Taming the Whirlwind

Do you ever feel like your work tasks are creating a whirlwind — or even a tornado around you?

I know there are days for me when it seems like 10 things are coming at me from 10 different directions and they are all important and all should be priority.

Sometimes, I find myself giving a bandaid to each one — you know, doing a quick fix in an effort to stop the whirlwind.  You might do that too — the quick text that says “working on it” or “give me 5 minutes”.

But it doesn’t always work, does it?

There are a few things you can do to stop the chaos of 100 little things to do:

1. Write it down.  This gets it out of your head and lets you plan and organize how you are going to tackle the day.

2. Do just one thing. But do it completely and do it well.  Make the follow up call and write the email response.  Read the article. Finish the edit.  By completing something completely, it is now off your list and out of the whirlwind — beginning to calm the chaos.

3.  Group similar tasks together — like making 4 or 5 phone calls, or responding to your email.

Good luck calming the chaos!


Start with the little things

I’ve been suffering from an affliction known as hurricane hangover.

It’s symptoms include a seemingly overwhelming list of things to do, paired with sheer exhaustion.
And with everything being rescheduled on top of each other, I didn’t see a moment to catch up or rest.
I had this mountain of disorganized files in my office.  And all of my file storage was a mess. I don’t want to admit it, but it was impacting my productivity.
On Monday, my assistant came over and reorganized all of my files, filed the mountain and generally made a nice , neat space in my office.
Such a little thing… one that I didn’t even do personally.  And yet since she left, I have tackled my email inbox, a list of maintenance tasks for my business and a host of other small projects.
The moral.  Start with one project. The momentum will build….
Oh – and together, we can move mountains.
Ask for help. Do the work.


As many of you know, a Tropical Storm Irma swept through my area last week.  The days before and the days after were surreal in some ways.  We don’t really appreciate the many conveniences of modern living until they just aren’t there.

To start, we had water and gasoline shortages.  It was unlike anything I’d seen before — and I’ve been in the South for 5 hurricanes and counting. To their credit, the stores resupplied water quickly – but gasoline was a hot commodity for a while there.

Shopping for the storm was also completely different than usual.  It was all cans and packages.  Very little fresh fruits or vegetables — and only the meat we would actually be cooking.  And the last Friday before the storm, the fresh vegetable section was almost completely empty.

Kroger opened up the next day, but we didn’t venture there until Wednesday.  It was massively different than the store we saw the Friday before — almost nothing in the meat department, only a few items in the vegetable section.

It made me realize how rarely I stop and appreciate modern conveniences like the availability of fresh food, water and gasoline.  And don’t even get me started on power and the need for A/C in the South.

So today, I challenge you to notice one this you ordinarily take for granted and really appreciate its existence.