So, you are searching for a new job?  Perhaps you are making a voluntary career transition.  Maybe you have been laid off, or worse, fired.  Regardless of the reason for your job search, one fact remains true: if you are conducting a job search, it is vital that you take an organized approach.  Managing your job search is just like managing any other major project.  You must create an infrastructure that allows you to operate in an efficient and productive manner.  A successful job search requires forethought and action.  Here are some tips for conducting an organized job search.

1. Declutter and Pre-Purge – If you are embarking on a job search, it will be difficult to do so if your physical space is covered in clutter with piles of papers everywhere.  Take some time to declutter.  Purge any unnecessary items, file papers that you need to keep, recycle junk mail, and get some order back into that space!  It will be easier for you to concentrate on your job search without all of that chaos and clutter around you.  Just be careful that you don’t spend too much time decluttering that you start using it as an excuse to procrastinate with regard to your job search.  A few days should suffice.  

2. Create a Job Search Schedule– Let’s face it – searching for a job is hard work!  If you are still employed while you are conducting your new job search, be prepared to have an extremely busy schedule.  If you are currently unemployed, realize that you do, indeed, have a job – conducting a job search!  Create a job search schedule that gives you ample time for all of the activities you need to focus on in order to succeed: resume and cover letter preparation, surfing the web for jobs, networking, interviewing, follow-up, etc.  Block out time in your calendar for job search activities and treat that time as you would any traditional work commitment.  Be consistent in the amount of time you spend each day and week on job search activities so that you keep your momentum going, and don’t lose focus and miss valuable opportunities.

3. Get Your Gear in Order– Update your resume, cover letter, references, and writing sample (if applicable).  Ask for letters of recommendation and testimonials from previous or current supervisors, co-workers, and professional colleagues.  Get some nice new stationery, and stock up on print cartridges for your printer.  If you want to use an outside source for printing, some local printing shops will copy resumes for free during an economic downturn, so ask around!  Be sure to have a computer with high-speed Internet access.  An all-in-one machine for printing, copying, faxing and scanning will also come in handy during a job search.

4. Create Job Search Central– Set aside space at home (or wherever you will be conducting your job search activities) and make it job search central.  Keep all of your job-search related supplies in that location, which will make it easy for you to find them when you need them.  This will also help you to get into job search mode when you are in that space.

5. Create a Job Search Paper Management System– You may be acquiring a lot of paper in your job search: resources, articles, sample resumes and cover letters, business cards of networking contacts, contact-us-later or rejection letters, etc.  To the extent that you can maintain these items in a paperless fashion, go for it.  But if you have to maintain hard copy paper, be sure to create a job search paper management or filing system, to be stored in your job search center.  Keep it simple and use whatever system makes the most sense to you for ease of use (binder, portable filing bin, traditional filing cabinet, etc).

6. Plan Job Search Activities– Plan out job search activities on a daily basis, such as phone calls to make, resumes to send, online applications to fill out, informational interviews to conduct, etc.  Write down your job search activities as calendar items, to-do’s, or tasks so that you take them seriously and treat them as measurable goals.  Be realistic with regard to what you can reasonably accomplish in one day, but also challenge yourself!

7. Track Job Search Activities – Organizing your job search involves keeping track of all information and communications.  Keep a record of where you sent your resume and when, whom you have spoken to, when interviews took place, etc.  This information will prove vital when deciding when to follow-up with leads.  You can track all of this information using a calendar such as Outlook or Google, or an online tool such as  Whatever tools you use, it is important that you be able to track the status of your job search.

8. Manage Job Search Email – In today’s world, much of your job search will likely be conducted by email.  Therefore, before you even start your search, whittle down the amount of email in your inbox so that you can hyper-focus on your job search emails, which will add up quickly.  Create folders within your email system using categories that make sense to you, such as Companies Applied To, Contacts Submitted Resumes To, etc.

9. Polish Your Online Profiles – If you are conducting a job search in today’s market, you would be remiss not to develop an online presence on social media sites, especially LinkedIn, which is the most “professional” of the social media sites and can essentially serve as your online resume.  But also consider other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  The opportunities are endless for employers and contacts to find you online.  You may even have your own website, e-zine, or blog.  Maybe you post articles on various article-marketing sites, or serve as a guest blogger on other blogs.  If you maintain profiles on any of social media sites, or have any type of online presence, be sure to polish your profiles so that they promote the image you want potential employers and contacts to see.

10.  Change Your Greetings – Change the message that greets callers for any phone number that you plan to use for your job search so that it sounds professional, and conveys the information you want callers to hear.  Be prepared, not embarrassed!

11.  Stay Positive – The longer a job search takes, the more chance you have of becoming negative about it.  Try to maintain a positive attitude to the extent you can by monitoring your progress and staying active in your search.  When the going gets rough during a job search, many people take a back seat and give up, which is counter-productive.  Try to stay focused and make valuable contacts that are likely to lead to a job.  However, don’t be all consumed by your search for a job!  Maintaining some balance in your life at this time will serve you well.  Get adequate sleep, eat well, see family and friends for pleasure, and make time for exercise.

Organization is one of the single most important things you can do to keep your job search manageable.  Just like being organized helps you improve any other area of your life, home, or work, it will also help move along your job search in quick and efficient fashion and with less stress.  It may even wind up being the key to finding that dream job you always wanted.

Watch the video here, or read the full article below.

video-superachieverOne of the greatest challenges for busy, successful and creative people juggling several projects, talents and ideas is to live a well-balanced life. If only we could do all that is on our personal and professional ‘to do’ lists while simultaneously attending to our health, nurturing our important relationships and taking good care of our responsibilities.

Everyone knows someone who works full time, volunteers, runs a successful blog, and somehow still finds time to go grocery shopping, cook organic Instagram-worthy meals, foster a loving relationship, walk his or her adorable Boston terrier, and, oh — train for a half marathon. These kinds of “super-achievers” have the same number of hours in the day as the rest of us, but somehow, they always seem to get more done. How do they do it? Here are 5 tips to help you maximize your precious 24 hours daily.

Tip #1: Stop Trying to Win the Crazy-Busy Badge of Honor
crazy_busyStaying busy, but not productive, is the curse of our times. These days we are so busy that we can’t stop talking about it. And busyness has become a cultural symbol of status. Even though people say they’re complaining, they’re secretly bragging. Here are some typical phrases that I often hear from my private clients and audience members:

“I am so tired, I can’t remember the last time I got a good night’s sleep!”
“I’m drowning over here!”
“Oh my God, I’m crazy-busy!”

We have to stop the glorification of busy, and realize that no one is really “busy”… it’s all about priorities. We have to stop using this phrase, and take back control so we feel empowered, not depleted.

Tip #2: Use Time Management Tools that Work for You & Stick to Them
One of the key components to time management is to find time management tools that work well for you and then stick to them. Consistency is key! Use one calendar, one master project list or project management tool, and one task management system. It doesn’t matter if they are paper or digital, old fashioned or a fancy new app. The key is to create a system around your habits, needs, work and lifestyle, learn it well, and use it consistently.

Tip #3: Stop Multi-Tasking & Engage in Uni-Tasking Instead
Multi-tasking is generally less efficient than focusing on one thing at a time. Studies show it impairs productivity. It is impossible to do 2 tasks at the same time without compromising each. Research shows that it takes your brain 4 times longer to process than if you focused on each task separately. David Meyer, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has spent the past few decades studying multi-tasking. His research shows that not only is multi-tasking inefficient, but also can cause problems at work, at school, and even, in some cases, be dangerous. Meyer explains, “It takes time to warm up to a new task, especially if both require the same skills.” So focus on one task at a time, give it your full attention, and then move onto the next task.

Tip #4: Use the Power of the Pareto Principle (a/k/a the 80-20 Rule)
The Pareto Principle takes its name from a 19th century Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. In the late 1940s, business management guru Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Pareto’s Principle (or the 80/20 Rule as it is often called) means that in any grouping of items or events, a few (20%) are vital and many (80%) are trivial. 80% of our results come from 20% of our activity. That means that of all of the daily activities you do, and choices that you make, only 20% really matter (or at least produce meaningful results).

What is the takeaway that we can learn from the Pareto Principle? Identify and focus on the 20% that matters! When life sets in and you start to become reactive instead of proactive, remind yourself of the 20% you need to focus on. If something in your schedule needs to be deleted or not completed with your fullest attention, try your best to make sure it’s not part of that 20%. Use the Pareto Principle as a litmus test to constantly check in and ask yourself: “Is doing this task or activity right now the highest and best use of my time? Is this truly part of the 20% that matters?” Let the Pareto Principle serve as a powerful daily reminder to focus 80% of your time and energy on the 20% of your work and life that is really important and delivers positive results.

Tip #5: Honor Appointments with Yourself
facialCalendar in your personal to-do’s, along with your professional appointments. Our work calendars fill up quickly with tasks, projects, and events. When was the last time you scheduled something fun for yourself and/or your family? A date night with your significant other? A yoga class, time to read, take a bubble bath, etc.? Give structure to unstructured activities and tasks. Try to reverse your calendar and begin with the premise that you need (and deserve) time for play and relaxation. You schedule those first, as well as previously committed time — like when you sleep, eat, exercise, commute to work, and other blocks of time you must expend each day.

Start practicing proactive, positive productivity using the 5 tips above. And remember, be consistent!

calendarA few weeks ago, I presented at the National Association of Professional Organizers San Francisco Bay Area Regional Conference. My topic was Make Time for This: Effective Time Management. As I was putting the finishes touches on my slides and handout prior to the conference, I started thinking about the many different systems, tools and strategies people use to manage their time. Specifically, I started thinking about how far we have come with regard to digital/electronic systems compared to years ago. Yet, every time I speak to an audience about time management and survey the participants, it amazes me how many people are still using paper-based systems (paper, pen, notebooks, post-it notes, folders, etc.) compared to digital (software, apps, tablets, smart phones, etc.). And yes, even in a room full of professional organizers and productivity consultants, there were more than a handful that admitted to still using a paper-based system.

So which is better? That’s not an easy question to answer, even for a productivity expert because the winner is in the eyes of the user.

checkmarkA paper-based system has a certain solidness to it. You get to touch your system and hold it in your hands. For people that are very tactile focused, this concreteness can make all the difference. Being able to write with your own hand, feel the pen move across the paper, turn the page, tab it, shuffle paper, put a post-it note on it, etc. can make all the difference. The act of being able to physically manipulate the system is what helps the paper-based user to stay in control of the system and perhaps even enjoy using it. The disadvantages to this “ol d fashioned” type system include a limited/finite amount of space/storage, inconvenient size if the system is too large to fit into a small purse or pocket for example, and the fear that your system can be easily lost or destroyed with no back up.

People that are digital focused tend to do better with an electronic system. There are many advantages, including the ability to set reminders and alarms, an amazing amount of storage (especially if your digital system is in the cloud), portability and often a small size if you use your system on a handheld device, and the ability to share and synchronize with other’s calendars in workplace. Some disadvantages are that you can’t always see the full month view (a real pet peeve for those that are strong visual learners), and it’s not satisfying for tactile individuals who love the feel of pen to paper.

I used a Filofax day planner for years when I was still practicing law. I absolutely loved it! The smell o f the leather, the feel of the paper, the way my pen filled up the pages with appointments, and the fact that it was always with me ready to serve me at a moment’s notice. I was very careful about the way I handled it, and was adamant about not losing it. Some lawyers were so fearful that they may lose their daily planner that they offered a hefty financial reward to anyone that found it and returned it to them! I knew someone that left his planner on a plane and got it back and did indeed send a large check to the finder.

I fought the digital revolution tooth and nail for a long time, as I loved my Filofax and it served me well in the sense that I used it religiously and had great time management skills. But when the Palm Pilot was created (yes, I am dating myself!), I thought I had died and gone to Heaven, which is surprising for such a tactile person (I love to write by hand… even to this day!). I think it was the fact that it looked like a Filofax (leather bound, small size with the device inside) and you could “write” with a stylus. So it was a great transition piece as it mimicked many of the attributes of a paper system, but was the beginning of the digital overthrow — at least for me!

asanaThe Palm was the first in line of many digital time management systems. I am now fully digital using Asana as my digital task/project management system (if you haven’t checked it out, go to — it is free and pretty amazing!), and iCal as my digital calendar system on all of my Mac devices (iPhone, iPad and iMac). BUT I still often make a daily to-do list on good old fashioned paper, and sometimes I even do a Brain Dump on paper when I have a lot of mental clutter in my head and need to get it out. There is still something so satisfying to me about running th at pen across the paper and watching the words appear. And there is nothing like the feeling of physically crossing an item off your to-do list!

If you are still struggling with whether to go fully-digital or continue using your tried-and-true-but-outdated paper system, realize that you can use both. Just be careful not to duplicate your efforts (by using two systems for the exact same purpose) or create systems that conflict and compete with each other.

In the end, there is no “perfect” system. The ultimate goal of any productivity or time management system should be to capture and complete the tasks and responsibilities that make up your personal and professional life, not necessarily HOW that is accomplished. The system doesn’t have to be pretty or stylish (unless aesthetics are important to you), or the latest and greatest digital marvel (unless being a techie is fun for you and you love being an early adopter). The system just has to do its job, which is to help you manage your time and tasks better. Free yourself from the mindset that one is better than the other, and ask yourself which is better for you at this particular time in your life. And if you absolutely can’t choose one or the other, feel free to create a system that incorporates both the paper and digital worlds. Heck, you never know… it just may become the next big thing!

The single most important characteristic that separates organized people and organizations from disorganized people and organizations is decisiveness. In this entertaining and engaging keynote, Lisa will share valuable tips on how to effectively organize your time, space, paper and possessions by practicing good decision-making techniques, creating a system that works, and integrating the system into your life. This presentation empowers participants to discover their unique organizing style and develop organizing systems tailored to their individual work habits and life style. You will come away with great new ideas that will help you achieve results at home, at work, and in life!

Time is one of our most precious resources. Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it. This presentation addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control. Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities. Topics Include: self-assessment, tools of time management, how to say no, project lists and to-do lists, conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

Most Requested Speaking ProgramsLisa Montanaro

Don’t see a topic that matches your group’s needs? Click here for Lisa’s Master List of Speaking Programs.

Lisa works with you and your group to deliver presentations that address individual, organizational, and meeting objectives, ask for Custom Presentations.

Crazy Busy Isn’t a Badge of Honor: Be Productive, Not Busy!

Stop the glorification of busy… instead of bragging about being “crazy-busy,” start getting things done! Time is one of our most precious resources. Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it. This presentation addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control. Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities. Topics include: self-assessment, tools of time management, how to say no, project lists and to-do lists, conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

21st Century Tools to Boost Productivity

Mobile devicesConfused by all of the emerging tools that you can use on your smart phone, lap top, tablet, and at-home computer? Want to figure out a way to use old fashioned methods combined with newer ones? Finding it hard to keep up, let alone stay ahead and master the ones that are best for you? Then this workshop is for you! Learn tips, tricks and tools for boosting productivity, including electronic options, such as applications, software, and other technology-related programs.

Designed to teach participants how to master technology, use it to their advantage and not let it take over their life!  Many of us have powerful devices at our disposal, but don’t harness their power to boost our productivity. Learn the tools you have, expand your knowledge of what’s available, and ask questions to make sense of the ever-growing array of products available. Be the master of technology, not its servant!

Don’t Be a See-Saw Anymore: Go Beyond “Balance” and Engage in Life- Work Integration

The words Work and Life on a see-saw balance scale, showing thatOne of the greatest challenges for busy, successful and creative people juggling several projects, talents and ideas is to live a well-rounded life. If only we could “balance” the creative and the practical, the personal and the professional, the urgent and the important. If only we could do all that is on our personal and professional ‘to do’ lists while simultaneously attending to our health, nurturing our important relationships, and taking good care of our responsibilities. What if the whole concept of life-work balance is a myth that compels us to view an ideal life as a perfectly level see saw?

On one side is your personal life. On the other side is your work life. With heroic efforts, you can keep both sides exactly level. If one starts to tip too far, you make some kind of nifty move that balances them again. In reality, that perfect balance almost never occurs, except for those rare, fleeting moments when each side passes each other on the way up or down — and we’re often too frazzled to appreciate that brief moment of self-actualization anyway.

In this engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking presentation, Lisa challenges the status quo thinking of trying to achieve the ever- elusive quest of life-work “balance.”  Lisa asks participants to shed their old way of thinking and embrace an integrated approach to the life-work model. She inspires participants to stop trying to balance the mythical see-saw so that work and family demands and rewards are exactly even and, instead, take steps to integrate the two for greater happiness and control.

What’s special about this presentation is that Lisa uses her performance background to engage the audience with clever and comical skits that deliver a powerful message with emotional impact.

 DECIDE to Be Organized!® An Empowering Process for Change

products organized sliderThe  single  most  important  characteristic  that  separates  organized  people  and organizations  from  disorganized  people  and  organizations  is  decisiveness.

In  this entertaining and engaging keynote, Lisa will share valuable tips on how to effectively organize your time, space, paper and possessions by practicing good decision-making techniques,  creating  a  system  that  works,  and  integrating  the  system  into  your  life. This presentation empowers participants to discover their unique organizing style and develop organizing systems tailored to their individual work habits and life style.

You will come away with great new ideas that will help you achieve results at home, at work, and in life!

Make Time for This! Effective Time Management

timeTime is one of our most precious resources.  Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it.  This presentation addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities.  Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control.

Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities.

Topics Include: self-assessment, tools of time  management,  how  to  say  no,  project  lists  and  to-do  lists,  conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

CULTURE: Creating a Positive Work Environment

networkingIn successful organizations, employees work together in effective and collaborative ways.  Research demonstrates that workplaces that prioritize compassion, diversity in work styles, and other positive behaviors can increase employee job satisfaction, personal and organizational productivity, loyalty, and collaboration among employees at all levels of the organization. Compassion for each other‘s needs and styles and having a “glass half full” attitude can make any job more enjoyable and rewarding.

In this entertaining, engaging, and educational presentation, keynote speaker Lisa Montanaro guides participants in exploring the important connections between compassion, productivity, and positivity, and how these qualities play out in the workplace and in our lives. Drawing on cutting edge research as well as inspiring success stories and models, Lisa will empower participants to use the power of positive psychology in various forms to create a more compassionate, productive, and creative workplace.

Using practical strategies, participants will learn how to practice Proactive Productivity, discover and engage their Moral Compass, and develop a success- driven attitude. This presentation is designed to help participants deepen their connections to other people, and to be more proactive and productive in their personal and professional lives.

Mastering the Art of Delegation: Using the Power of Other People

DelegateOne of the surest ways to become overwhelmed is to try to do everything yourself in the workplace. In order to grow and be more efficient and successful, you must learn to delegate. Mastering the art of delegation is the idea of utilizing the knowledge, strengths, creativity and ingenuity of all the people in an organization toward creating continuous improvement in the workplace.

This workshop helps attendees learn to identify what tasks and responsibilities to let go of, who to delegate to (hint: you can delegate to almost anyone, including yourself!), how to effectively delegate, and the tools to keep track of the path of delegation.

Goal Setting for Success

setgoalsGoal  setting  is  a  powerful  process  for  thinking  about  your  ideal  life/work,  and  for motivating  you  to  turn  this  vision  into  reality.    Discover  how  to  set  up  benchmarks, choose an accountability partner, and get motivated.

Learn how to identify and conquer the distractions that threaten to lure you from your course. Setting and achieving goals leads to increased productivity, greater happiness, and satisfaction at work. With tips that cover your business and personal life, this well-rounded program will get you on the right path to achieving your goals in the New Year.

The Brand Called You: Personal Branding in the 21st Century
writing brand concept

A personal brand is a way of communicating what is inherently you. It is up to you to create, mold, protect, and promote your brand in the workplace. This interactive, inspiring, and informative presentation is designed to assist participants in identifying their personal brand, and then using it effectively in their professional life.

Learn the components of showcasing your brand, including visual, auditory, print, and online through conducting a Personal Brand Audit, and how to showcase your brand to make the biggest impact. Through interactive exercises and examples, learn what makes you unique, how to stand out from the crowd, and how to use your brand to be successful in your personal and professional life. Create your Personal Brand Impact Plan for the future.

“So, What Do You Do?”: Perfect Your Elevator Pitch!

Three businesspeople waiting for the elvator and talking at offiNever hesitate or want to run and hide when asked the question, “So, what do you do?” again. Learn how to create your unique elevator pitch, which is an expression of who you are, what makes you stand out, and why others will want to work with you.

Discover what your Unique Selling Proposition is, your brand touch points, and how to convey what you do in a way that grab’s people’s attention and makes them want to know more. Learn how to tailor your elevator pitch to different recipients and situations.

Create Your Purpose, Live Your Passion

Success, Passion And Inspiration On Green Road SignWhat did you want to be when you grew up? It is never too late to be who you meant to be! Are you afraid to even say out loud what you want for yourself this month, this year, or this lifetime? What would it be like to receive acknowledgment and support for your vision, not to mention a complete toolkit for getting exactly what you want? In this inspiring presentation, you will be introduced to and have the opportunity to dream big, stake your claim and begin to take action toward  creating the future you desire and deserve.

Learn how to surround yourself with “believing eyes,” tap into your passions, and think holistically about how to be a multi-passionate person in your  career/work, hobbies, volunteer opportunities, and travel. Through her own experience of following her dreams, and incorporating her passions into her career and business, Lisa shows the incredible strength and courage inside of us all just waiting to be ignited.  Lisa says “Living your passion takes risk, but that risk is a small price to pay for being able to avoid a watered down version of your life and work!”

C’Mon Get Happy: The Power of Positive Psychology

43-pack12-021514-tmHappiness and the field of positive psychology is a fascinating topic.  It touches upon science, health, psychology, relationships, genetics, spirituality, and more.  Authors, researchers and thought leaders on the topic of happiness all take a different slant on it, which makes it a rich and diverse area to explore. Some of the research and findings are surprisingly powerful, and have a direct impact on us personally and professionally.

Learn how to incorporate these principles into your life, career, business, and relationships. Join in on the discussion of this thought-provoking, inspiring and uplifting topic that provides a rich tapestry of research that is appealing and applicable to our lives.

Harvest Your Potential in Business: The 6 Pillars of Powerhouse Success

6Pillars-v4Are you ready to create a thriving business that fits into your personal life, and allows you to tap into your unique brilliance? In this entertaining and engaging keynote, Lisa delivers a full spectrum of motivating, inspiring and applicable techniques to transform your business. Based on her signature system, The 6 Pillars of Powerhouse Success, this keynote provides attendees with actionable steps and a-ha moments.

Filled with innovative content, you will learn how to create your purpose and live your passion, while enjoying a profitable and productive business. Get ready to dream big, stake your claim, and create the future for you and your business that you desire and deserve.

Stand & Deliver: Dynamic Public Speaking

public-speakingWant to learn how to be a great public speaker? Look no further! Learn how to conduct engaging, informative, and interactive presentations to audiences large and small. Discover tips to improve your oral and nonverbal communication styles, inspire and motivate participants, and exude confidence and enthusiasm, while establishing credibility. Whether conducting formal speaking engagements, trainings, meetings, or one-on-one discussions, this interactive workshop will teach you how to overcome your fear of public speaking and connect with your audience/listener.

Lisa’s background as a teacher, lawyer, and performer has provided her with years of experience and expertise in speaking before live audiences. Lisa is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the premiere organization for professional speakers, and was voted number 1 speaker by participants at the 2008 National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference. Lisa’s presentations are informative, as well as interactive and entertaining. So get ready to have fun while learning how to be a dynamic speaker!

Develop a Can-Do Attitude: Success Principles Learned from Teaching the Deaf

Can Message Giving Encouragement Or InspirationThe Deaf have a popular phrase: “I can do anything but hear!” This presentation challenges outdated stereotypes and belief systems, and inspires participants to develop a Can-Do Attitude.

With some “deaf humor,” and entertaining anecdotes involving deaf family members and friends, as well as stories from her days as an instructor and interpreter for the Deaf, Lisa helps participants rid themselves of negative feelings that get in the way of their success.

A real eye-opening experience, participants walk away feeling empowered. For a keynote, this is an inspiring snapshot into a unique world, and for a breakout/concurrent session, Lisa can go even deeper and add interactive exercises that drive home the impact of the message.


Check out this collaborative blog post all about extreme self care (with a contribution from yours truly about journaling).

With February being the month of Valentine’s Day, I was excited about the opportunity there to open up the conversation about Extreme Self-Care and loving yourself first.

Have you ever run around like a mad dog on this holiday trying to find just the right gift to prove to someone that you really love them?

valentineI think we all have. I also think many of us have run around ragged on many occasions, not just Valentine’s Day, doing everything for everyone as we watch ourselves slowly melt away or fade into the background.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.

Ahh, the Golden Rule we all want to live by, but first we ought to know what that really means.

There is an assumption in the Golden Rule, which is that you already love yourself. You cannot love anyone from a place of truth unless you love yourself first, otherwise it is not real, honest, aligned and authentic love.

It is time we take back ourselves, so the work we do each and everyday comes from a place of meaning.

Extreme Self-Care is not about doing radical things to overly pamper yourself. NO! Extreme Self-Care is about you being radical about your decision to take care of you and put yourself first so that you are healthy and awake as you connect with others. It involves not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to, sure, but that doesn’t mean you place yourself on the bottom either. You cannot be any good for others if you are weak, sick, underpowered, used-up, stuck, unhappy, overworked, or walking in daily discouragement.

As a rational, loving human being you would never consider abusing another person, or an animal, or anything really. Yet so many great people abuse themselves. Somehow we think that’s OK, that it is not abuse if you do it to yourself, and it is not abuse if it’s the result of simply not paying attention.

If you wouldn’t do it to someone else, don’t do it to yourself.

Extreme Self-Care is simple. Extreme Self-Care means being extreme about embracing your responsibility to care for the only one you have total control over, and the only one you have been charged with caring for every minute of every day.

Extreme Self-Care is really about gentleness and simplicity, and loving yourself first.

I asked 25 experts (including myself) at the top of their game to share their thoughts on Extreme Self-Care, or on one aspect of it as a tribute to you on Valentine’s day and as a impetus and motivating charge to you to take care of you so you will be there on may more occasions to love and encourage others!

So now let’s take a look at what these inspirational mentors, coaches, success experts, and thought-leaders want you to know to about Extreme Self-Care!

by Margo DeGange

Here’s my article:

Journal Writing as a Form of Self-Care

To me, journal writing is one of the best forms of self-care. My journal has always been a safe haven to work through my desires, dreams, problems, obstacles, challenges, and goals. Journaling is a great way to dialogue with yourself, and often leads to powerful breakthroughs. There is something magical that happens when you put words down on paper. Words are powerful in and of themselves. But writing down words is even more powerful! I received my first journal as a gift when I was eight years old. I have filled countless journals since then, and the act of journaling remains an important one to me up until this day. So think of a journal as a gift to yourself.

For years, I wrote daily. But now I write whenever I want, for however long I want, and in whichever format I want (see a pattern here?). Julia Cameron advocates writing “morning pages” in her book The Artists Way. I did morning pages for years, and liked how it seemed to help me look forward in my writing, as opposed to when I wrote in the evenings, which felt more like I was looking backward and reporting on past events. But you should write whenever it is convenient for you to carve out the time.

In fact, as you have probably surmised by now, everything about my journal writing experience is positive. There is no Must or Should – no rules to follow. I give myself permission to let it flow when I want and how I want. In this regard, my journal writing has always been a release for me. If you keep a journal, I hope you continue to enjoy the process. If you haven’t tried journal writing yet, give it a chance. You may love it. I know I do. And it is a wonderful gift of self-care to give to yourself. You deserve it.

Read the other articles on Self-Care here

Conquer Your Paper Clutter

conquer Your Paper Clutter

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Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. You may download the audio and resources for your personal use but they are not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical. Any unauthorized use, sharing, reproduction, or distribution is strictly prohibited and can result in monetary fines.

Your Audio

To listen to the audio, simply click on the Play button. If you would prefer to download the audio to listen on your computer or MP3 device, follow these instructions:

If you’re using a Windows PC, RIGHT CLICK on the audio link and, from the pop up menu, select “Save Target As” in Internet Explorer or “Save Link As” in Netscape. In the “Save As” dialog box, choose where you’d like to save the file on your hard drive, then click “Save.” Once the download is complete, simply open the file.

If you’re using a Mac, hold the Control key down while clicking on the link. From the pop up menu, choose “Save Link As.” In the “Save As” dialog box, choose where you’d like to save the file on your hard drive, then click “Save.” Once the download is complete, simply open the file. If this doesn’t work, try holding the Option key down instead.

Click to Download Audio

Your PDF Companion

Click Here to Download the PDF Companion Handout

Copyright Notice

All rights reserved. You may download the audio and resources for your personal use but they are not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical. Any unauthorized use, sharing, reproduction, or distribution is strictly prohibited and can result in monetary fines.

Personal e-Mail Coaching

Would you like to have access to your own successful online coach to get all your questions answered on a daily basis?

If yes, Personal e-Coaching is for you!

This program is an easy way for you to brainstorm, get support, and get your most pressing questions answered, exactly when you need it. And it is an affordable way for you to get the access you need without the big sticker price.

Do any of these describe you?

  • I’m building a new business and I could really use some help figuring it all out.
  • I’ve got some things figured out with my business, but I feel like there’s still so much to learn and implement.
  • I am a professional with a busy schedule that can’t find time to commit to in-person or phone/Skype sessions of executive coaching, but could use a coach to push me to reach new levels of leadership and professional development.
  • I need a trusted career coach who I can run job postings by, ask for advice before interviews and have on my job search team.
  • I am making some big personal changes and need a life/success coach to serve as an accountability partner and a “mirror” to reflect my journey back to me and keep me on track.
  • I’m self-disciplined and just need a sounding board, someone further on the path than I am, who I can ask questions, get guidance and support from so I can get results faster than I could on my own.
If any of the above describes you, then you would benefit from e-coaching!

I believe that e-coaching is just as powerful as phone coaching. Not only do you get my answer, but as soon as you send the email, your brain is already working on a solution, whether you realize it or not. The simple act of asking for help and getting it out of your head helps most people. (It’s why experienced coaches understand that the real coaching often happens between coaching sessions.) But then you also benefit from my actual coaching and consulting. In other words, you get instant results (okay, maybe not instant, but I do reply within 24 hours, and usually much sooner!).

And e-coaching is also just a whole lot easier for both of us — we don’t have to schedule a call, be tied to a phone, or even a computer (you can send me a question via your smartphone, if something occurs to you while you’re not at your desk). You don’t have to wait until your next session to get the support you need — you just send an email, and voila, the coaching process starts!

And you’ll have a written record of our coaching to refer to instead of trying to remember what was said.

In this program, you get private personalized coaching that will answer all your questions with a format that will be…

Personalized. This is truly a personalized coaching experience. You will get answers to your questions that are focused specifically on your situation. No boilerplate answers here.

Consistent. Not only will you get consistent coaching from me, you’ll also get the added bonus of consistent accountability. If we’re communicating almost daily, and you’ve made this investment in yourself, then you are extremely likely to take action. The most successful people have learned that consistency counts for a lot!

Comprehensive. One of the benefits of e-coaching that my private clients love is how comprehensive my responses are! I am known to write pretty darn good emails, and to not only give you the answer you are seeking, but other resources that may be appropriate as well.

No Nonsense. I’ll always tell you the truth as I see it. If you’re moving in a direction that I don’t think will serve you, I’ll let you know. You don’t pay me to sugar coat things, but to tell you the real deal! Sometimes what I share may not be what you want to hear, and sometimes you’ll be relieved for the validation. Either way, our e-coaching will be designed to help guide you in the direction you want to go in, while helping you avoid too many detours if we can help it.

If you’re feeling a strong pull towards this program, then I’ll encourage you to secure your private e-coaching spot so we can get started TODAY.

What Can We Cover in e-Coaching?

Really, the possibilities are endless. It’s really up to you what we cover. And in a format such as this, your most pressing questions are going to naturally rise to the top. Those questions may lead us in a different direction than you originally intended, but that’s my job as your coach — to guide you and hold a mirror up to you so that you can see the real you and not hide behind fear or excuses.

How to Get Started

  1. Sign up and get access to my private email address

    After you sign up for the program, you’ll receive a welcome email with my designated email address for private e-coaching clients. Your welcome email will also include some coaching questions that I’d like you to answer for me so I can get to know you and your coaching needs and wants.

  2. Send Me the Answers to My Questions

    (which will include Your First Coaching Question)

  3. Implement My Answers

    Every coaching day (Monday-Thursday), you’ll receive an email back from me with my answer to your most recent question. (Remember, if you don’t send a question, you won’t hear from me.)

    Then all you have to do is take action, even if it’s in some small way, on the answers you receive from me.

    By the end of our 30 days together, your business, career or life will be in a different place. How much so depends on how much you actually DO with the e-coaching I’ll be providing.

In order for me to offer this program and for it to run efficiently and successfully for both of us, there are some parameters. Please read these before you sign up:

Terms of the e-Coaching Program:

1. One email per day. Each day you may send one question for me to answer. If you have more than one question on that day, make a note to send it the following day so I can answer that one too. You are encouraged to share context for your question — just be sure that you end with asking a specific question that I can answer for you.

If you send more than one question in your email, I won’t be able to answer it, in order for me to honor the other participants on the program, as well to avoid overwhelming you with action steps. Remember, this program is designed to give you just the next step you need so you actually put it into action right away.

On that note, please keep your questions clear and concise to allow me to give you a clear and concise answer – making it much easier for you to take action!

2. Days off. Earlier I said that experienced coaches understand that the coaching happens between sessions. In order to provide time for you to process and implement, we will be taking days off of e-coaching — on the weekends, including Fridays, and any major holidays that occur during our time together, as well as days that I’m traveling, out of the office focused at an event or on vacation. I am trying to help you be more productive and embrace that downtime is just as productive, and many times more so, than always trying to DO something. In order to make best use of your days off of e-coaching, use them to process and implement, but also to take some time off and give your brain a rest!

3. This is YOUR program. What we coach on is up to you. You may have a certain goal you’d like to focus solely on with my help for your entire program, or you may have a bunch of different tasks and projects you need some guidance on — or you may want to use your program coaching on a combination of both.

4. Keep your questions realistic and reasonable. In addition to keeping your questions concise and focused, please don’t ask me open-ended questions. For example, please don’t send questions like, “Please tell me everything to do to prepare for an interview/speaking engagement/sales meeting, etc.” or “What are the exact steps to make 6-figures in my business or career.”

5. There may be some questions I can’t answer. I pride myself on having the breadth and depth to be an experienced and expert coach and consultant, but I do not profess to know everything! If you ask a question that I do not know the answer to, I will let you know and try to guide you to a resource or person who may be able to help.

6. If you don’t send a question, you won’t get an answer. I expect my clients to reach out for the help they’ve invested in. If you don’t send a question, you won’t hear from me. If you’ve sent a question in, you’ll get an answer from me within 24 hours and usually that same day. If you skip a day, you lose the opportunity to ask a question that day. So, if you skip sending a question on Monday, you can’t send two questions on Tuesday.

(Tip: if you have lots of questions, write them down as they come to you on a dedicated piece of paper or file on your computer, so you’ll always have a question to ask to take full advantage of your program.)

Your investment for one month of Personal E-Coaching is just $299.

To give you a sense of the value, one coaching session with me is $200. But you get to ask me all the questions you want for the next 30 days for just $299. That will add up to a lot more than a few hours, but because I am able to do this on my own time and in between client sessions, I am able to keep the rate affordable to reach as many people as possible that need help on a budget.

I’m ready to take you from where you are to where you want to be… It’s your move!

Click here to reserve Your Private e-Coaching spot now!

Please Note: Strategy Sessions and e-Coaching can be booked immediately online. All other longer-term coaching programs require a Discovery Call, so that we can make sure we are a good fit before we dive in and spend some time together.

Are you interested in becoming a professional organizer? Are you an organizer who strives to take your business to the next level? Do you need assistance with business planning, marketing, and other issues that entrepreneurs struggle with?

A large percentage of my client base over years has been, and continues to be, professional organizers. I provide coaching to those who aspire to become professional organizers, and for organizers at every level.  I LOVE coaching, consulting and training my peer organizing colleagues throughout the US and beyond. The industry has grown by leaps and bounds, and has become more “professional” than ever before. It is an exciting time to run an organizing business.

As an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer (CPO), a Golden Circle member of NAPO, the moderator of the Ask the Organizer Panel for three years at the annual conference, and a frequent speaker at NAPO annual, regional and chapter events, I am blessed to be a leader in the organizing industry.  I know what it takes to be a successful professional organizer, and to be a thriving entrepreneur.  I still run an organizing business and use team members that are independent contractors to service my hands-on clients.  I am open about my journey as a business owner and professional organizer, and share my lessons learned freely with my professional organizer colleagues, many of whom are my clients.

As a professional organizer, decade-long successful business owner, trainer of entrepreneurs, and former practicing attorney, I am uniquely qualified to offer high-level business coaching and consulting to professional organizers.

Cena_Black-200x300“I’m proud to say that Lisa is someone I consider to be a role model and mentor in the professional organizing/productivity consulting industry. She has been instrumental in my business decision making and growth. Her background in law and running her own solo-preneur business is incredibly valuable. She is extremely intelligent, very experienced in all areas that organizers/productivity consultants need to attend to, and she is an incredibly conscientious and generous listener.

When I was new to the industry, I felt a conflict and hesitation in paying for someone to answer my questions – but I have grown to shift my paradigm. The guidance of a mentor and professional saves an incredible amount of time and energy in the long run. After hiring several coaches for myself – I can only say that I wish I had invested sooner into a coach/mentor relationship. Lisa’s guidance is treasured and I have no reservations recommending her and paying her for her expertise. It will be some of the best investment dollars you can spend on yourself and your business!”~ Cena Block, The Mom-preneur Clarity Catalyst, Owner of Sane Spaces, NAPO-NNJ Chapter President 2011-2012

Read more testimonials here

Here are some examples of the type of coaching/consulting I provide for organizers:

Business Topics

  • Business start-up and planning
  • Structuring your business
  • Goal setting
  • Drafting agreements or proposals
  • Package or project pricing and dealing with price negotiations
  • Marketing, networking & branding
  • Establishing a strong online presence
  • Leveraging your content and expertise by developing multiple streams of income
  • Classifying employees or independent contractors
  • Business processes/systems
  • Creating an Operations Manual
  • Protecting your business financially and legally
  • Setting up a Board of Advisors
  • Assisting with choice of professional advisors
  • Preparing your business for sale

Organizing Topics

  • Residential Organizing
  • Small Business Organizing
  • Corporate Organizing
  • Record Retention/Paper Organizing
  • Studying for the CPO Examination
  • Difficult client situations/ethical dilemmas

“Lisa, I am so grateful for your business coaching.  Your background, experience and skills are very powerful and have been so beneficial for me and my business.

Your flexibility allowed for a flow where you followed me as I mapped out the projects that I wanted us to work on, as well as lead me through the process.  Due to your diverse background, you have an amazing ability to wear many hats as we worked to streamline decisions on the various situations discussed.

You are able to be Business Coach, Attorney, Mentor, Cheerleader…and more. You wear all your hats so well! Thank You.”~ Jane Carroo CPO® CRTS®,

Ready to build an organizing business that serves you on your terms? Great! Let’s get started!

Take Action

If you want to just dive in and rent my brain for a Strategy Session, then click here to purchase online. Coaching & Training of Professional Organizers is generally done in the form of one-on-one coaching via phone or Skype (or in person if we are close enough geographically).

Coaching slots are available on a first come, first serve basis. When I receive your payment, I will email you a pre-session questionnaire (Coaching Profile) so that I can become more familiar with what you want to work on and we can jump right in.

If you think you may want longer term support, let’s set up a Discovery Call to chat first and see if a VIP Intensive or Platinum Level Coaching Program may be a better fit.

I can’t wait to get my hands on you and your business! We are going to kick some butt (in a good way, I promise).