Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I was thinking the other day just how lucky I am to have a wonderful group of friends that I do life with.

The dictionary definition of friend or friendship is: “One attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”.

One of my close friends, Annie, who is part of the Family Room, has had a really sick little boy in hospital for the past three weeks. She is amazing in the way she has managed to stay strong and confident whilst being very sleep deprived and worried.

Annie and her family are such givers, always helping others, and it was fantastic to see people coming alongside to do whatever was necessary to help them through this tough time.
Friendship is about standing beside in the time of need, having a cry or a laugh together and just knowing that you have someone you can call on anytime.

I have wonderful friends here in Australia and overseas and I consider myself so blessed, as not everyone can say that.

As you read this blog, can I encourage you that to get friends you need to be a friend? It really works. You start to build a community around you and you get so much out of it, just by giving of yourself.

Friendship is a journey that can take years to travel, but one which can last a lifetime.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tips for being organised (Part 2)

We planned it, we scheduled it and now we’re making it happen – the second instalment in our tips for being organised series from special guest writer Julie Venables. This week, she rounds out the top ten with advice for multi-tasking, list-making and prioiritising.
Enjoy and be inspired!

6. Multi-task
When the thing you are doing doesn’t require much attention, then do something else at the same time. For example, if you are on a long train trip, take one of the books you’ve been meaning to read with you. If you are watching TV, then do the ironing at the same time, or bring out the laptop and research what’s on at the movies for when you meet with your friend on Saturday.

7. Keep track of your social calendar
Keep an eye on your diary and be aware of when you are free and when you have things on. This way you can schedule people in if they request the pleasure of your company, and you can feel confident that you won’t be letting anyone down by double-booking. It also makes it easier for scheduling more mundane tasks, like housework, since you know how much time you will be spending at home that week and will know, for instance, that you only have Thursday night to take care of the laundry, and so shouldn’t wait until Saturday, since you will be out all day. If planning an event, choose a date well ahead, so that you maximise the likelihood of a good number of people being available, and then email an invite as soon as you can. About four weeks before the event is good, and send a confirmation email about a week out to those who have RSVP’d.

8. Write lists
Do it because it feels good, and you deserve a treat after all this hard work! Also, it’s good for keeping track of what needs to be done. The best lists have a time limit on them, so that they don’t just sit there and never get done. The major exception to this is the “long-term to-do list”, see point 10.

9. Prioritise
If you’ve got a lot of stuff to take care of, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So to feel like you are in control and can handle whatever task-load is in front of you, break it down into little parts and schedule everything in your diary. Then you will know that it will all be done, eventually – it’s just a matter of time. This means you can stop thinking about it constantly. Put the most important stuff first so that if you run out of time the other things can wait.

10. Maintain a long-term to-do list
This is for projects which will take longer than just a short amount of time (like putting the photos from a big overseas trip into an album), or can’t be done right now (like preparing your tax return since you are still waiting for paperwork from the bank). Work through each of these projects one at a time, and break them down into smaller tasks as required. For example, call the bank on Thursday to see when their tax statement will be sent.

Happy organising!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today, the family room would like to welcome our new special guest writer Julie Venables. As one of the most organised people we know, Julie has agreed to share her top 10 tips for taming the chaos of a busy schedule. We’re sure you’ll be challenged and inspired by these first five pearls of wisdom. Be sure to check back next week for part two!

Tips for being organised (Part 1)

1. Just do it
If you think of something that needs to be done, and you are able to do it right there and then, then do it!

For example, I’ve just come home and opened the mail. One of the letters is a bank statement (which I make a habit of filing) so as soon as I’ve finished looking at it, I go to the filing cabinet and put it away immediately. Then it requires no further thought.

2. Just do it
Seriously, you’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve if you just do it now.

3. Schedule it
Ok, so sometimes there are times when it’s just not possible to do it now. Maybe because you’re not in the right place, or with the right person, or you don’t have the resources you need to get the job done right there and then. If that’s the case, then put it in your diary. Think about what is needed, and when is the earliest time you can make it happen, then write it down on the day you can do it. Be specific.

For example, it’s your turn to cook dinner on Monday night, and you decide, while at work on Friday, that you would like to make a soup, which takes a couple of hours to cook. Write in your diary that you need to look up the ingredients that night at 6pm (which is the earliest time you can get home to look at your cookbook), then write that you need to go grocery shopping at 10am on Saturday morning (which is the earliest you can leave the house, since you are expecting a phone call at 9.30am and need to put on a load of laundry before that).

Finally, schedule time to make the soup at 3pm on Sunday afternoon, which is early enough to finish the job before you go out at 6.50pm that night. You can’t cook it on Monday night itself, of course, since you only get home at 5.50pm, the soup takes 2 hours and people will be ready to eat at 6.30pm.

4. Reschedule it
If you genuinely can’t do it when you had planned to (for example, you have run out of time in the day), then reschedule it for another time – again be specific. Think about what day you can do it and at exactly what time.

5. Procrastination - Don’t let yourself get away with it
If you have something that you need to do, and you are feeling a bit tired and would rather leave it for tomorrow… well, too bad! Just do it, anyway. Don’t let yourself get away with not doing what’s on your list of things to do that day, and then indulge in feeling sorry for yourself the next day because you’ve realised that you have too much to do and not enough time. That wouldn’t have happened if you had spread the load a little and done some of it the day before.

Well, I hope these first five tips have got you thinking and have given you some fresh ideas for getting organised. I'll be back with another five next week.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

What’s Your Age?

I’ve spent the last few weeks listening intently to the conversations surrounding oil prices and how it is affecting markets around the globe and our own back pockets. I have also spent some of my time listening to and reading articles that are discussing health issues and how we are stacking up in terms of our overall wellbeing.

After much reading and discussion, I thought I would share some of my findings with you. Through my research I discovered two websites that both host very quick but extremely informative online tests ~ one is a financial test and the other a health test. These tests draw very distinct lines showing some of the things we all see with our natural eyes. We all know people who are in their 40s but behave financially like they are in their 20s. Similarly we all know people who are in their 20s but look like they are in their 40s.

Recently, I was speaking at my sister’s women’s conference (Shine) and I shared one of these tests with the women there. I know many of them have since taken the test and have learned valuable information about themselves.

The first test I encourage you to take is the health test. It gives you a clear indication of where you are health-wise, and through the findings you are given great tips and ideas of how to increase your overall heath and well-being. This test is the longer of the two, but it’s well worth the minutes it takes to determine whether or not your health is age-appropriate or if there are things you need to address. For those of you who are familiar with the name Dr. Oz (from the Oprah show) this test is from him so you know it will be good. To find the test visit www.realage.com and follow the prompts.

The second test is What is your Financial Age. This test is extremely quick and asks very pointed questions that extract exact information that will determine your financial age. I found this test very interesting as it caused and reminded me to think about certain financial aspects of my life that tend to slip our minds. For the women at my sister’s conference I know this test was a good wake up call for some of them. To take this test simply visit www.myfinances.co.uk/financial-age-tool.

I know that these tests will provide you, like myself, with amazing information. I discovered that my real age was younger than I am and that my financial age is much older than my current age. All in all I scored pretty well, but as always I know that improvements can be made and I am now more aware than I was a few weeks ago. That is a good thing. Understanding our health and our finances helps us live stronger more confident lives. Who doesn’t want that? Jump online and take the tests and, if you want, drop me a line to let me know if it helped.


My Favorites

Clicky Web Analytics