Tracey Foulkes heads up the international productivity company Get Organised (South Africa & Ireland) and is the co-founder of Sorted Circus. Both Get Organised and Sorted Circus’s primary goals are to help people work smarter in accountable ways. Get Organised offers productivity solutions in the areas of email, documents, meetings, time, tasks, teams and spaces. Sorted Circus provides productivity wellness programmes and productivity apps.
Results driven, animated, humorous, outcome orientated, authentic, inspirational, an expert in her field are how clients and colleagues describe Tracey.
Tracey love all things quirky and lives by the mantra “NO EXCUSES!”. She is driven by: “Do what you love, in a way you love doing it, with people you love doing it with”.
I Am Driven By | Ultimately I have a very clear and distinct picture in my head of myself as a much older woman. I’m happy, walking on the beach with my grandkids eating whirly ice-cream (it’s breakfast time!). As weird as that image sounds, it is ultimately why I do what I do right now. Empowering people to work smarter in more accountable ways doesn’t mean you need to work long or late. I love that by my teaching quick tools for building incremental change means the people I interact with get to inch closer to their ultimate goals too. I’ve been called a productivity nerd; I guess that’s true!
The Difference Between Good And Great | Playing to your strengths (what you are both good at and enjoy) is the ‘sweet spot’ we should all be striving for. It opens opportunity for work not being ‘hard work’. I’d suggest taking a critical look at the things you really are good at, make a list even. Then review that list and put a big tick next to each one you really, really enjoy (think: euphoric, bounce off the ceiling happiness type feeling you get when doing that something). The ones with the ticks … these are your strengths. Find more time to do them!
A Key Talent | I often feel that my greatest strength is my greatest weakness. Let me explain… I’m a productivity specialist and the expectation is that I should be a perfectionist, linear in my thinking, detail orientated. While I can do that sometimes, more often than not, I’m a dominant creative, big picture thinker (and doer) with the ability to make quick decisions. I forget dates, statistic specifics and can’t spell to save my life. Understanding this as my strength in the team has been liberating on many levels. So let me unpack this a bit. At Get Organised we profile our clients as one of the following styles: Detail Dodger (that’s me), Perfectionist, Drop & Hop, Last Minute Racer and Procrastinator. Knowing your style means you get to understand your strengths and challenges so you can work more effectively both as an individual and as a team. So I’ve buddied up with members of my team that are dominant perfectionists. They help when the detail is needed while they can call on me when struggling to make a decision or bring closure to a project. It’s a win-win.
Want to know what your core time style is and how to play to our strengths? You can take the free time style test over at Sorted Circus or check out Why Teams with Time Style Diversity are Stronger
The Characteristics Of Success | Brian Tracy describes self-discipline as doing what needs to be done when it is due, whether you want to or not. This mantra plays in my head when my 5am alarm sounds for me to start working on my #powerhour, when I feel like giving up half way through a run or when I’m about to quit pushing for a really fabulous piece of work due to self-doubt or fear of failure. This is an ongoing skill I’m working on mastering, I need constant reminders, but discipline is what helps you step forward in the direction of your desires.
How I Use My Mind | I believe with clarity that I can achieve anything I choose to achieve; that said, I need to practice positive self-talk (I say affirmations a lot), I breathe deeply (highly underestimated) and really make it my mission to minimise making assumptions.
Performing At My Peak | I make it my habit to learn something new in my area of expertise every day. This could be reading, listening to a podcast, attending a conference, anything really. Some refer to this as “sharpening the saw”. To help me to do this, I have had to implement a timetable (at Get Organised we call this a weekly blueprint) to help me stay on track. Knowing that I have a specific time slot in my busy calendar for this really important but too easy to not-do-today task really helps.
My Future Dreams And Ambitions | I’m cultivating a book around the #productivitylies blog series I’m busy writing. I’d like to release that this year still with a new keynote talk. It’s time to shake things up a bit, stop following like a sheet and take massive action. I’m ready for the revolution!
On Inspiring Others | I have a great team both here in South Africa and Ireland. They are strong, independent, knowledgeable, inspiring individuals who have wisdom and skill greater than I can ever hope for for myself. I trust them to do a great job. We have very clear communication boundaries in place and thanks to my Detail Dodging time, I am totally comfortable with great delegation (up, down & across the company) and have seldom felt the need to micro-manage. And if this isn’t really the answer, I guess I’m just lucky!
I Am Inspired By | I work with many great people. I have a mentor who I meet with monthly, he is wise and shoves me where I’d sometimes rather not tread (as does the head of our Ireland team … she is relentless). I have a focus group of people I truly trust 100%, they all inspire me and provide a safe place for full authenticity (good – bad – ugly). They really are what all the good stuff is about. I’m fortunate to have a supportive husband (don’t read that as he agrees with everything I say!) and my young kids with their strong negotiation skills and sublime eloquence keep me in check. Productivity Leaders like Brian Tracy, sites like Lifehacker and 99U, authors like Julie Morgenstern all play hugely into me doing what it is I do as I do it.