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The Roadmap for a Healthy Business Trip

>A good business trip takes careful planning. So does maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you travel frequently in your line of work, or for your business, you know how difficult it can be to keep up good habits and how easy it is to slip into bad ones. The good news is that, with a little added preparation and smart choices, you can considerably reduce that risk. Here’s how:

Set realistic goals – Goals will help you stay focused while you are away, but be realistic. For example, instead of losing weight, why not set maintaining your current weight as your goal?

Be prepared – It’s easier to maintain your health and weight with a little preparation. For example, call ahead to the hotel where you are staying and see if they have a fitness centre. Or, for frequent stays, consider a pass to a local facility. And be sure to take along your workout gear.

Scan the menu – Taking time to review your choices will help you make healthy ones.

Consider avoiding foods with descriptions such as ‘fried,’ ‘crispy,’ or ‘battered.’ They are likely high in fat. Instead, look for high-fiber meals, like a baked potato or salad.

For baked potatoes and salads, avoid high-calorie dressings and sour cream, or extras such as meat, cheese, egg and croutons. Or, ask to have dressings and toppings on the side so you can control your portions.

Ordering a small or kid-size portion. This is a great way to reduce the amount of calories, sodium and fat you consume.

Eat on schedule – Skipping meals or not eating for long periods increases your hunger and the risk that you will overeat when you finally make time for food.

Curb the urge to splurge – Keep snacks like graham crackers and fruit on hand in your car, bag or briefcase. This will help keep your appetite in check when standing at the buffet table or ordering a meal.

Forego fast food where possible – If fast-food restaurants are your only option, remember that many now have health-smart choices. Be sure to ask for the nutritional information and check the calorie, fat and fiber counts before ordering. Often, these choices aren’t healthier than what is on the main menu. Avoid the value meals; the calorie content is generally equal to two meals.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at

Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.


Eliminate Holiday Stress

Practice these holiday stress reducers so you don’t just survive the season, but enjoy this special time of the year.

  1. Schedule “you” time for at least 15-30 minutes each day doing something that you enjoy.
  2. Just say “No”. No excuses necessary. 
  3. Ask family members which traditions they really enjoy, then think about altering those traditions to better suit today’s busy lifestyle.
  4. Don’t buy into bigger is better. Whether shopping for a gift, creating a warm evening for friends or cooking or baking, think of ways to simplify.
  5. Schedule your other activities around your workout routines.
  6. Get to bed at your usual time or earlier.
  7. Eat properly. Don’t use the holidays and stress as a reason to over eat.
  8. Although some people believe alcohol decreases your stress, it is only a temporary solution.
  9. Cut down your gift giving list. If you have way too many people to buy gifts for this year, try having a family, friend or work gift draw.
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Attending a Meeting – How You Can Play a Part in it’s Success

From job interviews to strategy sessions, it’s important to make a good impression in any meeting. Making a good impression starts with careful planning and preparation. So, here are a few tips to help you get ready for your next meeting:

Confirm meeting time and place with a quick call or email. This will ensure that you don’t waste time waiting or traveling and reduces the potential for your colleagues to forget about it.13_ effective-meetings

Always be punctual. This way, you won’t have to catch up following a meeting and you won’t waste time on irrelevant pre-meeting discussions.

Confirm if your attendance is mandatory. You may have received an invitation out of protocol or courtesy, or you may be able to send a representative.

Have to leave a meeting early? Let people know at the start of the meeting so your departure is not disruptive.

Layout any materials you need for the meeting before it gets underway to prevent unnecessary interruptions. 

Keep all materials related to any meeting organized in a labelled file folder or binder so you can find the documents you need when you want them.

Ask if there is any background or related material available for you to review prior to the meeting.  This will allow you to focus on the agenda at hand.

stopwatchIf you are asked to give a presentation, review the agenda to see how much time you have.  Then prepare your presentation and practice it to ensure you stay on topic and on time.

Help keep the meeting on track by offering to take notes or by occasionally recording the time on a blackboard.

There is always the potential for delays or unforeseen interruptions in the meeting. So, why not take along a work item? This will allow you to accomplish an important task during any downtime.

If you are an executive or manager, delegate duties to someone on your team during your absence. This will help keep your office or department working at full efficiency.

Finish It Fridays

End Your Week on a Positive and Productive Note

When you arrive at work on Monday morning do you feel rushed, disorganized and scattered? It’s not a great way to start the week. End your work week on an organized note and you’ll start your Monday’s feeling confident and ready to work. You may just feel more relaxed on the weekend too.

Organize Anything has six great ways to make sure that you wrap up your work week  in a way that sets you up for success come Monday morning.

1. Look ahead. Before you leave on Friday afternoon, look at your schedule to see what’s coming up for following week.

Do you have a big meeting first thing on Monday morning or a presentation on Tuesday? Research shows that you will sleep better if you have reviewed your calendar.

If you do, take your briefing notes home with you so that you can review them over the weekend and feel prepared when you walk into the office on Monday morning.

2. Confirm it. Take half an hour on Friday to confirm your appointments for next week. Better to find out on Friday  afternoon that your three hour appointment on Wednesday afternoon is going to have to be rescheduled than on Wednesday morning. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your schedule.

3. Clear your desk. Arriving to a messy desk on Monday morning elevates your stress level before you even start your day. Take the time to properly file any papers left on your desk, return materials to their proper place or owner and empty your garbage and recycling.


 4 . Delete or archive your old email. If you haven’t had a chance yet to empty your inbox, take the time on Friday to sort your email into the properfolder and delete the ones you don’t need.

It will be easier to sort out the junk mail you receive  over the weekend and you’ll be able to start your week with a clean inbox.


5. Follow up. Do you have colleagues that said they would get back to you, but you have not heard from them? Now is a good time to check in with those people and see if they need anything from you before the you leave the office. A quick phone call can help you wrap up a project for the week.

6. Close the loop. We often have a bunch of unfinished tasks hanging at the bottom of our to-do list.

Often they stay on the list because they are not urgent. Often these non-urgent things can become urgent later, or they are truly important things we just don’t get to.  Pick one thing that fits in this category and complete it every Friday. It feels so good.

7. Back everything up and shut it down. The last thing you should do before you leave on Friday afternoon is back up your week’s work. Save it on an external drive, a memory stick or try  a free program like DropBox . This way if there’s a power fluctuation or a network breach over the weekend you won’t have lost any of your valuable work. Be sure to turn off your computer, printers and any other office electronics before you leave as well. Not only are you saving energy, you are less likely to arrive to malfunctioning equipment on Monday.

Once you work these simple steps into your Friday routine you will feel more confident arriving to work on Monday morning and enjoy your weekend even more.

Don’t Get Trapped in a Groundhog Day of Bad Work Habits

Working from home, or ready to join the thousands of Canadians who already do? Home-based businesses offer considerable advantages, but many challenges. Here are seven strategies that will make your home office experience more productive and rewarding.

1) Select a dedicated workspace. If possible, select a room with a door to block out distractions. Also, choose your space based on how you will use it. For example, locate it near the main entrance to your home if clients and suppliers will be visiting frequently.

2) Choose your office furniture carefully. You want to create a space that is comfortable, productive and efficient. Ensure your space is well lit and provides proper storage space.

3) Purchase office equipment based on your needs. Consider all-in-one equipment with fax, printer, copier, and scanner functions to save money and space. Invest in a business phone line with voicemail so you won’t miss any messages.

4) Set a schedule and stick to it. Early or late riser? Business or casual? Find the routine that works for you and keep it. Remember to set daily goals to avoid doing household chores when you should be working. Regularly scheduled breaks are also important, allowing you to stay fresh through the working day.

5) Outsource and delegate. It’s easier to stay efficient and focused on your work when you make use of support service providers, such as accountants and couriers.

6) Plan your outings. You’ll save time by picking one day during the week to run errands.

7) Take time to network. It’s important to interact with friends and associates on a regular basis. Plan weekly lunches or join a networking group to make new contacts and learn new business techniques.

If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to others who would find it useful and sign up for our Organize Anything newsletter on our homepage at

© 2011 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Permission to reuse or redistribute these materials is hereby granted provided they are reproduced or redistributed in their entirety with full attribution.

The Law of Subtraction

>We live in a world where bigger is better and more is all the rage. When we are trying to get the life we want, it often involves adding something new: a new routine to lose weight, exercising more, taking a class or starting a new activity. Also, we are always looking for more time–most of us want to spend more time with our friends and family. Lately, we have heard many promises that if you just put out the intent, then it will all happen for you. In our business we have found that this simply is not true for most of our clients. Our clients’ lives are so packed full already that adding just one or two more things in to the mix or the thought of adding anything else is just too overwhelming. Simply willing something you would like to happen is not enough.

We live in a high pressured, busy, success driven, in search of perfection and not excellence type of world. Often you can’t get what you really want because your current lifestyle is so jam-packed with things you don’t want, that there is just no room for anything else.

So before you contemplate adding anything else in your life, practice the law of subtraction. Remember, when you say “yes” to something you have to say “no” to something else. So let’s say “no” to some things, so we have the space to say “yes” to things we want.

You can do this in many ways:

-If your boss is piling more tasks on an already full plate – ask what could get postponed or handed off to someone else.

-If you are making impromptu purchases of clothing, furniture and accessories – ask yourself what you are going to let go of that you already own.

-If you start worrying about a future event – ask yourself what nice things you won’t have time to think about as a result of this worrying. Are you willing to give up those nice thoughts for something that may not happen, alter your mood and cause frustration?

Stop spending time with toxic people who don’t make you feel good and find more time to spend with the friends that empower you and make you feel great.

-You no longer do your children’s laundry or pack their lunches and have more time to do the things you would like to around your home.

-You spend less time sitting in front of the TV or your computer and you find the time to get moving and do some exercise.

-You say no to extra volunteer activities and have more time for activities with your partner.

It has been my experience that less is really more.

You don’t always have to say “yes”, even if it is something that you feel you are obligated to do. Saying “no” makes room for the things that matter most in life. Practice the Law of Subtraction and less can actually make you happier and healthier.

Colette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, is a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people set priorities, stay focused, manage time, and transitions so they can achieve their goals, grow their business and be more successful. Contact her at and sign up for her newsletter of useful tips at

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