Gourmet Supper

a small plate with a serving of mashed potatoesImage via Wikipedia

As my children cast attest, I’m not the world’s best chef.

My buddy Sara posted on Facebook ‘just another regular supper’ of skirt steak, creamy mashed potatoes with shallots so instead of burning up with envy I decided to grow up and learn from her.

So here you go ….. just boiled white potatoes (they are softest) and peeled them and mashed them up and added soy milk until i felt they were creamy enough. i added salt and coarsely grated black pepper to them too.
i chopped garlic and sauteed it in olive oil with salt and mixed it in to the potatoes.
as for the shallots, i sliced them into thin pieces and sauteed them in dry red wine with olive oil, salt, grated whole black pepper, sauteed until they were soft and spooned on top of the steak and the potatoes.

Thanks Sara – share some more of your ‘simple boring’ suppers !

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Productivity Challenge : Managing Those Interruptions

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 08:  Apple Senior Vice Pr...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

This Productivity Challenge Of The Week Aint Gonna Be Pretty …… But It Will Be Productive.

Interruptions come in many forms. The flashing red light of an incoming text or a beep of a voice mail not to mention the ping of new emails and iming and phonecalls.

We are so interrupted.

Now, our hum drum ‘to-do’ list can’t compete with the feel good buzz of a buddy’s barb on facebook or a colleague’s wassup im … however our productivity takes a nose dive.

It’s the getting back to the task at hand that is the most taxing. The mind takes a full 11 minutes to get back to right where it left off. Seriously, take this informal poll and count how many times you ask yourself ‘ where was I ??’.

If live is good and you’re living the 4 Hour Work Week then please don’t let me stop you. However, if you are accountable for work then may I humbly suggest you limit those interruptions. Painful as it sounds consider having ‘ interruption breaks’ where you take a short break to check messages and check your facebook status.

A planned break is alot easier to get back to the point where you left off.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Productivity Challenge Of The Week

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

This Productivity Challenge Of The Week Aint Gonna Be Pretty …… But It Will Be Productive !!!!

Manage Your Internet Time

Seriously …. the instant allure of Facebook is soo much more fun that getting things done. Problem is : it can really whack a hole in your daily productivity quotient.

So, take an honest look in the Internet reflection and count up those minutes ( hours ?). It isn’t pretty, but it is productive.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ten Steps To A Home Office Haven

Q : What to do with that cluttered, paper filled home office?

A : What cluttered, paper filled office ? Can you commit to a few hours over the next month without a major life event ? Follow these simple but essential steps for a tidy and empowering work space.

1) Remove The Carnage.

Take as many big transparent storage containers as you need and remove all those papers, books, unopened mail, shoes , coffee mugs (ahem!) from the office and place these items inside the containers. Any essential items such as lost credit cards and driving license found in the process should be put directly into your wallet. Don’t put any liquids (water bottles, nail polish) inside the containers with all those papers.

2) Clean The Space
Get out the clorox wipes, the duster, vacuum and the can of condensed air and really clean the space.

3) Look at Your Space With Fresh Eyes
Go backto basics and confirm that you love your space – if you don’t then you will resist being there. Consider repurosong the space and moving the desk to a different wall for a better fit. Still not loving it ? Look around your home for a nook that makes you smile.

4) The Basic Four
Now check the basic four
1) Good lighting
Make sure you are not squinting at the screen. Tweak the lighting so that you have that great combination of natural and artificial light.
2) Comfortable chair
Make sure you are sitting comfortably and that your Mom would be happy to see how straight your back is. ( Want to make her really proud ? Ditch the chair and get an exercise ball
3) Ergonomics
Get an ergonomic keyboard and adjust your chair / desk angle so that your fingers can do their job without causing your wrists pain.
4) Easy to reach storage
Get some shelves set up within easy reach.

5) Containerize

Get yourself some containers that make you smile. Magazine folders are great as they look uniform and have no lids. Choose your colour scheme (colors that make you smile) and stick to it.

6) What set up do I need to be more productive?
Need a pinboard ? Desk calendar ? Scanner ? Headset for the phone ? A new inbox ? A shredder ? Set these key items in place. Get a cup of pens too while you’re at it.

7) Invite Friends Back In.
Now go to those transparent boxes and tackle the mess. A fair amount of items be will able to be thrown or given away. Only invite the essential and highly useful items back in again.

8) Create systems that flow
Now that you’ve pared down to essentials.
Ask yourself what systems your office needs to be productive. For example : Create a ‘mail’ area with stamps, envelopes and address labels. If you like clipboards get a few for specific categories. Create a new system for inboxes and outboxes.

9) What would make me smile ?

Bring in a new plant or fab family photo to add more happiness to your work environment. Or perhaps buy a brightly colored trash can that makes you smile.

10) Take Ten Minutes
Finish your work time 10 minutes earlier and organize your desk… daily.

Go for the challenge and respect yourself and the work you do from home. By implementing these 10 steps your desk will be gleaming. Constantly reassess if particular items are serving a purpose. Before you know it your home office will be your haven for productivity and pride.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Systemize Your Life Away

Facial Action Coding SystemImage by Buster Benson via Flickr

As a Mom and Time Management junkie here’s one of my golden rules, which brings music to my ears every time I say …… Systemize !

Mom’s minds are too crammed full to create all that needs to be done daily. We need to reinvent the wheel as rarely as possible. In my world I systemize meal plans, bedtimes, quality time with kiddies, down time for Mom, shopping and of course date night !!Related articles by Zemanta

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]