Billionaire Says Smarter Tech Will Destroy Jobs At a Record Clip


Smarter Tech, I’d agree with Jeff Greene, but as a professional organizer, I can truly attest to the personality traits that prevent people from using technology.

Originally posted on Fortune:

Jeff Greene is worried—very worried—about the negative impact smarter technology is having on carbon-based life forms. That means you and me.

Greene, who made his billions investing in real estate—and betting against sub-prime mortgages—said the burgeoning use of artificial intelligence (also known as machine learning) is already costing people jobs. And things are only going to get worse.

“Artificial intelligence, software, computers, and robots are taking over the workplace, and what will happen more and more is the American worker is going to be marginalized,”,” Greene said during an appearance on CNBC SquawkBox Thursday. “The American worker is going to be producing a product which has no value.”

This is a bad thing not just for the woebegone workers individually, but society as a whole. Fewer people with money means fewer buyers of goods and services.

In hopes of prompting more discussion around this notion, Greene will host “

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Reviews To Start The Holidays

Unless you are on vacation, the holidays are the times of year that most of your disposable income gets spent. We all, already, know why. But did you know how?
When I was in college, in 2003, finishing my degree, I learned more about the how than I probably ever wanted to know.
The How of Buying
Psychology is the basis of all advertising. If it is in print, in audio, in songs or videos you are buying because you find yourself responding to visual, auditory or even from subliminal messaging.

So today, I am starting a trip through advertising and reviewing products that could help you in your every day trek through life.

I hope you enjoy the trip.

Know Yourself Before Hiring Someone Else

One of the biggest failures I’ve seen in business or government civil service is that people who have a hard time delegating (or releasing the reins) have that problem due to not knowing their people’s strengths and weaknesses followed by their own weaknesses in following up to make sure the job(s) are done correctly.

So as a business owner know your strengths and weaknesses first. Then, as you work with people already on staff, make note of their strengths and weaknesses. Pair up people accordingly when doing team work. Eventually, as people learn to rely upon one another the productivity of the group/team will increase due to an increase in trust.

Your own strengths and weaknesses will reveal how likely you are to delegate. The reality is that you can not do all the work yourself, no matter how hard you try. So learn where your weaknesses are, your dislikes and then hire someone who can fill those weaknesses with their strengths.

Take these little tips. Sit down and write them out. Make a list and check it twice. It’s Christmastime and if you have time to do everything you are surely blessed.
That’s it for this update!


Organizing Tools, Knowing What Is Available

Have you ever thought if you just had the right tool, the right filing method, or the right way to do a task, then everything else would just naturally fall into place.  You would naturally find this in the most logical place, a great store or website filled with these items that can make your life easier.

This week I want to help you realize where you can go to find these tools that can make your life easier, as well as creating a place where you can read reviews of these items.

So, this week I want to tell you about a website, http://wwww.

The Container Store is a place where you can find storage options for almost any need.

Today the keyword seems to be au naturel…or environmentally friendly.  So naturally you will be searching for items that are environmentally safe, yet fit the need you have.  Do you compromise if you can’t find what you need this minute?   Or do you continue searching until you find what you’re after?

If it were me, and I was, as so many people should be, at least environmentally conscious, then I would search this site for Earth friendly products.

With that thought in mind I recognize that many of my clients have tons of CD’s and DVD’s that they need to store.  Many of you use plastic holders you find at almost all of the stores that cater to families.  What I want to show you here, with regards to this, is a product that is earth friendly.

The Stockholm DVD box is an earth friendly paper board box that holds up to 18 DVD’s in their storage cases.

Why would I recommend one box over another?

What I’ve realized is that by not storing your DVD’s and CD’s the cases become broken, the  CD’s or DVD’s crack, get scratched or generally get lost.  So, I look at this as saving myself money.  Being Earth friendly can be expensive, but when a storage item saves you money you have to realize that the cost of not storing expensive items can cost you more than paying a little extra for items that can save your things wear and tear.

Think about what you can store easily, eliminate easily and donate easily and free up some valuable real estate in your home or office, for you to be able to walk more easily in your home or office.

That’s it for today!  I’m off to a client’s so you guys have a great day!


Thanksgiving is over, Now What?

Thanksgiving is over, Now What?

Are you struggling to keep up with the horrid pace of the holidays?  Are you worrying yourself silly over the economy, always wondering when, yes I said when, the life you know is going to come to an end.  What about all the changes that are coming our way?  Are you ready for them?

Staying on top of what is going on in your life is the best way to be prepared for tomorrow.

For many that would mean keeping up with the mail, the bills and especially keeping up with the checkbook to make sure the money is there to pay the bills.

Being organized with your daily quest to stay on time with bill paying, appointments you’ve made, play dates with the kids and many other things are what can help determine how successful you are going to be over the next sakes quarter.

Stay on top of what’s going on.  Keep your papers in order, your bills in order and know you’re not alone as you struggle through it all.


Holiday Stressors and Staying Organized

Right about now, the weekend before Thanksgiving, you are starting to think about being off for an extra day or two.  Your mind is switching gears between work and what you need from the grocery store to make that all important dinner.  Or you may be far from home and stressing over the fact that you won’t see your family for the holidays this year.  Your focus is thinning out on work matters and tuning in on what you want to give your son or daughter for Christmas, Boxing Day, or Channukah.  You may be focusing in on trying to stay focused.

My stress is realizing that I will be driving both Monday and Tuesday of this week and that today I keep falling asleep with my fingers on the keys.  A nap may be in my plans for today…somewhere between making Koulourakia (cookies) and making sure I have the ingredients for Spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pies), Pastitsio (macaroni and beef pies) and stuffing for the turkey.  Of course, I will be getting up on Wednesday and cooking all of the above.  Yes, it is a long drawn out process that even my father-in-law seems impressed.

So how do you get past these stressors and stay focused and organized in your next few days?

I, yes me, use a list system.  It consists of the dishes I want to make, with the grocery list; the house cleaning schedule so I can make sure it is cleaned before company arrives; the scheduled appointments I have to keep; the call sessions I can make while the cookies are baking.  Of course this is all for up until Tuesday afternoon.  Monday and Tuesday are both out of town, so Wednesday is my baking and cleaning day.  On Thursday, I will prep the turkey and put it in the oven; clean whatever is left to clean (like the kitchen again) and then if I’ve taken the time to stop and put up the tree I will decorate it while the turkey is cooking.

Hmm, I wonder when I will find time to buy a tree.

Staying organized during this stressful time of year will help you remain calm and centered.  You will enjoy the season if you can remind yourself that this is a time of year when you give of yourself only when you have taken care of yourself.

I was watching a few minutes of Joel Osteen one evening when I heard him say something truly enlightening.

He was talking about how it is written in the Word that you should love your neighbor the way you love yourself.  Of course, this is all paraphrased.  My point here is the same as his point.  You can not love others, care for others, help others until you love yourself.

You can feel better about yourself by letting go of the ‘junk’ in your lives.  The bad feelings only pull you down.  They do not feed happiness and joy into your life.  Your friends and family have their own ‘junk’ piled up in their lives.  If you let go of your sorrow, your pain, your feelings of low self worth and increase your feelings of joy, happiness and wonder at what is here in the world for you to see and contribute to then you are better prepared to meet your neighbor with love in your heart.

How does organizing come into this?  De-cluttering is the first stage of getting organized.  Recognition that you will feel better, less stressed once you have let go of the ‘junk’ in your lives you will begin to recognize that you can find things, know where things are and feel organized.

Try letting go of some of the clutter this season as you prepare for the holiday.  Whether your holiday is Christmas, Kwanzaa, Channukah, or other holdiay let go of the clutter and be thankful for what you have.  There is always someone who has nothing right around the corner.

I think if we remember that one little thing;  Be thankful for “but for the grace of God” there you could be also.

Productivity and You

Denise with friends
Denise with friends
I’m sitting in my den writing this time because it’s warm and cozy and I’m watching Design on a Dime on HGTV.  I’m about to head out of town to a coach’s retreat at a great little beach down the coast and wanted to write before I left.
Clearing my schedule so I could go on this retreat really brought up a topic that is near and dear to my business.  Helping people to use their time to their advantage.
The reality of life is that there is a finite amount of time for you to work within.  If you do not accomplish what you set out to accomplish today, there is always tomorrow.  Or, is there?
What you, I and everyone else is challenged with is fitting everything we have to do within a specified amount of time.  When I was a stay at home mom I always thought time was endless.  The boys would go out to play and I’d be in the house trying to stay on top of the housework.  When I went back to work I struggled with the whole double/triple schedule that most women have to keep up with when they are moms.  I kept playing with the schedule, always trying to fit more in, until one day I realized I just had to learn how to say ‘no’.
So, today I want to give you a few tips on how to go about managing your schedule, and in essence, managing yourself.  Do you have to get up an hour earlier to get things done that wouldn’t get done if you didn’t?  Are you the main maid, cook, concierge, cheerleader, tear dryer, yard maintenance, corporate mogul?  Well, of course you are.  Whether you are single or married with ten children you have the responsibility of all of the above.
The first tip of the day is to write out the monthly schedule.  If you work a retail schedule that you only have about a two week notice on what your work schedule is.  Take the time to transfer it to your paper calendar schedule (if you don’t use a pda).
Then, start adding in other permanent scheduled events (like bill paying) into your planner/calendar so you don’t forget major events.  Children’s events, concerts etc can be added as you learn about them.
Remember, no matter what you do, you need to take care of your relationships with other people.  Your job may or may not depend on the networking that you do.  Of course, mine does, so I am always adding to my planner those networking events that everyone is asking me to attend.  I keep on going and going like the battery bunny.  So much so my husband asked me last night how did I know about so many restaurants in the area.  Guess I’ve been going a bit much…
Your success in managing the amount of time you spend on any one activity is measured by whether you are finishing those activities.  Sometimes we do not give ourselves enough time to complete a project.  Or in some cases we allow everyone and their fires to direct our lives.  Try the second tip I have for you today.
Your second tip is to eliminate your distractions.  You know you get distracted.  For me, sitting in my den or anywhere in my house is the kids walk through, the phone rings for them, or the realization that when you work at home and you know the laundry needs to be done, the floor mopped, you and me too…become distracted by the other things you need to do.
So this tip is all about setting priorities.  If you work at home, like I do, you know that you have to set work times, house times, family times, errand times.  I write into my planner that I stop work at a specific time.  If I don’t stop working because I’m on a roll with a project, then it is my choice to do that.  If I stop work early because I’m frustrated with how a project is going, again it is my choice, but I know that I can switch modes and clean house for an hour and come back to the project with a fresh perspective.
I have however, worked outside the home, and know the feeling of getting the kids off on the school bus, eating on the run to get to work on time (sometimes by 6 am) and then rushing home to make sure my kids didn’t feel like latchkey kids.  Cooking, cleaning and taking care of family and work without running a calendar/planner can cause stress headaches and anxiety.  Try scheduling these into your planner and not letting them overwhelm you.
Well, take these, see if they fit with you.  As you come across problems, email me at   I’d love to hear from you.

Why Do You Want to Get Organized?

Okay, I’ve finally realized.  Saying you want to be organized does not mean you want to change your time wasting habits so you can stay organized.  I realize also that you may want to get organized for what you think may be the right reasons, but I can tell you that your reasons may not go deep enough to ensure you stay organized.

How can I say these things?  Experience.  Plain and simple I’ve worked with enough people over the last two years of home organizing to know that people do not think beyond “let’s get some help.”  You, they, or us.  It doesn’t matter what our original reasoning is when we decide that we want to do a project, there are steps that you must take to reach the end result.

One of those reasons you must define for yourself, if not for me, your organizer, is why you want to get organized.  I can tell you that if you want to get organized because your boss said you have to, or if your mom hires an organizer to help and you are rebelling against interference from your parent, that getting organized will not work for you.

You have to want being organized.

Let me say that again.

You Have to Want to Be Organized.

Without knowing that you want this for yourself any money you spend on having an organizer come to help you will be wasted.

Why?  Simply because your mind will not be paying attention to the lessons you should be learning/remembering while working with your organizer.

The next thing you need to know is What is expected of you, and what to expect from your organizer!

I can hear some of you saying, ‘well isn’t the organizer supposed to be organizing?’ or ‘I’ll have her come in, but I have too much to do to work with her.’

What is expected of you?  A dear question to my heart.  If you don’t know what involvement is required of you then you should ask.  You wouldn’t start a project at work without knowing the parameters of the job.  So why would you hire someone to help you get organized if you didn’t want to stay organized?  Obviously you wouldn’t.  However some people do.  They want the organizer to come in and basically clean up their clutter and mess and then wonder why it costs so much more than a house cleaner.

So what should be expected of you is that you are expected to pay attention to the questions the organizer is asking you about your belongings.  Pay attention to the methods she or he is using to help you make decisions about your belongings.  Even if you have to write them down.  Then make sure you ask questions yourself.

What do you expect of your organizer?  Honestly only you can answer that.  There are some guidelines though.  Check out their website and see the services they offer.  Use it as a guideline for yourself when you ask what their service will entail for you.  Every job is different and every organizer has different services they offer.

You need to decide what you want out of getting organized.  Once you have your reasons down pat, take the time to research organizers in your area and find one that you like, that can encourage you, guide you, tease you or incite you to action.  Then get busy getting organized and put into place the methods and processes that will keep you organized.

Well, enough for now.  This weekend is my 30th high school reunion and I am so looking forward to it all that I’m off to bed to rest up for the hours of fun ahead!

Productivity,Time Management, or Self Management

Do you feel your productivity needs a boost?  If you’re not completing tasks that are helping you reach your goals then productivity is an issue for you.  What’s behind the lack of productivity could be any number of things, but today time management is what we’re going to focus on.

Time management is really a misnomer.  There is only so much time in any given day.  So the real, the only way to rephrase time management is by saying self management.

Take a look at the distractors in your work day.    If you wake up late is your entire day ruined?  When you are at work do you take long breaks between working on different projects.  Do you have the skill and knowledge to complete the work you are working on?  Do the office cronies come in and distract you by talking about personal issues or asking you to do something at the weekend?

These are all valid distractors at work.  Think about how you would stop them from occurring.

The first one, waking up later than you should, as long as it is not a habit of being late to work should be okay if you still have time to focus in on what needs to be done.  Just remember that “the early bird gets the worm” addage.  If the boss is at work early, and he or she constantly sees that you have his or her work ethics of being there early then they may trust you more to be getting your work done and give you bigger and better projects.

Taking long breaks can break your concentration, but is at times unavoidable.  We do need to restore our energy levels.  I have been reading Life Hacker and found a neat 10 step blog entry on the Top Ten Ways to Stay Energized

What you don’t want to do is to stand in the kitchen or at the water cooler and lose all focus.  Certainly go out to lunch instead of staying in even if you brought lunch from home.  If you can go listen to the birds, sit outside to eat and let your brain rejuvenate.  It’s when we refuse to allow our bodies and minds to rejuvenate that we start to lose our edge in whatever we’re doing.  Yes, I guess this means meditation is a good thing.

Know your stuff.  If you’re given a project, a report to write or something similar and you do not know how to get started or how to complete it and you keep putting it off how does that make you look to the boss?  The key here is to use those strategic alliances you have been building with all the networking you’ve been doing.  Call or email someone who does know how to do what you’re seeking to learn.  Is there any harm in asking?  NO!  Is there harm in not getting the project done?  YES!  So ask!

Cronies, friends, and family interrupting your train of thought when you’re on a roll and working as hard as you can, can destroy a thought process quicker than anything I know of.  It can stop you dead in your tracks.  Your mind will go off to Fiji with your cronie’s vacation plans or you’ll be stuck in the kitchen with the grandmother who can’t decide if your child should have soup or a sandwich for lunch.

Controlling interruptions is perhaps one of the hardest things to get past.  Previously, I’ve written that if you can, turn off the phone ringer, close your door, hang signs that you’re busy or on a deadline, but the biggest one you need to remember is self-management.  Only you can say to your co-worker, I’m busy.  When grandma calls, and you answer, say to her, I trust your judgment.  She will call less.  Your co-worker will realize he or she should be working too and the boss will see that you don’t waste time.

Well try these things out and let me know how it goes.  I’m always open for ways to help others get organized, be more productive and share them with others.