Being Busy versus Being Productive

Are you busy? Are you truly and honestly busy? Tell me, what are you actually getting done being so.. so busy?

Busy: having a great deal to do.
Productive: achieving or producing a significant amount or result.

So, how many times have you gone to your desk on a Monday morning and had no idea where to begin?

So I believe being busy is having lots to do, but being productive is actually seeing and benefitting from the results, actually doing it. You can be very busy but still getting nothing done or accomplished. Jumping from one thing to another to TRY to make progress. Did that comment spark a reaction from you?

So how can we be less busy and more productive? Managing your time is a lot like managing your “stuff”. Except with time, you only get 24 hours in a day, with stuff you can always get more space to store things, so purging the things that are not necessary in your daily planner is important and making sure you are keeping the important things on top of your planner so they are actually getting done.

This is where time mapping and time blocking are so important. I talk about time management all the time, why? Because it genuinely is important for every day to run smoothly, do you just want to be busy? or do you want to be productive? Are you just moving tasks around or are those tasks getting done?

Take that handy dandy planner of yours, you do have one right? I highly recommend time mapping to find out where you are spending your precious time, maybe wasting your time on Facebook, Instagram, or word games? First, fill in everything that is most important in that calendar/planner and the things that have to get done, every week chores and things get placed in next, and then things that if they don’t get done can be moved to another time slot or different day. This is called time blocking. Blocking out the times you will need to get your stuff done. Once you do this you will start to become more productive. You need some goals and some direction on where your days are going. There is nothing worse than getting to your desk and having no idea where to begin or what to start on first. This is where people get “stuck”. Clients tell me all the time “I feel stuck”. Of course, with no direction or goals or next steps, you are going to feel stuck.

Come on folks, let’s work on planning our days better. Rely on a great daily planner, whether that is a digital one or paper planner or even both, yes both. I worked with both for many years.

Let’s not be busy…let’s be productive!

Happy Organizing!

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Summer Purge

The official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is June 21, 2023, summer solstice, though many in the United States kick-off celebrations on Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29 this year).

So grab your planner/calendar ( I KNOW you have one) and start scheduling what rooms you will tackle on which days. Let’s take one project at a time to get you rolling on the greatest Summer purge ever!

So before you begin making your areas beautiful and buying storage boxes, pretty hangers, plastic storage bins, you MUST do the purge. Let’s get rid of what we aren’t going to keep.

So, the plan here is to pick a project per week to begin your purge. Select a day, then a time and make sure you have your supplies ready. Boxes or bags to put donations and garbage in, markers to mark your boxes, and an area to put these items in before they are out of your life. AND…Music! Let’s make this fun!

  • Books: I have exactly 16 books on my book shelf, everything else is on my kindle or iPad.
  • Kitchen: extra utensils, broken utensils, chipped and broken dishes.
  • Bathrooms: hair brushes, shampoos soaps, old towels, nail polishes, body lotions, out dated meds, makeup.
  • Bedrooms: old clothing, old shoes and bags, things you no longer wear or even like
  • Accessories: scarves, belts, socks, bras, underwear.
  • Closets: Too many coats? Time to donate what doesn’t look good and what no longer fits
  • Cars: Trunk not able to hold groceries? Time to purge your car
  • Garages: Does your car fit in your garage? If not it’s time to make sure it does, garages are for cars and maybe some items but your car needs to fit in there, that’s what they are for!
  • Papers: Do you have a designated area for filing and bill paying? Time to create that area, or if you have an office then it is time to get it working efficiently. So whether you file actual papers or file electronically, time for a big purge on papers you no longer need, get your categories under control and be able to find those papers in minutes.
  • Home Office: Is your home office functioning for you? Efficient? Can you relax and get things done in there? Are your files efficient? Is your space efficient? Clear out that entire space and only put back what you are actually going to use and need.

When I purge, everything comes out of that space and when you are done purging your first area, only the things that you are keeping are going back in. If it is clothing, place them back by what it is first, a shirt or slacks, jeans keeping like with like, then by color !

If you are up for the challenge, post your pictures on my Facebook Page, ask some questions if you are stuck on what to do in an area of your home or office. Maybe you’re not sure of a product to use or a space that needs be functional, make sure you are measuring if you are going to go get baskets or bins.

Share your purge with me!!

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P.O.K.E. It!

I signed up to do a 60 miles in May walk for the American Cancer Society. So far I have walked 51.06 miles since May 1, 2023.

While I know this walk is to raise funds for cancer, a very worthy cause. But…it has also raised awareness in myself. I am becoming aware of how important it is to take care of ourselves. For a while, I was lost. I am beginning to find myself through this time walking. I am learning to:

  • walk for my health
  • journal for my mind
  • eat the burger (with extra cheese)
  • buy the shoes
  • drink the good wine
  • burn the beautiful candles
  • eat off the good dishes
  • not worry about the “what if’s”
  • choose the friendships that matter, who make you feel wanted
  • how important it is to put yourself first
  • tell the people you love…you love them

So there are somethings I suggest. My P.O.K.E.

Purge: things that don’t mean a lot to you. “stuff” clothing that doesn’t look great on you, dishes that are chipped and mismatched and people who do not support you.

Organize: things that are special to you or important to you. Paperwork that must be kept, clothing that makes you feel GREAT! phone numbers of the people you can reach out to.

Keep: the people you love close by. The things that bring a smile to your face. The things and people that support and push you forward. those especial shoes that give you a boost!…Keep joy.

Erase: Things that weigh you you down. stuff, people, gossip.

It is the people, the support, the things you do for you that keep you grounded. It isn’t the “stuff” we accumulate. It isn’t the people who make you feel “less”. Surround yourself with the good things in life. The people who love you, the things that make you feel special , when life feels easy.

Life is hard enough without adding to it…so P.O.K.E. It!!

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The Stress In Life

We stress about so many things in life. Family, friends, work, finances, just to name a few. We go to bed with things swimming around in our minds. We worry about parents and kids and everything in between.

What if we could at least tame our brains? What if I told you that you could at least put some things to rest?

Let’s get our journals out. Why don’t we do a brain dump!

So, I was shopping in Traders Joe’s this week when I overheard two women talking about how much better they feel when their spaces are organized. Well, I don’t have to tell you where that conversation led once they heard what I did for a living.

We were talking about how our heads get all filled with things we need to do and get done and organize, so I shared with them that I write everything down so I don’t have to manage things in my head…I call it my “brain dump”.

I have my calendar for dates and things that need to get done on a timely basis and then my journal for personal thoughts and ideas, clearing my brain/head to think about other things I want to truly put my focus on, one thing at a time. I use an online journal called DayOne, which allows me to keep multiple journals, for instance, I kept a journal during my grieving process, I keep notes on movies and wine, etc. READ HERE to see how keeping multiple journals might work well for you too! I also hand write ideas down, but DAYONE allows me to take it everywhere to capture notes, etc.

I am hoping you are journaling to some degree. It takes a few weeks to get into the habit of journaling, like everything else we try that is new give yourself the time to adapt to it.

So, my next challenge to you is this: find a notepad, a journal (or two) and take it with you everywhere for one full week. Take it to work, to a coffee shop, out to lunch or dinner, or on a vacation. Whether it is a paper one or an electronic version, what ever you are most comfortable with and whatever is most convenient and then relax, write, journal, doodle, write a short story, plan some things like a trip, ask yourself some questions regarding where you are in life and where would you like to be. I will bet most of you will continue taking your journal with you or at least keep up the ritual of brain dumps.

What is the one thing that keeps you together? Have you done a Brain Dump?

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Five of My Favorite Hacks

Sometimes we all need little helpful hints, tips, and tricks that make cleaning our stuff easier or better! Here are just a few of mine I have used along the way.

Issue – Fruit Flies: a little dawn soap, apple cider vinegar, and some water in a glass or jar and place in a corner of the room.

Issue – Dirty Kitchen Sink: sprinkle some baking soda in the sink, and add a bit of water and some elbow grease.

Issue – Dirty Silver Jewelry: make a paste with baking soda and Dawn dish soap and take a toothbrush and clean your jewelry, my silver sparkles like new!

Issue – Stainless Steel Appliances: want your appliances to shine like new? I take a microfiber cloth and spray WD-40 on it and hit up my appliances and they shine like new!

Issue – Glass Shower Doors: Cut a lemon in half, ensure all the pits are out, and rub that lemon all over your glass doors. Then clean as usual. Not only do they get the glass so clean but the smell of the lemon is just terrific.

Do you have some hacks you want to share? Please let me know what works for you!

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Weekend Challenge

So, you have a weekend free to devote to tackling some organizing projects. But, where do you begin? What do you tackle first?

I say, first make a list of which room, closet, maybe it’s your car, or cabinets, a pantry? Pick one and then make a list of what you might need to start that project. Maybe it’s boxes or garbage bags, some packing tape for the boxes, some markers and maybe some labels. Please save buying organizing bins for the end of the first day so you will have them for what you are planning on putting back on day two. The reason for this is that once you start donating or tossing things you may not need ….as many bins as you may have first thought. Remember to measure height, width, depth for bins!

So, what projects can you tackle in a weekend?

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedroom Closets
  • Medicine Cabinets
  • Pantry
  • Your Car/s
  • Laundry Room
  • or just take a box, go room to room and pack away anything you see that has no meaning to you!

So many things you can do in a weekend, pick what is needing your attention and organize it!

As long as you plan ahead and put in place the right tools there are many areas you can organize in just a weekend. There are many projects you can do in just a couple of hours.

Why not challenge yourself to get a few things organized on the next “free” weekend you have. It may not even take all weekend but allow yourself the time. Take the challenge and send me updates on what your projects are! Before and after photos are so inspiring!

Connect with me by texting me your organizing projects and if you need a tip or two shout it out to me! 917.887.8672

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What Can the Right products Do

Two weeks ago after working with a wonderful new client right here in my Community of Clearbrook, we were able to create a beautiful space for her that is more efficient.

Just these 4 products I purchased transformed her pantry and just one cabinet in her kitchen. She is pretty organized so just some simple products will help to reign in her “stuff” in her pantry.

Clear bins are a must and a great staple to have in your cabinets, pantry, refrigerator. So I am starting off slowly with products to show her how the basic items can improve her pantry.

So as you can see in the before and after photos, just a few simple products can and will reign in your items to make a wonderful organized pantry.

Everything has a home in taht pantry, shopping now is easy when you can come home and unpack your groceries into a well organized space.

Do you have a space needing some attention?

Connect with me for some tips and advice on how to handle all your organizing needs.

Happy organizing!

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The Ongoing Dilemma of Papers!

I find one of the biggest issues people have are with organizing their papers. Papers come in almost daily and the habit most people have is they toss their papers into a pile. I can promise you, you will never get to the bottom of that pile.

When papers come into your home, where are you storing them?

  • File Drawer
  • Binders
  • Accordion Folder
  • Desktop/Countertop
  • Bin
  • Electronically

These are the papers we tend to keep:

  • Bills – Credit cards, utility bills
  • Bank – Statements/Financials
  • Auto – Policies, insurance
  • Health – Insurance
  • Home – Purchases/insurance
  • Flyers for coupons

Papers are on going and need attention weekly, to either:

  • pay the bills or file away a new one
  • check out an account statement and then toss the last statement
  • use the coupons or toss that flyer if it is out dated

STOP keeping all those papers! Create a weekly system to help you get control of the papers you HAVE to keep versus the papers you NEED to discard.

  • important papers need a permanent home – documents such as birth certificates, passports, marriage licenses, death certificates, home/car insurance, home purchase papers. Please have a fireproof/waterproof small safe at home for these items.

So let me bottom line this for you. When you bring mail into your home, they need a home to belong to. Whether is is banking, credit cards, insurance cards, newspapers and flyers, etc. They all need a place to be. Create that space where ever you do your bill paying whether it is a kitchen table or a home office, create a spot for your papers to live. Create a routine for paying bills and tossing out old ones, keep a shredder nearby. A filing system for your papers can be created anywhere and papers can be kept in many ways, find a system that will work for you. Make it pretty, make it functional and efficient, something to easily work with as this will keep you going back to work in it. There are many easy file boxes that you can tuck away in a closet until “paperwork day”. You can do binders that can sit on a shelf, or typical file folders that will store away in a desk drawer. Once you determine which is a great option for you, create it, the hardest part is setting it all up, then you can relax and get your papers under control.

Questions…text me 917.887.8672

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Let’s Create an Office You Will LOVE!

Are you currently working out of a home office or small company office and need help making it yours? Do you have distractions in your office? Are you creative and inspired in your space? No??? Well why not tweak that space to make it more inspirational?

It isn’t difficult to make your space your own. I typically ask my clients to think about the things they love, the things that give them inspiration and the things that bring out their motivation.

So for instance things I love are family and friends, inspiration for me comes from quotes I have read and seashells I collected on beaches and motivation comes from the people in my industry that can lift me up, teach me something new like a book they have written or tips that worked for them in their business.

So that said, I have personal items in my home office that when I look up from my computer it brings a smile to my face, the people I love, photos are there for me to see. I have inspirational quotes from leaders who have built empires but are still grounded. I have motivation from watching YouTube clips on people in my industry. You may have different things that bring you the ideas, motivation and things you love…are you using them?

I have certain rituals I lean on as well. The most important thing I do each day…I do something! I do one thing that furthers my business each day, whether it’s an email a call or writing for my blog or articles.What are you doing each day to further your business?

Your working environment is KEY to making your days more productive.

  • TIPS:
  • Empty your office, yes everything off that desk area and all the distractions around the office. Stacks of papers or books, clear out the office area.
  • The only things that go back into that office and on the work area are the essentials (stapler, tape, pens, etc)
  • Next, think of the things you love. Is it people or places? What can you put around you that when you look up from your work you feel love? A photo, a seashell or stone you founds from a special trip.
  • What can you put around you that inspires you? What is your favorite poem or quote, frame it and add it to where you can see it daily.
  • What can you put in that office that motivates you? why not create a list of goals that you have completed and one that you are working on, sometimes seeing your progress gives you greater motivation!

Need some ideas? Need someone to help you start your journey to make your office a place you will love to work in? Reach out…I am an email or call away.

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Packing for a Trip? 5 Tips

Bonus Tip:
The first thing I recommend is getting your self a few of the Apple Air Tags or TILE If your luggage should get lost this will make finding them a breeze. You can use these when you are not traveling for other things as well, keeping track of keys and wallets and dogs and cats too! So it is not like these things have just one purpose. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has even ruled that having an AirTag in your luggage is permitted and, in fact, not a safety hazard. The devices only contain 0.1 grams of lithium, which falls below the FAA’s limit.

Let’s get packing! First how many days are you going away for? Vacation or wedding, reunion What type of clothing you will need and for how many functions. Think about the things you will be doing.

Clothing: I like packing by day and I put outfits together. So if I am going on a beach vacation for lets say 7 days. I would pack 3 bathing suits for daytime as well as a cover up or two. Then pick an outfit for what you will be doing evenings. Is it casual or dressy? PJ’s, shorts, tees for lounging in between. Roll your clothes and you can also roll in plastic, helps with wrinkling.

Shoes: Same with shoes, go light and stick to a color theme that would go with everything. Again, what are your plans? Will you be walking a lot, or is this for just relaxing, which makes choosing even easier. go light.

Toiletries: I like to keep a separate bags for all my toiletries in my carry on along with one change of outfit, for those just in case moments when the flight is canceled, delayed, luggage is lost, etc. I am that “just in case person”. My thought for this is what if something should happen, do I have everything I need such as medications, phone charger cord, passport, etc in my carry on.

Electronics: Any laptop/phone/etc along with their charging cords should be in your carry on. Never stow expensive items in a bag you are checking. I like to store them in clear zip lock bags.

Bags: Bring a foldable beach bag or small packable backpack for beach and sightseeing days and a simple crossbody bag with you for evenings.

I am sure there are things you like to have with you as well, how well do you pack for vacation? Do you have some packing hacks you would like to share?

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