Recently I was talking with a woman who made the difficult decision to leave her corporate job after 20+ years to begin a consulting business of her own. She was considering joining our training program to become a Certified Productive Environment Specialist (www.BecomeaSpecialist.com). As I was explaining how our program works, I mentioned that my personal passion is “helping leaders create Productive Environments — intentional settings in which everyone can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives.” I mentioned that in my experience many leaders (especially entrepreneurs!) have messy offices. As a result they communicate to their employees that organization is not important, and even worse, fail to empower those employees to implement the very systems that would increase profit, productivity, and peace of mind. She replied, “You’re absolutely right. My boss’s office was always a mess, and I often wondered how he could run a business if he couldn’t even organize his own desk!”
That’s the bad news. The good news! After 30+ years, I have scores of testimonials from clients who have discovered that if they are willing to invest eight hours of focused attention with one of our consultants to implement The 8-Hour Miracle™, not only can they be a role model for organization, but they can empower their employees to do the same.
What message is your office sending to your employees, your team, your family, the world? Does your office reflect the quality of products and services you provide?
If not, click on this link to schedule a 30-minute phone consultation to see how we can help: www.vcita.com/v/barbarahemphill
I began my journey to doing a Bat Mitzvah, which is the jewish coming of age tradition, when I was 12. At that time, the world was all flower power, but I didn’t feel powerful, nor enough self-confidence to stand in front of the entire congregation and my family and risk failure. In those days, I defined failure as making even one mistake. So I let myself down, and did not complete that which as an adult I realize that I always wanted to do.
As I stepped up to the Bimah to begin my reading this past Saturday, I was standing together my mother, my brother, one son and one daughter. My voice trembled as I began to sing the Amen. So many times I had practiced and still in this moment I felt my voice shake. Our dear Cantor Ruth, standing behind me reached and put her hand on my back; I felt the warmth of her hand suffuse and give me strength and the blessing was that my voice began to flow. I chanted my portion correctly and was able to be in the moment and enjoy chanting the portion as each word began to come. It was exactly as she had suggested, I didn’t look at the congregation; I was just one with me and each word on the Torah scroll. How magical. I feel today that an important part of what has been missing is now whole within me.
Without releasing the clutter, I would not have been able to focus these past two years. It has been an important part of the journey of becoming fully me. I am grateful for the 15 other women and men in the Adult B’Nai Mitzvah class; together we reached this life giving moment.
This evening, together with 15 other B’Nai Mitvah students, I will be completing a two-year course of study by helping to lead the services and will be called to read from the Torah portion for this week. I wish everyone much joy, as I feel, in being able to reach this point in my life and choosing to complete that which I began and interrupted when I was 12. At the age of 12, I didn’t have the life experience to appreciate what it means to connect to our spiritual roots and the joy that is visceral in singing the ancient hebrew text. I am not religious as a person, but I am spiritual and I am so happy to now have the calm to focus and enjoy this experience.
Beginning the process of releasing clutter has helped me to see clearly what is most important in my life. I wish each of you the same discoveries.
The power of writing down your dreams is demonstrated by the blog I found that I wrote in 2014 about my desire to write a book about the timeless principles that have evolved in my 35+ years in the organizing/productivity industry. Less Clutter More Life is the result of that dream.
Here’s the link: Decide to Decide
Our church is embarking on a capital campaign to build an addition to our facilities. The consultant we hired to help us shared a survey concluding that one out of three people have no one in whom they can confide. She then made an interesting statement: “People used to go to church to find God. Today they go to church to find community.”
On a recent flight from Raleigh to Tampa. I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between my two seat mates: one, a stay-at-home mom for nearly 20 years, and the other, a seasoned male executive. She asked him a question about where he was going. What followed was a nearly two-hour conversation. She said only a few words.
He shared in great detail stories about his business and financial successes, sprinkled with references to the numerous physical possessions and world travels he had provided for his family. He also shared his sadness about several family members who were in various states of dysfunction. I couldn’t help wondering if he had ever shared those stories with anyone else, or if all those possessions resulted in physical — and perhaps emotional — clutter that prevented a true connection with the people he loved.
I’ve always said that I teach what I need to learn. From K-8 grades, I went to a one room school where I was bullied. Whenever it was recess and we were playing games, I was the last one to be “chosen.” When I graduated from college with honors, my diploma wasn’t signed because I hadn’t finished my physical education requirements.
Recently I started working privately with a physical therapist. Today I went to class with other patients. In the past I have been afraid to go to any class that involved physical activity because I was afraid that I would be the worst student. To my amazement, I wasn’t!
My emotional clutter has been thinking that I would look stupid if I tried to exercise with other people. The Bible says that the sin that God most hates is pride, and I realized that my pride has prevented me from moving forward. The truth is that I might look uncoordinated, but so what? I’m tired of being stuck in my own emotional clutter. What is yours?
It was nearly midnight as I was getting ready for bed in Kansas City, when I realized that I had left my make-up kit hanging on my bathroom door back at home! I needed to be at my client for a Productive Environment Party at 7:30 am! Thankful for a 24-hour Walmart, and praying that I could “guess” which make-up colors would work for me — especially since we were videotaping, I made my choice and headed to the store restroom to make the best of a bad situation. One of the things I’ve learned about public speaking is that transparency endears audiences to a speaker, so my story about the “organizing consultant forgetting her make-up” seemed perfect. After my presentation, employees when back to their offices and storage areas to “clear the clutter.” Mid-morning, a woman approached me with a small kit of make-up brushes. Smiling, she said, “I’m not sure what we were planning to do with these here! They must be for you!”
Today’s task was clearing the back room of the studio. I have been here four years and it is time to make a move. As happens, the back room has accumulated all manner and assortment of leftovers and duplicates and fragments of projects completed yet needed for future possibilities. How to organize them? How to retain them in a useful manner for future reference and utility? Which ones can simply be tossed? It is so freeing making the decisions. The result, ClearView = releasing=more time for Life and opening to what is Next!