Friday, April 06, 2007


Smead Viewables Labeling System – organizing and color coding your files

Are your files out of control? Let me tell you about a product I have found to be very useful. Smead Viewables allow you to organize your drawers full of files. With the Smead Viewables Labeling System you can print customized file labels and color code them anyway you choose. They then slide into hanging folders so you can group your files. And it is easy!

Take a look – you will love them too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


How many "Open Loops" do you have?

Open Loops are all of the unfinished tasks in your life. Examples would be: call Joe regarding budget proposal; finish recommendation letter for new account opening process; clean out email inbox…

Most people have between 50 and 100 Open Loops constantly circling through their mind and demanding attention. The human brain can only focus on one conscious thought at a time. These Open Loops cause a constant lack of closure which obviously increases your stress level. Writing your Open Loops down will significantly reduce the amount of stress you feel. If you can close one or two a day, within a few months you will have accomplished many of these small tasks.

Start today by making a list of your Open Loops. For a downloadable worksheet, visit

Monday, February 19, 2007


Do you feel overwhelmed when you look around your home or office?

Do you feel overwhelmed when you look around your home or office?
Don’t try to tackle it all at once. Declutter one area at a time. One place to start is your desk drawer. Pull everything out and then go through it. Only touch each item one time. If it goes in the kitchen, put it in the kitchen pile. If it goes in the trash, put it in the trash pile. Once you have looked through everything in the drawer, put back what belongs and move everything else to its proper location. When you recover from that project, it is time to start another one. Small steps to big changes! That is the theme of The Seven Minute Difference!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Do you know what you spend monthly?

Do you know what you spend monthly?
What does it take to live? Where does all of your money go? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, here is an Excel worksheet that will help you. Pull out your checkbook and use this worksheet to list all of your monthly expenses. It can be very eye-opening.

Go to this webpage and scroll down to “Expense Worksheet”.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Small steps to big changes!

Small steps to big changes!
When you look at what you need to get done, do you feel overwhelmed? You should know that sometimes it’s the little things that make us feel good. For instance, clean your microwave, put away shoes, wipe those spots off the mirror or clean out your car. None of those activities take long, but they make you feel much better when they are complete. Small steps to big changes! That is the theme of The Seven Minute Difference!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


What can you get done in 15 minutes?

What can you get done in 15 minutes?
Here is a great idea for getting your kids to agree to help put your house back in order. Buy ready-to-bake cookies. While they are cooking, everyone picks up as much as they can. When the timer dings, everyone stops cleaning and enjoys fresh cookies! It works at my house!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Do you run in circles in the grocery store?

A friend of mine introduced me to this idea and it has changed my life. I have created a customized list of items I buy in the grocery store including sizes and brand names. Not only that, but the list is organized by locations in MY store!

This is what happens: I print copies of my list and keep it on the fridge. If my husband drinks all of the orange juice, he circles it on my list. If I use all of the shampoo, I mark it on the list. When it is time to go shopping, I grab the list and head out. I always follow the same route in the store and the list is designed for my route. I never find myself at the milk aisle when I remember I need to pick up medicine at the pharmacy. It makes it easier because I am not traveling from one side of the store to the other.

The grocery list can be found on the Resources page on our website Personalize it to match the layout in your favorite store and print multiple copies to place in an easy-to-access location for your family.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Send Christmas cards now!

Send Christmas cards now! Why wait until December 24th to mail your Christmas cards? Send them now before everyone else. You already know who you are going to send them to. Plus, they will receive more attention from the receiver because 5 or more cards won't arrive on the same day. Send them now!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Time saving tip - keep a supply of small gifts

One time saving idea is to keep a supply of gifts to give when someone does something nice or helpful for you. Ideas would be gift certificates to restaurants, passes to a movie rental store, gift cards to your local grocery store or even movie passes. Make your life easier and become more thoughtful by having a stash of things that you can pass out to say “thanks”.

I keep several movie passes in my purse and use them to thank my assistant, my babysitter, my housekeeper or anyone who does something nice for me. They make great, easy gifts and are always appreciated. For other ideas of how to simplify your life, visit

Monday, October 16, 2006


Are you organized in case of a fire in your home?

Recently, clients of mine lost their home in a fire. They were away on vacation, but they lost their dear cat. This was an "attention getting" experience for them and I want to share it with you.

They considered themselves "organized" people but lost all of their financial documentation in the fire. Most of us keep copies of our bank statements, brokerage statements, 401k plans, insurance documents, wills, Powers of Attorney, prescription information... in a file cabinet in our homes. But in a case like this, they wish they had kept a copy somewhere else. They did have a lock box at the bank, but the only key melted in the fire. It has been a headache.

Take time to do what you can to avoid this situation:
1. Make a video of your home contents. It will help when the insurance adjuster needs to inventory what you lost.
2. Add up the value of your home contents. Do you have proper insurance coverage?
3. Keep a copy of your important documents in another location (maybe another state in case of hurricane or tornado).

Taking the time now may save you a headache in the future. Prioritize, Organize, Simplify.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


What are you tolerating?

In studying how to help others Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ their lives, I have encountered a very interesting question. What are you tolerating?

We all have “tolerations” in our lives. That burnt out light bulb in your kitchen, that issue at work that you haven't researched, that lose button on your favorite shirt, that annoying red light on the dashboard of your car… Wouldn’t it be nice to do away with those little things that nag at you?

I challenge you now to make a list of the “tolerations” in your life. Pick one and go after it! Make it go away! Honestly, it probably won’t take long to fix it and then you will be done with it!

To give credit where credit is due, I ran into this idea while searching on the website. You must register for access to their tools. This form is titled “What am I Tolerating?”

What are you tolerating?

Friday, July 28, 2006


Use Micro-actions to start the process toward CHANGE!

Have you ever thought that taking the beginning steps toward change would be hard? We visit with people from all walks of life. The common view is that change is hard. The message of The Seven Minute Difference is that change does not have to be difficult - it can happen in as little as seven minutes at a time

Change happens the moment you decide to change. Micro-actions are the tiny choices people make every moment of every day that make the difference between mediocrity and excellence. To support progress toward change, we have created lists of micro-actions you can implement in your daily life.

Visit our website at to learn more about micro-actions and to download a FREE list of 100 micro-actions you can implement in your work life and 100 micro-actions you can implement in your personal life. Enjoy! And send me any micro-actions you think of at

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Adding the concepts of Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ to your day

One of the most basic things you can do to Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ your day is to use a Daily Progress Report. This worksheet is used to track anything you need to accomplish during your day, keep notes of conversations, jot down reminders for things you need to do and keep track of any voicemails or other information you receive. I have found it helpful to makes copies of black worksheets on colored paper. (I use bright yellow.) That way, no matter how much paper I have on my desk, I can easily locate my bright yellow Daily Progress Report. I start a new worksheet each day and keep my past worksheets in a file in my desk. I have found these to be invaluable when I need to refer back to a conversation I had or locate a phone number.

We have created several versions of our Daily Progress Reports to meet different needs. You can download them for FREE by visiting our website and navigating to the "Resources" page.

Read more ideas about how you can Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ your life in our book, The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Why read this blog?

This blog is devoted to sharing ideas about how you can Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ your professional and personal life.

This blog is based on ideas written in the book titled The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes written by Allyson Lewis (May 2006). Allyson Lewis has been my friend since 1993 and we have joined efforts to bring this message to the world.

This blog will include lots of ideas on how you can Prioritize, Organize and Simplify™ your life. I hope you enjoy and learn something. Feel free to share you ideas and tips at this blog.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Prioritize, Organize, Simplify -- at work

Prioritize, Organize, Simplify

These are the three sweetest words when it comes to how quality companies can shave costs and improve profitability.

Prioritize - "Change happens in an instant. It happens the moment you decide to change." Create a list of specific goals, put them in writing and then ask everyone from your Senior Level Management to your entry level employees to give you their specific suggestions for cutting costs and improving profitability. You will be amazed at how many immediate
and productive suggestions you will receive when you give your own employees the freedom to be a part of the solution.

Organize - Take the steps to build the foundation of a strong enterprise.
1. While the senior management team may create a corporate strategy, you can only make it a powerful tool when each and every employee is willing to buy into the same corporate strategy. If your
corporate vision is well aligned with the values and core beliefs of
your employees, you have an unstoppable combination of a great strategy,
backed by loyal employees.

2. Create a story. While corporate strategies look good on
spreadsheets, they are rarely the sizzle that can create a loyal
customer base. Spend time wrapping your corporate strategy inside a
story that your customers can understand. Once you have your customers
talking about your story, your profitability can skyrocket.

3. Create written systems and processes for everyday tasks. A
lot of money is wasted by having different team members recreate
repeatable solutions.

4. Invest in training. Knowledge is power. Encourage and reward
your employees for being the most highly skilled in their areas of

5. Stop the cycle of - "That's the way we have always done it."
There are often new and better ways to solve old problems. Especially
be sure to include your newest employees in these discussions.

6. Fully use the technology you already have. Many corporations
invest huge percentages of their money into hardware and software. Make
sure you make the same commitment to teaching each employee how to fully
implement these new technologies to improve their productivity.

7. Remember it is always the small things that matter. Most
corporations are equally able to get the big things right. It is the
small things that will consistently set you apart from your competition.

Simplify - Cutting costs and improving profitability may require that you
constantly focus on asking the same three questions every day.
Where are we today?
Where do we want to be in the future?
How can we take our company to that next level?
Simplify the process and act on the good suggestions.

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