Posts Tagged ‘planning’

How to feel more productive and boost your confidence


There is one small activity I do on a regular basis that makes a huge difference to my self-belief. It is the act of noting down, in one place, all the tasks I have accomplished during the previous week – both on a personal and professional level. A Week In Review!

For so many of us the weeks fly by and when someone asks us what we’ve been up to we draw a blank…Can you relate? Sometimes you may even beat yourself up because you feel that you’ve not achieved much during the last seven days.

This simple activity will only take you about 10 minutes a week and is one that makes such an impact. It helps:

  • build momentum;
  • gives you a moment to reflect on the week;
  • helps you remember what you have actually done;
  • see if you’ve done the tasks that bring you closer to your goals and aims;
  • gives you a boost to do more in the upcoming week;
  • reminds you that you do have the capabilities to do what you need to (self-belief and self-confidence);
  • and inspires increased productivity.

How To Do Your Week In Review

  1. Put aside 10 minutes at a regular time during the week. I prefer to do it on Friday afternoons.
  2. Have your to do list and diary on hand. It helps if you use some sort of scheduler to remind you of some of the bigger things you did this week.
  3. Choose a place to write up your list. I write mine on my blog. You may just want to keep a document on your computer. Write it down though! It doesn’t have as much impact if you just keep in in your head.
  4. Write down your dot points. Keep it short and sweet – it is easier to maintain. You may have things that are quite big or things that are quite small. For example:
  • Caught up with the girls
  • Cleaned the house
  • Completed website copy draft
  • Went to the gym x3
  • Cooked 4x healthy dinners
  • Read a book
  • Spoke to boss about raise
  • Counselled colleague
  • Sold couch on ebay
  • Volunteered at school
  • Browsed bookshop

5. Read over it one more time. Pat yourself on the back and see what the process has done for yo

Go on, give it a go and make it part of your routine.

Arienne is the content manager for 10thousandgirl and head she at Savvy Sassy She where she muses about life and wants to help everyone wake up to the lives they love and start living it now. A lover of lists , she is one of those people that does something that wasn’t on the daily to do then goes and writes it on just so she can cross it off.

Photo Credit

Nadine Zrinzo, Bright Conferences Interview: An organised woman


When the call went out asking for women into organisation went out, Nadine Zrinzo answered! She’s taken part in our 10thousandgirl written interview series and shares her experiences and how she stays on top of a busy life. Thank you Nadine!

Name: Nadine Zrinzo
State: Queensland
Conference Director

10TG: So Nadine, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Where to start – I grew up in Malta (a tiny island in the Mediterranean), moved to London after uni and a few years after that hoped on a plane to sunny Brissie, which is where I call home at the moment. Most of my day is dedicated to Bright Conferences, which is a conference management company I set up and run. The rest gets shared between friends, family, yoga, food and general life tasks!

10TG: How and why did you start your business Bright Conferences?
I was always one who loved managing people and projects, even when I was at school. One thing led to another and one day I got the opportunity to freelance on some events so I took the leap. Eventually the freelancing got turned into a proper business, which is when Bright Conferences was born.

Bright Conferences is constantly morphing and I love playing with new projects and testing ideas out. We run a number of activities, some are client based i.e. we plan, create and execute conferences on behalf of our clients whilst others are our projects such as Bright Learning which focuses on fun adult courses.

10TG: You’re a very busy woman, how do you manage to stay organised?
Lists! I have lists for everything, each project at work and my personal life at times. It helps me stay on top of what needs doing and it means that I do not get stressed out trying to remember things. I love investing in good stationery (pens & notebooks), which makes the process of organising and planning a bit more pleasant!

10TG: What are some tools, systems or resources that help you manage your projects/personal life?
Aside from the lists mentioned above, I love drawing and mapping out tasks. I am quite a visual person so mind maps, arrows, colours – all help me with any planning.

For the bigger work projects I use software such as ConceptDraw  Project, which helps me build Gantt charts and other project management charts. Excel is also a good simple tool to use when you need to draw up plans or lists quickly.

10TG: How do you organise your different tasks to keep the business successful?
Towards the end of the week, I outline the tasks, per project that need to happen during the next week. It is generally a brain dump though I tend to refer to project plans for the bigger conferences or events we are working on.

Once I have the list, I then go through it and write down how long I estimate every task will take, and when it needs to get done by.

This allows me to estimate how many hours I need to spend on each project per day and gives me the flexibility to move things around if one day is too packed or I need time off. It also means that when I get to work on Monday I know exactly what I need to be doing and get stuck right in it!

10TG: What are some tips that could help others stay organised while juggling multiple professional and personal projects?
Separate your professional and personal tasks and make sure you give yourself enough time to do both. Divide your days into projects – one or two per day – and stick to the timelines you set for yourself.

I love the half day per project approach as it gives you enough time to get immersed into it, however not enough to get bored.

10TG: What are you learning about yourself through your experiences?
Everything changes, all the time and so do we. What worked yesterday isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow so it is very important to be aware of what you are doing and whether it is effective both personally and at work.

One learning point I keep having to remind myself is to listen to my gut (or sixth sense), as it will often tell you whether you are on the right path or not.

10TG: What are some of your short term goals?
My focus at the moment is on a new project we are launching called Bright Learning. It consists of a series of short, fun courses for adults and is running in Brisbane – So the short term goal there is to get Bright Learning up and running and to eventually grow it into a sustainable business.

10TG: What are some of your long term goals?
It might be a cliché but my long term goal is just to build a life I am happy leading and that extends to all aspects, whether they are financial, personal development, family or friend related.

10TG: Is there anything else you would like to bring to the attention of the 10thousandgirl community?
Everything worth doing takes time, practice and a lot of hard work. It is very rare (in any business) to become successful overnight. Even the people you think have done it, have generally been struggling for years. A bit of luck always helps, however you need to be actually doing something for the luck to happen.

10TG: What is the best financial tip you’ve ever received?
Always work to a budget – otherwise you just don’t know how much you are spending and on what. This also applies to your personal finances.

10TG: Are there any resources related to organisation/time management you’d like to share?
There are plenty of tools around that can help you get organised particularly if you look at any of the App Stores. Tools such as Time Doctor, Wunderlist, Project, ConceptDraw Project, Excel – the best thing to do is work out what you need first, then go out and look for it!

Find out more or connect with Nadine:

Web: or

A journey of lessons and reflection


Several people suggested I write about my experiences of working towards what I wanted – both to share my story with others and to take the opportunity to reflect and actually appreciate what has brought me here.

So often, we are working towards things, whether they be personal projects or work goals, that when we achieve them, we might do a quick ‘yay’, and then continue with the next to-do. We regularly don’t put it in perspective and take the time to appreciate and recognise the time, effort and occasional sacrifices we made to get there.

I was having a bad day and my great friend Chloe sat me down and actually made me recognise what I had achieved. Her belief in me made me look at why she felt that way and why I didn’t. She told me about what I had said to her when I first met her (basically that I had left my marketing job, was currently working in admin, but what I really wanted to do was work with young women), and then what she had seen me do over the last two years and to see where I was now and what I was doing. They were linked and there was action I had taken to bring me here. Taking the time made me reconsider and appreciate my position and actually see what I had done and the positive consequences that had resulted. I had to congratulate myself. More on this later.

4 years ago, people probably looked at me as having a great life, with almost everything I could ask for, at least on the surface – a partner, a job, a car, friends, loving family, enough money to get by without too many worries. But something was seriously wrong…

I did well at school, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought that a business degree with a marketing major would be able to give me a bit of a balance between creativity and a guided direction. It was okay…I really did learn a lot that was practical for the real world. Marketing is really just creative logic. Though, in hindsight, I think I would have preferred interior design!

I worked pretty much full time at my mother’s business while studying full time as well. I went on to become the marketing manager at mum’s growing business when I graduated as it was the natural next step. Unfortunately, the pressure of being looked at as being there only because of nepotism, and not actually because I knew the product and the business inside out and had a degree, was there, though whether it was my own projections or people’s actual feelings I’m not sure (another hindsight insight was that I was really pretty good at it!).

I was living a life that people thought I should live – not in a bad way – but I had many opportunities that would come up, especially with work and they would say ‘wow, you are so lucky to be in that position, take it and do it, it’s so amazing’ and I’d plaster a smile on my face and go ‘yes, it is isn’t it, I should do it’ so I did. I guess I was just sitting back and letting things happens rather than being part of the design of my future and consciously seeing what I wanted and going for it.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that the strange feelings inside of me were warning signs that I wasn’t living authentically with who I was. I was living what other people thought was good for me.

The wake up call happened out of the blue, actually while I was on an amazing trip with my sister and Dad. I got hit with crippling anxiety.

To cut a very long story short (and I’m trying to work on brevity actually becoming a strong point) it lasted a really, really, really long time. It was not okay with me and I worked really hard to reinvent myself because I had to. I did a myriad of healings and therapies, I’m not really sure what worked, but I’ve realised that it has so much to do with the mind and what and how you think. I’m still on the journey out, but I’m 95% better than I was and I believe I’m almost there!

I decided to explore a lot about myself and really did a lot of self-analysis and excavation. I made a lot of changes during that time. My relationship with my partner came to an end, I moved homes, I took up journal writing, I started dating, I partied a lot, I blossomed socially and made some great new friends. I was going on new adventures as I was healing and looking for a new path.

During that time I realised what my main passion was and still is – working with young women just like me who are looking at improving their lives – inspired females, resourced women, girls who enjoy some of the nice things in life but also want to give back. I didn’t know how or what to do, but I knew I wanted to work in that direction.

I decided to leave the marketing role at Mum’s work and take on something that could give me more time to work out what I really wanted to do. Something that I consciously decided to do, rather than just fell into. So, I decided that I could probably go in to an administrative role where I could work 9-5 and not take home any responsibility. I temped for a little while and ended up being offered a Senior Administrative role in a university which I accepted. Little did they know this senior admin person had no idea how to fix a printer or use the laminator. I am proud to say I am now and expert in both. I received less income, but it was worth it because it gave me the opportunity to do so much more that was priceless – time to spend on myself.

I planned to stay a year while I decided if I wanted to join an organisation or start my own business to do with working with young women. I did a lot of planning and dreaming, trialling and experimenting, reading and researching in my spare time. The job was a good gap filler and I created some amazing relationships, and learned both good and bad things about myself, but I also learned that my personality type took this role seriously and it wasn’t 9-5 for me. I was getting stressed about situations, working long hours and it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Something had to change again.

In late 2009, I connected with Anneli Knight and then Zoe Lamont through a friend. I got an email and asked a small but significant (to me) question to Anneli and through a series of events, it led me here. If I didn’t have the guts to ask the question (it was basically if she was interested in working together on a business idea I had), what would have happened? Sometimes you just need to reach out. One of my favourite lines is from a Coldplay song – ‘if you never try, you’ll never know’.

What Zoe, Anneli and I were discussing was so aligned. They were just starting 10thousandgirl out of Zoe’s initial project High Heels and a WIG. We were trying to find a way I could become involved and I ended up volunteering to be their Steering Committee Chair.

I loved the girls I was coming in contact with. To be honest, it was hard pouring so much energy into it while working full time at the University (and starting a new relationship, having a social life, working on a few more personal goals and spending time on what I had finally learned the hard way was important – myself), but I knew 10thousandgirl, the people involved and the concept was really resonating in me so it was worth it.

10 months later, Zoe offered me a role at 10thousandgirl and I jumped at the chance. The chance to become involved in this amazing community of like minds. The chance to be involved in working with young women who wanted to learn more. The chance to help be part of a ripple effect and empower individuals and communities. The plan to stay one year at the university turned into 18 months, a little longer than I originally planned, but that was ultimately fine.

This is nowhere near the end of the journey, I still have dreams and aspirations that I am working on and figuring out. But with the discovery of a passion and from a vague idea of what I wanted to do, with some proactive actions and jumping on opportunities that presented themselves, I’m Manager Girl at the 10thousandgirl Campaign, working with inspired young women. This is a massive milestone in my journey.

The way I’ve done things is probably not the ideal way. But it’s the way I had to do it. We are all individuals with different contexts surrounding us. These are my lessons learned. If this gives you an idea of one person’s experience – good. If it inspires you – great. If it’s just a story of a girl – fine.  If it does nothing – no problem! These realisations probably aren’t the right ones for everyone – take what you want and leave the rest.

Lessons learned:

  • Do what you have to for yourself first. Live your own life. It doesn’t have to be selfish. After all you are the one that you answer to in those quiet moments. Make yourself happy with your decisions, that way you make the others around you happier in the long term.
  • Listen to the feelings you have. They are often signs that you are either on the right path or not.
  • Have at least an idea of the direction you wanted to go in. If you have a really clear outcome, write down all the details, you’ll probably get there quicker.
  • Ask the question. Send that email. Make that phone call. Even if it puts you out of your comfort zone. That action could lead you to a path that is so rewarding.
  • Take the time to appreciate what you have done to get you to where you are. Really reflect, give thanks and contemplate it so you can recognise and acknowledge that your actions brought you there. You weren’t just sitting back and waiting for things to happen like I was initially.
  • Have plans beyond the big ones in your short and medium term sights, because when you get there it will be amazing, but you still want to have a bigger purpose in life.
  • Listen to your friends. They often have better insights into our lives than we do.

Happy journeying!


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