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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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« What Does Success Mean to You? | Green Help For You »

Linda's Top 3 Success Strategies

Whether you’re trying to get organized, embarking on a new journey, making a major life transition, or simply trying to have a productive day, there are some success strategies that can help. Activating any one of these can make the difference between soaring and feeling stuck. Which success tips work for you?


A good dose of play renews your focus.

1. Playing – When you’re in the process of starting something new, you’re bound to feel a combination of excitement and stress. Clearing your mind can help focus your energy in a positive direction, so that you can tackle the challenges before you. Sometimes this involves suspending work to focus on play.

Right now I’m working on many professional and personal projects. Each one needs attention and focus. While I can work for hours on end, successful results are only possible if I pace myself. Instead of working to the point of exhaustion, I take play breaks.

One of my breaks was kayaking on the river with my husband. It was pure joy as I experienced the pull of the paddle sloshing through the water, the beautiful sights and sounds of the wild life, and the fresh air that surrounded me. After a good dose of play, I was able to return to my work with renewed focus.


Investing in a plan is time well spent.

2. Planning – Never underestimate the value of planning. Do you know Nike’s “Just do it.” slogan?  While that might be effective in certain scenarios, for long-term success, planning is an integral part of any good strategy. If you don’t have a handle on the big picture, how will you know what parts need your attention and energy?  Once the planning is done, it makes the doing so much easier.

Recently, I spent a good part of my day, just planning one of my projects. By taking the time to plan, I was able to look at the whole, determine what the various elements were, and figure out what needed to be handled or worked on for each of the areas. And in case you’re wondering . . . Yes. There were lists and charts involved!


Learn to identify where you’re stuck.

3. Identifying – When you take on something new, you might experience stumbling blocks. This is especially true if there are pieces that extend beyond your experience or knowledge base. It’s important to first identify what the sticking points are. Once you’ve done that, access your resources to find your answers. Identifying where you’re stuck and what information you need to get unstuck is essential for successful outcomes.

One of my recent projects is preparing for the ICD Conference in Nashville. It’s just a few weeks away. There are many moving parts including presenting speeches, coordinating meetings, and communicating details with fellow Board colleagues. After I did my planning (see #2 above,) I identified where missing information could be found so that I can successfully complete my projects. I reached out to several people, reviewed some notes, and did some Internet searching. Can you hear my big sigh of relief?


There are many success strategies. What are your tried and true favorites? I’d love to hear from you. Come join the conversation and share with us!

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Reader Comments (7)

3 Simple steps to be on the track to success. Before I almost never plan things, nowadays I try to plan my projects because that way I can anticipate if something is not falling into place and can adjust it, wether is before something happens or at the moment that happens; gives me clarity to operate. Identifying when I'm stuck is now more easy, because I take a step back and watch carefully, then I work on that particular spot.
Thank you Linda for your post.

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Nacho- It's interesting that you didn't used to plan, but now you do. What caused you to change how your work? I'm always curious about what encourages us to change or alter habits and patterns.

September 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda - I changed my ways in order to have more mental peace. Everything is smoother now, especially in those occasions things don't work the way they suppose to work, because I can manage last minute changes without having so much stress, you know applying plan B

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNacho Eguiarte

Planning definitely decompresses me. It gives me the confidence to know I'll be able to regroup and flex if circumstances demand. I also enjoy having a time off day when I flip the switch to "off"... knowing that a break is coming keeps me going throughout the day.

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

@Nacho- So it was the need for more "mental peace" that led to the change? What a great motivator!

@Seana- Wonderful that planning gives you confidence! It's a great point you make about using your planned "off" time to keep you motivated during the day. Go Seana!

September 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Those of us who are self-employed have the opportunity to incorporate play into our days (though we may not always take advantage of it!), but one of my clients who is a leadership coach to larger business recently blogged about the importance of play to building peak performance. I hope you don't mind if I share her post here - I think you'll enjoy it!

September 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- Thanks so much for sharing the post from your client that expands on the importance of play. It's an especially great reminder for me at this moment. It's been an all work/no play kind of day and my brain is telling me it's time to shift gears and PLAY!

September 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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