Ten years ago, I took a leap of faith and quit my upwardly-mobile corporate job to become a professional organizer. If you watched HGTV or TLC at the time, you probably saw a dozen shows about people cleaning up their houses.
I wanted to clean up businesses. Kind of like the Niecy Nash of Corporate America.
You see, I was not born organized. By every test known to psychology, I am a spontaneous scatterbrain who thinks calendars are for wimps who can’t remember stuff.
But, as you can expect, those personality preferences of mine were not serving me well in my job. I was working longer and longer hours to get the same stuff done as the people who left at 5:30.
So, in my mid-20’s, I realized that I needed to find the proverbial way to “work smarter.” I embarked on a journey of self-discovery that took years – seven years to be exact. I read everything Stephen Covey wrote. I attended every class available to me to learn how to manage my time. I eventually started leaving at 5:30 with all the other productive people.
It shouldn’t have taken me seven years, folks.
When I quit my job, my new company’s mission statement was to help my clients to learn what took me seven years to grasp in much, much less time. I wanted to help workers feel better about work, and themselves.
If you’ve done the math, ten years ago was the beginning of the Great Recession. I quit my job two weeks before the markets collapsed. However, I was successful thanks to a wonderful company who kept me busy for the first 18 months of my new business. I will forever be grateful to Dan J. and Susan W. for giving me a chance to prove myself and build my entrepreneurial muscle.
Here we are ten years later. It has been the ten best years of my career.
To celebrate, I have scoured my videos and blog posts to come up with the list below. I analyzed my website visits to bring you my…
Top 10 Productivity Tips of the Past 10 Years:
- How to Turn Procrastination To Your ADVANTAGE! Video (34,182 views)
- Are Franklin Planners a Dying Breed? Video (12,107 views; 35 comments, most from angry people)
- The Psychology of Being Organized Video (5,503 views)
- Paper Planner Systems – A Review Blog/Newsletter (3,191 views)
- Drag-and-Drop Features in Outlook Blog/Newsletter (3,123 views)
- What’s In a Name? Blog/Newsletter (2,418 views)
- Automating Repetitive Actions in Microsoft Outlook Blog/Newsletter (1,851 views)
- Finishing Well Blog/Newsletter (1,635 views)
- Mind Map Your Way to Productivity Blog/Newsletter (1,584 views)
- My 3 Favorite Features of Microsoft Outlook Video (1,505 views)
If I were giving an acceptance speech at the Tony Awards, the music would be playing right now to tell me to wrap it up and get off the stage. However, if I were to pretend to be Bette Midler, I’d ignore the music and say what I wanted to say anyway.
The path of entrepreneurship has been the biggest challenge of my career, perhaps my life. I am so grateful for my husband who always encouraged me to look at the right metrics of success, my daughter who became my marketing assistant at the age of 12, and my son who, to this day, is still not sure what I do for a living.
I have had countless professional mentors and advisors, but none so ever-present as Jen Dangelo, my coach and encourager. Thank you.
I started this newsletter in June of 2009 with 19 readers. Today, thousands of you open these emails. It makes me so happy to picture you in my head when I’m writing.
So, thanks for a great 10 years folks. Here’s to the next 10.
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Dr. Melissa Gratias (pronounced "Gracious") is a work psychologist who helps overwhelmed and underappreciated businesspeople be more focused and effective. Since 2007, thousands of people have graduated with honors from her onsite sessions, distance coaching, productivity seminars, and corporate consulting projects. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Melissa is available for nationwide consulting and speaking engagements. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 912-417-2505.Sign up for her free monthly e-newsletter or visit her website, melissagratias.com.