In a blog entitled "Everything Broken is Clutter", I mentioned that in a speech when I asked the question "What comes to mind when I say the word 'clutter?'” one participant replied "Relationships!" She was referring to relationships in her life that weren't productive for her -- or them!

Last night I had dinner with a dear friend Dr. Paula Berardinelli, who refers to herself as an "edupreneur," with whom I collaborated to create the event "Less Clutter More Gratitude." As we were wrapping up our conversation, she said, "I need to be home by 8:30 for my call." Since it was Sunday night, I was intrigued and asked, "May I ask what that means?"

"Oh," she replied. “Every Sunday night at 8:30, I turn on Zoom for ‘Family Office Hours’ for my siblings and their children. Whoever is around jumps on, and we have a conversation."

"What a fabulous idea," I replied, to which she replied, "I've discovered it cuts down on the 'He said...' 'She said...' scenario which can create chaos in families. The calls help us feel connected to each other in many ways." She then added, "The free Zoom platform only lasts 40 minutes, which puts healthy boundaries on the conversation."

If you've been around me long, you've probably heard me quote Dr. Ned Hallowell who said, "The solution to every problem is connection." It is my observation that one of the biggest causes of the chaos and heartbreak in our culture today is the breakdown of the family. Both my husband and I grew up in families where siblings lived close to each other. While it sometimes created chaos, it more often provided love and support that many families today miss.

In spite of the "connection" we experience today because of technology and social media, statistics reveal that people are feeling more disconnected than ever before.

There's another more old-fashioned way to improve connection which I frequently use with rewarding results: snail mail. The greeting card industry offers a creative array of messages if you're not a writer, and there's nothing more powerful than a handwritten letter to someone you care about and want to encourage!

What "connection" in your life could you encourage that would support your ability to accomplish your work and enjoy your life - and encourage others to do the same?

One of the very reasons that we created the Productive Environment Network™ is for the community it provides. We live in such a virtual world that creating this small space for those of us who thrive on productivity and learning how to become more productive was a big goal!

If you are not yet a member of the Productive Environment Network™, we encourage you to join our community at Productive Environment Network™.

Author's Bio: 

In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter.

Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts.

Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at