Jill Chivers is a speaker, writer, coach, creator, author, designer, professional facilitator and workshop leader and avid movie watcher.  She works with individual and groups, designing and delivering work that inspires real and lasting change in how people think, feel and behave.  I got to spend time with her recently when she spoke at the AAPO (Australasian Association of Professional Organisers) conference in Sydney.  Yesterday we got to know her a little in Part 1. Here’s part 2 of what she shared.

Angela: What’s the hardest thing about getting/staying organised?

Jill: I find it quite easy, because the payoff is big for me. I feel really good when I have completed things, and I can’t function well or at an optimum level when things are disorganized or all over the place. It really isn’t even a decision – get/stay organized or not – it’s just the way I roll.

Mr Potato Head - Jills OfficeAngela: Is there something in your home or office that you do not use, need or love?

Jill: I have a Mr Potato Head that I keep on my office shelves and he doesn’t get used an awful lot. I used Mr Potato Head in some corporate work (it was part of an exercise I did for the graduate induction program of a huge institutional bank) many years ago to very great effect, but he doesn’t’ get used so much anymore. I just like the look of him! He’s a bit quirky and kind of useless, but fun.

Angela: Do you have a favourite organising tool?

Jill: I love stationery and use clear plastic folders for organizing client files and projects. I love my labeler. I also use baskets on my shelves (mostly white plastic ones, but I also have a few natural rattan fibre baskets). I throw stuff out when I no longer need it (with the exception of Mr Potato Head). I transfer all handwritten client notes into an electronic file and throw out the original notes so I have very little paper sitting around, needing to be organized.

Angela: Thanks! It’s good to hear how really productive people like yourself make it work. You get so much done. How do you reward yourself for achievement?

Jill: I have sometimes struggled with rewarding myself, and celebrating. I am such a doer, am so motivated by movement and action that I have often finished something, often a big and rewarding project or challenge, then moved immediately onto the next thing, without stopping to acknowledge my achievements in between. Since I encourage my own clients to build celebration into their own work processes, I have been working on doing this more, and doing this better, myself. My favourite reward/celebration is to take time out – go out for breakfast or brunch, take the afternoon off and have a picnic, that kind of thing. Last year, I had an entire week where I took every afternoon off and my husband and I did something different and fun every afternoon. That was a delightful week.

Angela: Bliss! How do you spend your down time?

Jill: I love stories, and love to read as well as watch movies. I also love eating out, and taking small breaks.

Angela: If you could be or do anything, what would it be?

Jill: Just for fun – travelling more. There’s many places I’d love to visit – new places I’ve yet to go to, and places I know and love to be. I would love to spend 3 months living in New York City.

For work – my own television show. I have so many ideas for a show around conscious consumption, and am working with a media production company on developing this idea for the small screen.

Angela: Yes! You’d be fabulous on TV. Can’t wait to see that. What does your ideal weekend look like?

Jill: Eating out, getting up when I wake up (not when I have to), a bit of lazing around, doing something new and different and fun, seeing friends, going to a movie, feeling rejuvenated at the end of it.

Angela: Jill, you always look so stylish, how many pairs of shoes do you own?

Jill: There used to be over 100 before my year without clothes shopping. During that year, I got rid of over half of them, and was down to about 48. I have added a few pair in the last 2.5 years and I’m at about 55 pair now.

Angela: Finally, have you got a mid-week time-saving recipe to share with us?

Jill: Easy and delicious is Mexican – small dishes of toppings including chopped tomato (with some onion and coriander mixed in if you wish), smashed avocado (you can make it guacamole style by mixing in some spices and sour cream), sour cream (if not in the guacamole), chopped greens (lettuce and/or cucumber), grated cheese. The non-meat version is beans – chop and fry an onion, add in a drained tin of red kidney beans or 4 bean mix, add in coriander, water, tomato paste (you can also use tomato pasta sauce) until the right consistency. Fry the burrito’s (you can eat them unfried, too) and each person loads up their burrito with the toppings of their choice. Quick to make (including all chopping and cooking, under 15 minutes), a splash of colour with all the little dishes, and delicious!

Angela: Yum! Thanks for letting us peak into your organised life.

Be sure to check out Jill’s work at Shop Your Wardrobe and Media Mastery Home Study Program for Entrepreneurs.


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