I was talking with a client who wanted more structure in his life. He was thinking about creating a schedule with times like 8am the gym, 9am client work, 3pm clean off desk. I suggested the way that works for me – time zones. Too often if you attach times to routines, the minute you go off track you start thinking the whole day is shot (or is that only me?)

He immediately breathed easier. We both are the type of people that rebel against routine, but at the same time need the structure.

I just updated my Daily Rhythm which is in 4 zones:

  1. Morning (which includes exercise, quiet time, picking up the house)
  2. Working with Love and Attention (client calls, marketing, email, clearing desk)
  3. Time with Family (snack, outside, weeklies, paper, make dinner)
  4. Evening (after dinner chores, planning for tomorrow, journaling, reading)

Daily Rhythm

No times attached. My client is doing 6 zones feeling the need for a little more structure.

We don’t need to plan every minute of the day, and we don’t need to put in things we already automatically do. I don’t have check facebook, watch TV or talk with my family in my routine because that will get done. It’s mainly for things I know will make my life run more smoothly, but I don’t always remember to do.

If something happens and I can’t get to something in my daily rhythm, I know exactly what is not getting done. That goes for distracting myself. I know if I turn on the TV for breakfast that means I most likely won’t get to quiet time and picking up the house.

What are your goals for the upcoming year? Do you have recurring activities that will help you in those goals? These are great things to put into your daily rhythm. If you want to lose weight you are going to want to find a place for exercise. If you want to learn a language, you might want to add listen to foreign language podcast to your routine. If you want to start meditating, you can add that.

What do you want in your Daily Rhythm?

 

 

The trickiest place to keep organized in my whole house is my office closet. One reason is because I live in a 90 year old house and the closet is the weirdest shape. The closet goes under the stairs so the door is at the right and then the closet just gets smaller and smaller towards the left. We had to put in three lights that you press just so we could see in there.

Secondly, is the catch-all nature of the closet. It needs to hold books, office supplies, scarves, beach bag with the towels and suits, the picnic basket, tote bags, paper memorabilia which I don’t want in the damp basement and the farmer’s market basket. We don’t have a coat closet, linen closet and our bedroom closet is laughably small.

This office closet had become unwalkable again, so it was time to cull. I got rid of a box of promotional totebags, a coat I no longer wore, and a 20 year old phone. I found my other boot (I was wondering where that was!) and enclosed some blankets so I could bring them into the basement. Now I can walk in there again.

I have a small bookshelf in the clloset for books and on the right side of the closet are shelves for office supplies and file folders. I was excited to be able to combine a few boxes so I had more room on the shelves. Did I really need 3 misc boxes? I made sure the labels on the boxes were facing out so I could find them. The box labeled adhesives was hiding the label under the lid of the box. 

I have hooks all over the walls for tote bags, scarves and purses. Things were re-hung.

I removed a few things that belonged further back into storage from an easier to access shelf. Then I was able to put my picnic basket up so it didn’t get stepped on, along with a box of things I use more often.

I love going into a new year with a clean closet!

contacts

Since I use Gmail for all my email (all my email addresses get synced to Gmail), Google Contacts was the obvious solution for housing my contacts. You can import and export allowing you to consolidate all your contacts. And you are able to tag the contacts (ie family, business friend, coworker, relative). Plus make up your own tagging terms. 

I spent a couple hours this week updating my addresses and tagging contacts. I also noted people I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile. I scheduled time to talk with them in my calendar.

I used this article to help consolidate my contacts:

The Complete Guide to Creating a Consolidated, Master Contact List

You can grab contacts from your phone, LinkedIn, Facebook and anywhere else you may have contacts.

After everything is consolidated, I backed up my contacts.

(If you are still using paper for contacts, this is a great project to hire a teen to do for you.)

Declutter Calendar

I’ve been working hard on the 2011 calendar and it’s all complete. Yea!

This year, based on the survey, is a combination declutter and organizing calendar.

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

  1. Update your address book/program.
  2. Put on music and do a big decluttering session.
  3. Set up new financial folders for 2011.
  4. How do you want to feel in 2011?
  5. Clean out a closet.
  6. Go through one paper pile.
  7. Plan 4 fun things you want to do in the weeks ahead.

Simple Annual Planning

Have you made past resolutions only to have the same ones this year?

Do you find all those goal setting guides complicated and not realistic for your full life?

Do you want to find a practical way to achieve a year you love?

You don’t need more confusing and overcomplicated goal setting programs. You want a simple way to create your year that doesn’t require a huge planner, charts and graphs, and tons of time.

My simple plan will show you:

  • What you really want
  • How to make room for your goals
  • Simple techniques to taking action
  • How to plan a less hectic year
  • How to create environments that support your goals
  • How to plan to achieve your aspirations

Simple Annual Plan

 

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Sign up for the Declutter Calendar and Weekly Tips Here: http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

Stop all your prep work for a minute. How are you feeling and acting? Are you tense? Irritable? Snippy?

What if you let go of some of the prep? Or maybe do it with music and laughter?

One of the greatest gifts you can give your family is your light and presence. The to dos aren’t worth breaking the peace.

How can you be a light to your family?

Declutter Calendar

I’ve been working hard on the 2011 calendar and it’s all complete. Yea!

This year, based on the survey, is a combination declutter and organizing calendar.

http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

  1. Finish your shopping at one store.
  2. Let go any remaining decorating.
  3. Do one less baking or cooking item.
  4. Quick clean your home.
  5. Stock the fridge.
  6. Decide not to complain or whine this holiday season.
  7. Celebrate!

Simple Annual Planning

Have you made past resolutions only to have the same ones this year?

Do you find all those goal setting guides complicated and not realistic for your full life?

Do you want to find a practical way to achieve a year you love?

You don’t need more confusing and overcomplicated goal setting programs. You want a simple way to create your year that doesn’t require a huge planner, charts and graphs, and tons of time.

My simple plan will show you:

  • What you really want
  • How to make room for your goals
  • Simple techniques to taking action
  • How to plan a less hectic year
  • How to create environments that support your goals
  • How to plan to achieve your aspirations

Simple Annual Plan

 

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Sign up for the Declutter Calendar and Weekly Tips Here: http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

holiday window

The preparing for the holidays is busy and hectic and tiring. I talked about how to re-energize for the holiday season yesterday.

But, what about the holidays themselves? What plan do you have for dealing with all the people, cleaning and cooking that accompanies most holidays?

It’s helpful to create a plan, before the event.

Some ideas:

  • Spend some time alone in your room at the beginning and end of each day
  • Ask for help with the cooking and cleaning
  • No hovering over guests, show them where things are
  • Take walks with the family or alone
  • Allow yourself favorite foods guilt free
  • Allow yourself to say no to foods you don’t want
  • When things get annoying, frustrating or emotional write in your journal
  • Don’t worry about perfect, but focus on connecting
  • Have fabulous smelling hand lotion to treat your hands
  • Take a time out when you realize you are squashing someone else’s holiday spirit

You need to personalize your list. Think about the last few holidays. What created melt down scenarios for you? What can you do differently this year?

What did you really enjoy that you want to make sure you include?

And keep aware throughout the holidays. Jot down on a piece of paper other ideas you have. Then put the list in your December monthly folder or where you will find the list next year.

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Photo by: Eye of Einstein

 

Energy

About now in December I usually start to feel worn out, my nose gets stuffy and I have no motivation left.

To combat that this year, I made a few changes:

  • Have a little pampering time every day – one day I massaged my feet, another was a piece of Lindt chocolate, and I bought a new peppermint chocolate lip balm yesterday
  • Take at least 5 minutes every day to just breathe
  • Get enough sleep
  • Make conscious choices about what I want to get done and let some items go
  • Be in the moment more often – really see the lights, play lovely music, connect while wrapping gifts or baking

What are ways you keep up the energy in December?

 

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Photo by Brenda Starr
 
Enjoying the seasonal simple pleasures help to energize this busy season. I loved seeing the holiday lights, watching Miracle of 34th Street and reliving stories with the Christmas ornaments. What do you love about the season?

  1. Stop to plan your highest priorities for this week before the busyness overtakes you.
  2. Create a place to store all your present receipts and catalogs.
  3. Clean out your purse or wallet.
  4. Make gift certificate coupons for stockings.
  5. Take 15 minutes to moodle, putter and just be.
  6. Give your kids or a friend the gift of undivided attention.
  7. Do one thing you love to do this season.

Do you want a holiday plan that doesn’t have you do a million things you just don’t have time for?

I’ve tried the holiday plans that are online. But, I never finished them. Having simplified my Christmas I didn’t use many of the parts of those plans. And they just made me feel guilty.

Would you like a simpler holiday plan ?

I created a plan that I use to keep my holidays organized without overwhelming me.

Plan includes:

  • a checklist for each week
  • simple steps to take to create the holiday you want
  • short cuts and simplifications for many holiday tasks
  • questions to help you decide what is important to you and your family
  • worksheets and forms

Simple Holiday Plan
$2.00
4-week program to organize and simplify your holiday

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Sign up for the Declutter Calendar and Weekly Tips Here: http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm

printable

To make it easier this season, there are wonderful printables that creative people made and share with us.