Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have a nice day - everyday words that make a difference - not only on Christmas

I've noticed that during Christmas time people are exceptionally nice to one another. Why can't we be like this all year long?


Christmas time is special

People tend to smile at one another, wish each other great time... it's really nice to go shopping and spend time among people because everyone's so joyful.

Let's maintain Christmas joy throughout the whole 2010... and beyond!

Why are we only joyful and nice to one another on Christmas? Why can't we be nice to each other every day? Yes, we can!

"Have a nice day" - words that make a difference

It's incredible how these words make people smile. You meet someone, you say bye and add "have a nice day" and they smile back at you and say "thank you, likewise".

I've tested this over last month and I'm more than certain these words make a great impact. Clerks in the shops are nicer to me... even security guys, normally totally cold, tend to smile back and say "likewise"

"How are you?" isn't all that fortunate

In Europe saying/asking "how are you?" is a risky business. People believe this "American" way of saluting people is artificial and implies a positive answer even if your day goes really bad.

What's worse - Europeans will usually answer sincerely - if their day goes bad, they'd admit that. And you don't want to hear their horror stories or spend lots of time comforting them. You just want to say "hi".

Just wish a nice day.... every day... and everyone's happy.

I decided to try to maintain Christmas atmosphere during whole 2010 and keep on greeting people nicely, wishing them a "nice day" and smiling.... counting on a smile back. It's a great way of interacting with people and in most of the cases it makes everyone's day really great and really "nice".

How do you greet people? Do you ask how they are? Which phrase works for you and makes everyday life nicer for each and everyone of us?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Cleaning: Clutter-free Productive Home Office

Update (30 Nov 2010): I've moved again and I have a new home office now. Make sure to check it out.

OK, so after we've moved to our new apartment I got my very own room to set up my very own home office where I'd be productive when at home... and I wanted a true clutter-free experience. As you know, in the past I managed to pack all of my office-related stuff into an Ikea cabinet but this time around I was aiming at an Apple-style-designed big, clean, lean and clutter-free desk. This is the outcome:



There you go, from the left there is my Canon MP110 Printer and scanner (it's so far on the left that you can't see it, but you'll see it on the other photos), a 21-inch Gateway external monitor (aligned vertically - I prefer it that way), my Macbook Air, GTD-style folders and iPhone dock, my previous main machine: X60 Thinkpad TabletPC (docked) which my wife is currently using, my Toshiba M200 TabletPC (acting as my home server) docked and accessible only with Wacom active digitizer pen, GTD-inboxes and a document shredder.

Interested? I've got more pictures for you and the setup photos below.

Step 1 - big desk with lots of free space

I started out with a big desk Apple-style without anything on it or attached to it. It even doesn't have any legs, sweet pure and beautiful place to work. So I started digging around it, making holes and putting first wires:



Step 2 - preparing "cage" to attach to the bottom of the desk with chargers inside

I bought a clothing drawer in a local superstore and cut it to fit my space below my desk:



Step 3 - prepare the wires and chargers

There are lots of chargers and wires we need to prepare to put "below" our desk:



Step 4 - make sure you have enough "juice"

I need lots of "power sources" to power all these little tiny devices and all my computers, so here goes - two (eventually I ended up with 4 when I realized how many power outlets I really needed) power lines:



And additional "chimney" for ad-hoc power on the desk (clutter-free power):



Step 5 - put the cables and stuff into the "cage" and attach them with plastic straps



Step 6 - install power juice and make sure all the cables are in place



Step 7 - realize you have to few power outlets and install more, install cage



Some design details - how I attached the "cage" with all of my stuff:



It's nice to use a plastic pipe to make sure the details look really nice:



Step 8 - install a "charger basket"

I got this idea from unclutterer and I liked it a lot, here's my basket with all the outlets for mobile phones, camera and digicam in one place:



Step 9 - move everything around and attach your last cables

After I've done my initial version I had to do it all over again to make sure everything is in the right place:



Step 10 - enjoy your new clutter-free and beautiful office space

Here's my left side of desk:



And here's my right side:



Here's what's in front of my eyes when working:



Hope you liked my very lengthy blog post and you got inspired to get a clutter-free place to work.

And there is one more thing....

Don't try to pull it off on your own! Always get help from someone qualified to help you with this kind of setup, luckily my daughter (11 months young) gladly helped:



How is your home-office? Do you work from home? How is your real office? Enough room to be creative?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.