September 30, 2009

Tonia has arrived in Santiago de Compostela! After 2,500km hiking through Belgium, France and Spain she did it! I told you already how proud I am. Having walked the last 800km myself, I know this is a very impressive journey. Tonia grew tremendously during this trip. I walked a merely 300km with her on this trip and saw her growing every day. Tonia, my Superwoman

She got rid of a number of fears. She met these special people along the way. New friendships were born and she enjoyed several miracles. Tonia received these incredible insights and also found her life’s purpose, her legacy. This is all so exciting!

When I return home this weekend, I will have a brand new woman. Not just any woman, but a Superwoman. I need to warn you that the picture you see here is my “old” Tonia, the day she started her walk on the 12th of June. She’ll never be the same again… So, next time you meet her, you’ll see this wonderful glow and energy burst around her 🙂

Tonia, again, congratulations! It is official now: I am the happiest person on this planet, especially monday when we’ll finally be reunited again!

Oh, by the way, she is completely in shape, so she decided to go to the end of the world, Finisterre. This is the place where the zero-marker is placed. 0km to go, the edge of the world, the vast ocean in front of you. There she will burn her last remaining fears and some clothing as a final ritual and completion of her journey.Finisterre, Spain, 0km Camino marker She is ready for a brand new start! Watch her…

Here is a detailed map of her journey. I invite you to congratulate her on her blog.

Surviving Travel Challenges

September 27, 2009

Here’s the scenario : You’re traveling to a tropical island for business or pleasure, say Bali (Indonesia). Unfortunately, your suitcase doesn’t arrive, and at the Lost Luggage Desk you have difficulty describing your belongings. What’s more, your wallet, which contained your passport, was stolen, so you can’t even identify yourself. Is there anything you could have done to prepare for this nightmare situation?

Yes, there is! Look at this great SlideShare presentation and find out what to do when you are in trouble when traveling:

Wanted : Leadership

September 27, 2009

We know what is going on in the world. Do we stand up and make a difference?

You might think differently after seeing this brilliant video about leadership!

Do you have what it takes to lead? Step up and let us hear your voice! Time has come to make a real difference. Let’s begin with ourselves…Become tomorrow’s leader. Together we can change the world!

Cook faster

September 19, 2009

Everyone loves to eat, right? Some get quite frustrated with the time they spend in the kitchen preparing meals. If you want to save time in the kitchen, then this Genius Shortcut is for you!

Electric Jug - KettleHow long does it take to cook pasta? Depending on the brand and type of your pasta, anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. Now, how long does it take to boil the water for you? Aha! Yes, also 10 to 15 minutes… What a waste of time 🙂

Here’s how to impress others with great shortcut :

  1. Boil the water in the electric jug (kettle). This device is designed for quick heating of water.
  2. Then transfer the boiling water in your pot (or sauce pan).
  3. Turn on the element (electric, gas…) and you water is boiling within seconds.

You’ll save at least 10 minutes by using this Genius Shortcut!

Now, if you are preparing a family dinner, it might be the case that you need boiling water more than once.  So, you can actually save more time, everytime you do it this way…

Happy cooking!

Get more, pay less!

September 18, 2009

Yes, I know, most people want more. And more. So, how do you get more and pay less? Today, I was in the Warehouse Stationery in Auckland to make copies of my flyer for the Genius Shortcuts tour. So, while I was going through the pricelist, I found out that most people got what most shops want : paying a higher price and not getting the cheaper version.

What am I talking about?

Well, imagine that the price of making 1 photocopy is 20 cents. The first price drop is when you actually make more than 10 copies. This means that you then pay 18 cents. If we continue this pricelist, we see that starting from 25 copies the price drops to 15 cents, from 50 copies it will go down to 12 cents. If you want more than 75 copies your price is 10 cents. More than 100 copies means 8 cents per photocopy.

OK, that’s the easy part. Now, most people will order a round number of copies. In my case it was 100. At first that is, because I quickly got it that actually that’s costing me too much. So, 100 times 10 cents is 10 NZD, right? But what happens if I order 101 copies? I pay 101 * 8 cents! And do you know how much that is? Exactly! That’s 8.08 NZD. I get more and I pay less… How sweet is that?

By the way, if we do a quick calculation, it actually means you can get 125 copies for 8 cents for 10 NZD. So, if you order a 100 or 125 you are paying the same price. That’s a whopping 25% difference! I am not sure what your opinion is on this, but hey, 25% more for the same price or paying less and still get more is a pretty impressive result to me!

So, think twice next time you order something with volume discounts and check again if you really want to order the quantity you originally had in mind. It might save you a lot or you get more and pay less! And yes, I know, this example is about cheap photocopies, but what if you are buying more expensive stuff and the price difference is a couple of dollars per item you want to buy? You can easily calculate what kind of difference it will make to your budget (e.g.  2 NZD/piece * 101), or the way you spend it! And how many shops are using a pricelist with volume discounts? Right! Keep you eyes open 🙂

Go Bananas?

September 15, 2009

Most of you already know that we are supporting Banana Appeal through our own project Go Bananas.

So, I thought about creating a special Genius Shortcut about bananas. By the way, do you know the difference between a monkey and a human? No, then watch this video…

Enjoy every day and let’s go bananas 🙂

eDay 2009

September 13, 2009

eDay 2009eDay is a community initiative designed to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling computers and the hazardous nature of electronic waste (e-waste), while offering an easy way for households and schools to dispose of old computers and mobile phones in an environmentally sustainable manner. Through Rotary North Harbour, I commited to contribute and give back to New Zealand by participating as a volunteer for this eDay.

As part of Crew 11, I was in charge of interviewing drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues. Here where my questions :

  • How did you hear about eDay?
  • What is the main reason for bringing your computer waste here today?
  • If there was no eDay, how would you dispose of your computer waste?
  • What other e-waste do you have that you would like to recycle?
  • Would you like to hear about today’s results and eDay updates via email?

Bert Verdonck interviewing on eDayBy giving back to the community and in this case a project that fits rather well with what I do. My public speaking, training and coaching about Genius Shortcuts is mainly focused on using the computer in an easier, more efficient way. So, it makes perfect sense to contribute some of my time to an event like eDay.  Most of you already know that I dedicate about 10% of my time to charities and good causes. Our main project is Go Bananas, which will get a kiwi chapter in the near future…

Although we had rain and quite some wind, lots of people where bringing in their e-waste. These are the results of our eDay : 1,128 cars bringing in 46 tonnes of e-waste! In total 16,391 cars delivered 966 tonnes of e-waste! An awesome result! If you want to know more about e-waste and eDay in particular, I recommend you to visit eDay’s official website.

Oh, did I tell you several famous Kiwis attended this event? One of them was Peter Fox (Olympics – Sailing), who participated at our North Shore City event.

So, what did you do this weekend to contribute?

Handle With Care

September 11, 2009

handluggageA lot of people travel these days. More and more people are flying towards a well-deserved vacation or that golden business opportunity abroad. This blogpost is about the first things you could put in your handluggage. Several simple, easy-to-use Genius Shortcuts that will improve the actual trip for you. It’s a practical list that I put together myself. Most items saved my life (ok, I admit, at least a lot of frustration and wasted time 🙂 ) more than once.

What to put in your handluggage?
1. USB Memory stick : it’s easy to put on extra files or exchange them with people you meet. Make sure your commercial info is on it. I also keep some extra free space on my MP3-player (or iPod), just in case.
2. World-travel plug : wherever you go, you can at least plug in any of your devices and recharge them! If you are bringing several electronical tools (Laptop, Camera, Mobile, PDA…), you might bring 2 of those!
3. Multibox or multiplug : an easy, lightweight solution to your multiple devices. Sometimes the number of plugs is limited. If you bring a multibox or multiplug, you can charge multiple at the same time. I personally have 3 plugs in my multiplug (more tend to become too big to handle).
4. A bottle of water (0.5 liter) : with the severe airport security measures nowadays, you might carry an empty one and refill it after the security check or buy a new one. Staying hydrated is so important. Of course, if it’s empty, you can keep it, because you can refill it, not necessarily with water 🙂 Some airlines have a great service and serve you a can of beer or small bottle of wine. In case you don’t drink it all immediately, you can always put some in your empty bottle. Of course, some others (not you of course) would do that and ask another one…I leave that up to you. The thing is, just bring the bottle! And imagine that after arriving you have to wait (sometimes quite some time) at immigration or for your suitcases to arrive, you can still enjoy a drink. You are taking it easy while the rest are getting impatient and sweaty…
5. 2 ballpointpens and a (small) notebook : A moleskine, an atoma notebook or post-it notes are perfect for taking (small) notes or messages. Also exchanging messages becomes a lot easier when you have these at hand…Why 2 pens? Actually, so you can both write at the same time (saves time!) and in case one pen stops writing…
6. Pocket change : I suggest to have a small amount of pocket change available (€ 5, £ 5, $ 5…) and a note of € 10 in the little pocket of your jeans (or other pants). This way, you don’t have to take out your wallet. Potential thieves might see what amount of money you are carrying. With the pocket change, you can pay for whatever small purchase or tip is needed.
7. 2 Paperclips : you wouldn’t believe how handy this little things really are! Especially to tie or fix something. You can even use it as a zippertab or untie something that is stuck (not necessarily combined with that tab 🙂 )
8. powerbar or chocolate : I recommend to bring something to eat like a powerbar or piece of chocolate (yes, I am from the land of chocolate 🙂 ) You never know how long it will take or how long you’ll be standing in that row or be delayed. Even if you didn’t bring any money, you can still keep your energy high. Normally I’d advise you to bring fruit, but in several countries its against the law to take them with you (e.g. New Zealand) when travelling.
9. Something to read : I already wrote about strategies to avoid wasting more time and so, bring a magazine, a local newspaper, a book or even Sudoku puzzles. Time invested well passes more quickly and you might gain some time actually. Of course, a laptop could help too.
10. Shoelaces : you can always use them as a washing line, to tie something (e.g. instead of your belt) and of course as your next pair of shoelaces if the others broke.

Let me know what else you put in your handluggage. I am really curious now…

Oh, before I forget : bring some deo or perfume (in small dose like a tester?). After a couple hours (days?) of traveling you smell. And you probably want to avoid a “Psshht” experience!

GTD with fun

September 2, 2009

“Getting Things Done with Fun”

– Bert Verdonck –

This is definitely another perfect quote for me. GTDWF, Getting Things Done with Fun! What I really mean is that a lot of people are so focused on GTD alone that their life becomes a mechanical process. They might have a “mind like water”, but are they happy? Do they have fun? Some successful GTD-addicts don’t know what to do with their free time? How’s that possible? Why did they start applying GTD in the first place?

So, as a Creator,  I know that I always want to improve things. I am great at starting new things and new projects. And I admit, I am sometimes less of a finsiher. But, I am always looking to have fun! And the fun takes me to some extra steps, sometimes the necessary ones to finish a certain project. Here is my advice : Have fun, always!

It’s up to you to do something with it (or not). And if you’d be looking for ways to improve your life, how would you approach GTD with more fun? What action do you take?

Anyway, have fun in the process, always 🙂