when you are inspired.

Some days I can write pages and pages of thoughts and ideas while other days the pages stay blank.  For me, I try to capture all the ideas I get big or small.  Sometimes a thought can be just a few works, later developed into an entry or policies or procedures.  Another time a thought can be pages of a completed piece written all at once.

Not everyone can write on demand but capturing ideas is very important.  For me, I normally have something handy to write an idea on so that I don't forget it.  Some ideas don't get worked on for ages while other ideas are quickly expanded on.  I have more than one method of tracking ideas so that is why I sometimes end up with 2, 3 or even 4 small notebooks in my purse at once.  The notebooks are besides the tablet that normally is in the purse as well.

My writing is both professional and personal.  Ideas come when they do and not based on a schedule so I need to capture all of them.

Writing for me is something I enjoy doing.  Please don't ask me to produce so many words or pages each day, as it isn't going to work.  Writing happens when it does and ideas also come about when they do.

Writing on a schedule may work for some and not others.  Well off to see how many more pages I write today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Day to Dream

We all need time to just sit and dream. The dream may be about an upcoming event or time or it may be just little thoughts that pop into your head.

Sitting quietly and watching the world go by can sometimes be that dreaming day.  Simply watching the comings and goings of others can be a spark of some dreams.  Thinking of where people are heading can be so much fun.  Where are they taking that bagful of  stuff or why are they in such a rush.  Watching others and thinking differently than normal can inspire you.

The mind does need that time to slow down because we are so often rushing around ourselves.  We all have too many things to do in what seems like not enough time.  Making sure we have some dream time is important.

A day to dream can help in many ways.  It can help in refocusing your own tasks, lets your mind solve problems without all the stress of normal or it can even give you new ideas.  It doesn't really matter what the outcome of your day to dream is as long as it meant you could escape the daily routine.

On my dream days I always have some paper and a pen handy.  You never know what ideas or thoughts can come to mind.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Demands of our time


Now a days there seems to be more demands of our time than ever before. Maybe the demands really haven’t changed other than we are more aware of them now because of constant communication methods.

Before we all carried mobile devices we could basically only be reached at home, work or by chance meetings. Now we are basically reachable no matter where we are. Email, sms, phone and other methods of communication means that we are constantly trying to meet the needs of others or at least communicating with them. How many times have you checked your email just before tucking in and then upon waking? If you are like most people this is something that you do almost without thinking about it now.

We still have the same number of hours in a day but now that communication is faster and can be done from anywhere. So many people think that it’s easier to send a quick message than to pick up the phone. Sometimes it’s actually easier to make that phone call instead of writing a message because the back and forth messages can end up taking longer than the actual phone conversation would have been and with a lot less confusion. Most adults now a days do check work email from home or from their mobile device after work hours. In a lot of cases if you can deal with a message quickly it means that you aren’t going into a large number of issues the next day. Yes, you are trying to start your day by doing what is on your to do list instead of dealing with the messages that accumulated over the time from when you left work and when you returned.

I know that sometimes I feel that there are more demands on my time than before, but I think I am my worst enemy when it comes to that. I am the one that puts the demands on myself to try and make sure that I get everything done quickly instead of thinking that somethings will get done a bit later and there isn’t any problem with that.

Remembering that we managed before the mobile devices sometimes is what it takes for us to step back and realize that demands are the same but now we see them quicker.



Monday, July 2, 2012

Communication between IT personnel and other individuals


How many times have you read an email or document and been extremely confused because some of the terms in the message were difficult to understand. In some cases these messages or documents have been written by someone in an IT department and it is full of IT terms and acronyms.

In a number of cases these messages are trying to inform you of information that is important to you and your work. IT personnel sometimes seem to have a language all of their own and it is hard for them to communicate without using their shortcuts. In some cases it’s even difficult for other IT personnel to understand each other.

It is extremely important to remember that when you are writing an email or document that is going to be used by others in the company that you use language that everyone is going to understand. If you are going to use an acronym in your document ensure that at the beginning of the document you write it out in long-hand and then show the acronym. This is important even when talking to other IT personnel because an acronym can mean a number of different things even to IT personnel. Here is an example of one acronym having three different meanings.
DC - direct current, domain controller and data centre

It is vital to ensure that a document or email can be understood by all that are going to receive it. Using IT specific terms can result in a misunderstanding of the document or in some cases the entire document will be ignored due to the confusion. Using simple writing is the best way to ensure that the message is going to be received and understood by everyone. This method of communication doesn’t just go for written it should also be used when talking to individuals. If you are using terms that the recipient doesn’t understand your message will not be received correctly.

Remember not everyone is from IT and not even IT personnel use all the same terms and meanings.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reflections of yourself


Have you ever looked into a body of water and looked at a reflection of yourself? 

What made us who we are is something that is hard to explain. No, we weren't just made up of good experiences, some experiences were bad but they also helped make us who we are today. Learning that not all experiences are going to be good will help make you a better person.

If we cannot forget the bad experiences, they are going to impact us for the rest of our lives. What people need to do is realize that a bad experience happened and let it go. No, it may not be totally forgotten but at least saying it happened and I am not going to let it negatively impact the rest of my life is important. Being able to accept it happened but not dwell on it will make you a better person. Another important thing is learning from the negative experience and trying not to repeat that same experience.

Looking into who you are is something we all do from time to time and it's important to look at the good experiences and be happy with them. The experiences that weren't so good are lessons that we learned and things that cannot be changed but experiences that we don't want to repeat.

Knowing how to accept that a bad experience happened and letting it go will help make that reflection of yourself even better. You will know that you are a stronger person for letting it go.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Journaling - paper versus computer

Journaling is a process of documenting thoughts, activities and memories.  A journal can be done so many different ways and it all depends on the purpose of a journal.  Some individuals keep paper journals while others use a computer as their method of keeping their journals.  If a computer is used some use specific software, some publish their journals for others to read while others keep their journals as a document on their computer for private viewing.  There is no right or wrong method of journaling as it is an individual preference.

Some of my journaling is done on the computer and is available for others to read and some is done on paper as they are my personal thoughts and I want them to remain private.  One advantage of using paper is it can be done anywhere and is quickly available.  It some instances entries that have originated on paper have later been entered on the computer and are available to others.

Journaling to me is a method of tracking my thoughts, activities and memories.  In some cases a journal can be used to assist in resolving issues while other times it can be a great venting location especially if it's a private journal.  A journal is whatever an individual wants it to be.

If a journal is on a computer and you want it to remain private, a password would be suggested to ensure no one can access it.  If a journal is accessible to others they could read it and even let others read it or make it public or it's important to protect your journal if you want it kept private.

A paper journal if left out is accessible to others so that is also something to consider.  The privacy of journals depends on the people around you.  I keep journals in various methods and I know that even my paper journal is private as I trust those around me to leave it unless I want them to see something and I will show them.

Journaling can be a means of escaping and writing about dreams or it can be a method of capturing ideas.  Paper versus computer is an individual choice the same as public versus private.

Know what you want your journal to be and then enjoy your time writing in it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wearing Many Hats

In the world today more and more people wear a large number of hats.  Even in companies we need to do more jobs than we did before.  There are fewer employees doing the same number of jobs that were done before.  In some cases the additional hats may be temporary while in other cases it will be permanent.

The many hats especially applies to small businesses as there isn't the staff to do each of the jobs.  When you really see this is when you are filling in the various business reports.  Who is head of finance, payable, receivables, sales, IT and even marketing?  In some cases a lot of these jobs are all handled by one individual instead of each function being performed by a separate person.  In other cases some of the jobs are shared by a couple of people and who does it depends on who actually has the time that day to perform the given task.

Everyone has jobs that they enjoy doing while other jobs aren't as enjoyable but need to be accomplished.  Making sure you handle each of the jobs you need to do is very important.  Mixing up the order of when you do each job is important so that you aren't stuck doing all the jobs you would rather not do all at once.

Wearing many hats is not just related to work, they can be part of your personal life as well.  How many people have only one hat in their personal life, I don't know anyone that has one hat in their personal life.  Most people have more than one and in some cases they wear more hats personally than they do professionally.  Sometimes the hats you wear professionally end up being another hat personally.  For someone that does IT professionally they normally end up with a personal IT hat because friends and family end up contacting this person for their IT issues.

Wearing many hats can be challenging or rewarding depending on how you handle it.  Don't try to wear too many hats at once otherwise no job is actually completed and you just bounce from one job to another.  Hats can be taken off when you need to focus on a specific task but they are always close by.

I wear many hats both professionally and personally and I know that sometimes only one hat can be worn if I need to focus and accomplish a specific task.

Think about how many hats you  wear, you may be amazed.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Escaping Your Daily Routine

How often can you tell what day it is because of what you are doing?  For some people that is their routine and they are happy with it.  Other people cannot handle a routine like that as they need variety.  I, for one, fall somewhere in the middle, I like a routine sometimes but also like variety in a schedule.

There are times when a routine helps get the mandatory things completed and sometimes they are determined by others.  A routine can also result in the inability to accomplish things because it just the same things over and over.

In some cases just escaping your daily routine can enable you to accomplish so much more.  it may mean doing things in a different order or even in a different location if that is possible.  This escape is a way of seeing what needs to be done in a different light and maybe seeing a different way of doing things.

For me, I escape my routine by doing my work in different locations when possible.  The variety of locations means that I can see the tasks differently and sometimes change what I have always done.  A different location can also mean new ideas are generated.

Escaping your daily routine is important at different times to ensure you can recharge your internal battery.  The escaping your daily routine is one reason so many companies force vacation time for their employees.  Yes, you may come back from vacation to a lot of work but at least you escapted your daily routine for a bit.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Allergies in the world today

So many people have allergies in the world today.  Some have the occasional reaction due to seasonal allergies while others deal with life threatening allergies on a daily basis.  Knowing how to face the various allergies is important.

Life threatening allergies are allergies that must be taken seriously.  If someone says they have a life threatening allergy believe them and don't try to see what their reaction is like.  You can ask questions to gain knowledge and understanding to help them avoid the allergen.  If you aren't comfortable dealing with the allergy, let the person know this.  It's better to tell them then try and hide your fear and in turn put the individual at risk.

For the individual with the allergy it is important to know who around them understand and those that have problems dealing with it.  Not everyone can handle everything so it's key to respect those that aren't comfortable, at least they let you know instead of putting you at risk.

Allergies be them seasonal or life threatening can develop at any age.  learn what you can about your allergies and then education those around you.

Allergies are in the world today so we all have to face them.  Knowing you aren't alone is what matters.  I know I'm not alone when dealing with my life threatening allergies and that is what matters.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Accomplishing your tasks

We all have tasks that we need to accomplish in our daily lives.  It can be simple or very challenging but it still needs to be done.  Sometimes it's just knowing the task exists that makes it hard even when the task itself could be simple to accomplish.

For the larger or more challenging tasks it sometimes helps to break them down into smaller tasks.  The smaller tasks in so many ways are more manageable and easier to achieve than one large task.  Being able to see some small tasks being accomplished helps achieve the larger task.

Not everyone will breakdown a larger task into smaller tasks.  It is an individual preference and can even way depending on the task itself.

I am one of those individuals who likes the smaller tasks.  I find that even if I have lots and lots of tasks being about to cross things off helps me see and feel like I am making progress.  Big tasks don't seem so challenging when I can see the parts of it instead of just the whole task.

Managing tasks is something we all do no matter what we do.  How we accomplish our tasks is what is important.  Simple or challenging tasks they all need to be accomplished.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Allergies in today's world

Allergies in today's world are so much more visible than they were when I was growing up.  I don't remember hearing about severe allergies until I was working.  Now-a-days you hear people talking about the challenges of allergies and it's now just part of our lives.

Allergies for some people are harder as these people deal with life threatening ones.  Some people grow up with this type of allergy and others grow into them.  You never know if you are going to have life threatening allergies until it happens.  I know this as I grew into some severe allergies.

Knowing that someone has severe allergies is very important.  I know some people have said I don't look like I have severe allergies, I didn't think someone with severe allergies looked any different than anyone else.  People have called life threatening allergies an invisible disability and I agree with that.  As hard as I try to have a normal life, I always have to watch and check to ensure I don't encounter the things I am severely allergic to.  People with life threatening allergies look like everyone else.

It is very important to respect someone when they say they have severe allergies.  Not everyone reacts the same way when exposed to their allergen.  For me, I can be exposed to a small amount of an allergen and just feel uncomfortable while other people can be exposed to a small amount and have a full anaphylactic attack.  The degree of the attacks do vary but I do know that whenever I am exposed to my allergens it could result in a severe attack.  If someone says they have severe allergies don't expose that person to their allergen just to see if it's true.

Severe allergies are difficult to deal with.  Knowing how to handle your own allergy is important, as well as letting others know about them.  Not telling others close to you about your severe allergies is not acceptable.  Severe allergies could case a fatal attack so ensuring others know about them and what to do in case of a severe reaction is important.

Allergies are more known today so it  means it should be easier to handle them.  We can't just reply on others to handle our allergies, we need to do it ourselves as well.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quiet Time

Having some quiet time is important to most people.  Quite time can be curled up doing nothing or just spending some time doing something you enjoy.

Knowing what helps you recharge is very important.  Quiet time can even be time away in an environment that is quieter than your normal environment.  It really doesn't matter where this spot is, as long as it helps your personal battery recharge.

Quiet also varies based on an individual, some people only know no sound as quiet while others need a bit of noise around them.  Knowing what you want is the important factor, not what others figure quiet is to you.

Some of my writing is done in a quiet environment and other times noise helps me focus on what needs to get accomplished.  For me quiet time normally involves a bit of noise around me even if it's some mellow music playing softly in the background.

Knowing what your quiet time is and how you achieve it is what matters.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My plate is overflowing

Yes like everyone, every once and awhile I feel like I have way too many things on my plate and don't seem to be getting anything off it. 

Today was a day that I was going to work on a couple of items and of course I got one thing done and now my do to list has just increased.  I am juggling a lot of different things and know that if I could just focus for a little while I could make a dent in all the other things that are on my list.

Some days, are like this, you don't get what you wanted done but you do make progress on a few other tasks that you have to complete.  You also have the days where you make some progress but then other things just get added to the list. 

My goal for today is to finish the things that I need to get done and then I am going to sit back and figure out what I actually did today.  I know that my list of to do's is going to get longer but at least then I will have everything written done instead of just mixed up in my head.

Off to focus on one task and then will sit back and see where things stand. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Being There

As a business owner it is important to be there when a client needs you.  Having the ability to communicate with clients no matter where you are can be a key to keeping clients happy.  Sometimes quick answer is all that is needed and other times it means more work.

Understanding the demands and requirements of your job is key.  Some jobs are 9-5 weekdays while more and more jobs are becoming flexible or variable hours.  Most IT positions do involve some off hour work.

With technology changes more and more consulting work can be done remotely.  This change means that quick changes can be done without having to travel to site and therefore getting a problem solved quicker.

In some cases a client doesn't even know you aren't in your normal location when you are assisting them.  Understanding your responsibility of being there for your clients is what is important.

Being there for clients is important no matter where you really are.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Challenges continue

This past week I decided to go to a couple of shows which I normally enjoy going to and seeing all the new ideas of things that I can do.  This time it was a different experience and one that I wasn't too happy about.  This year it was seeing all the things that I currently cannot do while wearing the splint.

Both of these shows made me realize how much I really do with my hands and how much this splint is impacting my daily life.  The challenges continue and are sometimes harder than other times.  Trying opening a child proof bottle that doesn't want to be opened with one hand.  Yes those are some of the things that I have had to deal with over the last little while.  Little things that don't seem like much to most people but when you can't use one of your thumbs you find out how hard it can be. 

Other challenges are trying to pick up pieces of paper with my left hand, putting on a necklace and even tying my own shoe laces.  These are things that we do on a normal basis and don't think much about but try doing these things without your prime thumb.

Each challenge that I encounter shows me a different way to handle the simple things.  Sometimes it's a quick solution and another time it takes a little longer to figure out how to accomplish something.  The challenges are going to continue over the next few weeks and I know that but the one thing I can say it these challenges are going temporary.

Think of what you face each day and think of people that have permanent disabilities and think of how they face their challenges.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Facing challenges

Everyone faces challenges during their life and right now I am facing a challenge of trying to deal with a broken thumb on my dominate (left) hand.  Yes, it is tough currently but I do know that things will get better after this.  I am finding that so many things that I do with my left hand are a little harder with my right hand.

See I am wearing a brace on my left thumb which prevents me from bending my thumb but it also means that I can't feel when I am holding anything with that finger either.  Some of the challenges have been easy to over come like holding a glass of water but other things like picking up pieces of paper aren't so easy.

This brace is going to be part of my life for between 12 and 18 weeks so I know I will learn how to deal with all the challenges but it does get frustrating.  One thing I have learned through this is how much I do use my left hand and how little I use my right hand.  I know that after all of this I am going to be able to use my right hand for more things without thinking.  The other thing that I have learned through this is sometimes you need to ask for help when you can't do something yourself.  Don't be afraid to ask for that help.

Facing challenges is something that we all do quite often so when you get an additional challenge to face you just deal with it and move on. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lessons learned

This last little while things have been extremely busy for me and part of it was I was learning how to manage a major project that I was project manager but also the person doing the work.  I have to admit that some days were better than others.  I have learned a lot through this process and now it's time to sit back and document what I learned and things I can improve on next time I do this.

I did learn the importance of having a list of all the tasks that lay ahead of you as well as a deadline.  I almost missed the deadline but am happy to say that I was able to complete the project on time.  Now over the next couple of weeks it will be fine tuning the work done but at least the major project is done and implemented.

What I have learned through all of this is that sometimes you need to sit back and look at things a number of different ways otherwise you will get lost and miss a lot of steps.  Having someone that you can talk things over with really does help and you can learn from each other as you go along.  Yes I was the person doing the work for the most part but I did have my partner around to bounce ideas off of as well as learn from.

Now it's time to look at all the other things that I have to complete and work on getting things reorganized so that I can accomplish everything else that needs my attention.  I have learned a lot and still have things to learn but one major project is now complete so now onto the next.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Knowing when to stop and rethink things


Sometimes we plow ahead figuring that we know exactly what we are doing only to run into a major obstacle that we didn't think would even be in our way. This is something that happens to the best of us and now I am trying to tackle a larger project and have decided to take that step back and rethink my process of doing the work before I run into the major obstacle.

As a project manager, I understand that I should be writing out my tasks before I start the project instead of just plowing right into the work. So here I am just starting to tackle this project and I am doing what I should be doing and listing all my tasks that lay ahead of me for this project. Yes I am going to be giving myself a deadline as to when I would like this project completed by. It also needs to be tested so that is going to be another thing that I will need to determine how that is going to be done.

Once the project has been completed I know that there is still going to be lots of work ahead of me but at least the big changes are going to be done.

Now to sit back for a while and work on designing my project plan and see the most efficient way I can accomplish this project. Taking one step at a time is the best thing I can do so maybe the next day or two are going to be the evaluation days instead of just making things work.

Knowing when to stop and rethink things is the best thing you can understand. Why spend days and days working on something only to discover those days have been wasted and you need to start over.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Setting Priorities

Lately things seem to have been a little busier than they have been for me but I am getting so much better at setting priorities and then working through things.  Knowing how to set the priorities and focusing on one thing at a time does really help.

Some of my goals for this year have been getting worked on while some of the other goals have been ignored as I try and get work done first.  I am learning to ensure that I do take some time for myself because I have realized that if I don't take time for myself I am not able to focus on the tasks at hand.

Everyone needs to take time for themselves from time to time to ensure that they can recharge their personal battery.  Sometimes a break away from the many projects on your plate can really help you refocus on the multiple projects and get the work done on all of them.  A break can be a day to yourself where you do something for yourself or it can be as simple as just curling up and doing nothing.

Remember set priorities and ensure you focus on what is important first to ensure that everything gets done and you don't end up just spinning your wheels and accomplishing nothing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Juggling the demands of life

Currently I feel like I am juggling a lot of different things and am trying to ensure that they all get accomplished and nothing is left out.  Yes, this is a challenge that a lot of us face quite often and knowing that you can handle it can be hard and even stressful. 

I am sitting in my office area at home and realize that sometimes I am just going to have to let a few things go until I can make progress on the things that are most important.  Looking around and seeing the different demands is difficult but at least now I have a list of things that I need to work on.  Over the last month or so I started writing down all the different things that need my attention, big or small.  The extremely small things get dealt with right away and all the other things get written down.  I am the type of person that does make to do lists and have to admit that most of the time they do work for me because I can see what needs to get done and also what I got done. 

Tomorrow is another day and I am going to start with my to do list and see what I can actually accomplish off of it and know that I wouldn't be able to accomplish everything.  At least making some progress on the different items is going to make me feel quite a bit better about things.  Taking the small steps forward is a lot better than taking no steps forward at all.  My list may be long but I know that I can accomplish some of the things and the other things will just have to wait another day.

The juggling is through for today and now it's time to sit back and relax and know that I did what I could do today and I will do what I can do tomorrow.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Knowing you can do something

Since writing my CAPM exam I have had a chance to look at things and think a lot of things through.  I have found that since writing and passing the exam I realized that I can really achieve what I put my mind to.  Yes there are going to be challenges to overcome but at least know that you can achieve  what you want in life.

Of course after finishing my exam I realized I had a one week break before I took another course but that was only a 4 day course and you write the exam at the end of the last day.  This time I put a lot less pressure on myself because I was feeling really good throughout the course and this exam wasn't for a certification, it was just one course. 

Besides all of the stress release and trying to catch up with everything I had pushed aside in January I realized that I needed a better way to organize my life.  I am one of those that of course tries to do everything for everyone and then gets stressed because of everything on my plate.  Now I have started to write down all the things that I need to do and I am not feeling as stressed as I did before.  I think being able to see the list instead of trying to keep it all in my head has really started to help me.  Having this list also means that I can delegate some of the things when my plate gets too full and the other person knows what is outstanding and needs attention. 

My list of things that need my attention is currently a little longer than I would like it to be but I know that if I focus on one thing at a time the list will get shorter quickly.  This next week I hope to be able to focus on a couple of things that need to be completed by the end of February and then work on the rest of the list. 

Knowing that you can achieve what you put your mind to does help because it means that you aren't doubting yourself as much.  I know this is how I am feeling because I now know that I achieved something I wanted and can now plow ahead and achieve other things.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Results of self imposed stress

Previously I wrote about the self imposed stress that I had put upon myself about trying to achieve something that I really wanted.  Well the exam was Friday and thanks to modern technology I know the results already and they are I passed the exam.  I achieved my CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) and now know that if I put my mind to something I can achieve it.

This certification has been a lot of hard work but I put the effort into achieving it and after wanting to postpone the exam because I doubted myself I pushed ahead and wrote it.  Knowing that I did this has helped me see that I shouldn't doubt myself as much as I have in the past.

So now that I have achieved this I am going to start thinking a little differently about things and I will know that if I put my mind to it I can do it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dealing with self imposed stress

Like a lot of people I put undo stress on myself.  I am admitting this because this week I have been adding more and more stress for no real reason.  I think part of it is because of writing a CAPM exam on Friday I am starting to worry about the outcome.  Last night I hit the point of wanting to postpone the exam so that I didn't have to deal with the outcome this week.  Basically all I was going to do was postpone the outcome instead of facing it head on.

This morning I woke up feeling a lot better about things and realize that no matter what the outcome at least I have given it my best try and that is all anyone can expect.  Yes, anyone does include me now instead of how I normally deal with things and forget to include me.  Knowing that people are there to support me is helping because sometimes being your own worst enemy sure doesn't help.  I am the one that questions if I am ready while everyone else is saying that I know the material. 

Facing things head-on instead of always questioning your ability is what I should do more often because I know I can do lots of things and will continue to do them.  Now the challenge until the weekend is to try not to add any more stress to myself and know that what happens, happens.

Off to do some studying but will not try and pack the brain too much today so that I can also take some time to relax and enjoy life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting organized

This last little while I have felt that life has been a little too crazy for my liking so have decided that I am going to try and get myself a little more organized.  Part of my organization is deciding that I am going to schedule my work days a little more than I have in the past.  I am hoping that having my days scheduled a bit more it will mean that I get more accomplished and the stress level should also be reduced.

A lot of people probably do things like I do and bounce from one thing to another and really don't feel like they are getting much done.  I know that instead of focusing on each of the different roles that I have I try and do a bit of everything and therefore end up stressed and frustrated.  Now my goal is to try and work on my schedule for the month of February and see how it goes.  It should mean that I get things done and maybe I won't worry so much about all the other things because I will know that they will be handled on the assigned day.

I have actually decided that I am also going to schedule some me time into my evening schedules so that I ensure that I remember to take time for myself instead of always putting everyone else first.  This is going to be the biggest challenge for me because I normally start taking time for myself only to put it aside because something else for someone else calls out to me.  I started the evening schedule last week and have to admit that it does feel great taking some time for myself and actually seeing stuff getting accomplished and not feeling guilty about doing it.

Getting my life a little more organized should also mean that I will be able to get more done both professionally and personally.  Now to start my day and see how much I can accomplish.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Setting goals for yourself

January is a time to sit back and think of all the things that you would like to achieve in the new year.  A lot of people say "I want to lose weight" or "I want to exercise more". 

The comment "I want to lose weight" is something that I now laugh at as I mentioned this to an instructor once and he said "But do you really want to find it again?"  Instead of saying "I want to lose weight", how about "I want to get rid of some weight".  At least if you get rid of the weight you may have a better chance of keeping it off.  I am made this a goal a few years but this year I have decided I am not adding this to my stress level.

Goals should be achievable and realistic.  I have normally made goals that I hope I can achieve but end up not achieving them and then I end up frustrated.  This year my goals are realistic to me so now to work on achieving all of them.  Simple small steps is what I am going to be taking to ensure that I accomplish what I set out to do.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 Goals

Yes I said I was going to post my goals for 2012 early last week but after taking a Project Management Boot Camp for 5 days I didn't have any energy left by the time I got home.

Here are my goals for 2012:
1.  Blog four times each month
2.  Write content for company website
3.  Achieve CAPM
4.  Learn to take time for myself

These are my big goals for 2012 and will see how I do with them.  Time will tell.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Another year is upon us and it's time to start thinking about what we want to accomplish in the new year.  I know a lot of people set tons and tons of goals only to discover that they can't accomplish most of them.  I think this year I am going to work on accomplishing just a few things and see how that goes. 

The list will be posted in a couple of days once I figure it all out because I have been trying to complete my 2011 goals so haven't thought about 2012.

The picture is of some roses that I received after helping a neighbourhood group and that was one thing I accomplished in 2011 that I hadn't even planned on doing but am extremely happy that I did.

Now to figure out my 2012 goals and start working on accomplishing them.