Archive for Organization
Instead of feeling resentful for saying yes when you really wanted to say no, try these phrases:
- Someone in my time class uses the phrase, "That doesn’t work for me."
- I am feeling overwhelmed and can’t put anything else on my plate.
- I have a policy to never ….
- I really can’t…. right now, but I can….
- I’m sorry, I have another commitment.
- Thanks for thinking of me, but I am not able to.
- I appreciate the request, but I am not taking on anything else right now.
- I am honored you thought of me, but I don’t have the time to do a proper job.
- My heart wouldn’t be in it.
- Thanks for the invitation, but an early night is a better option for me.
What are your favorite ways to say no?
I love the changing of the seasons. This past weekend was changing from summer to fall. You may have done this already, be doing it in the next month, or next year in the other hemisphere.
The reason I do a change of seasons prep is so I have more room for what is active. I have no need for sandals in a Michigan winter. So I change out clothes, shoes, decorations and sheets.
Here are some tips to make the transition smoother:
- Wash clothes before you change them out or you will have lone tank tops floating around while everything is packed away.
- Put on some fun or lovely music to make it more pleasant.
- As you take down the other season’s clothes, you can keep some short sleeves to layer but notice the colors. Coral and turquoise remind me of summer so I pack them away.
- See what you didn’t wear all season. Is it time to give it away?
- Perhaps it doesn’t fit. Then either give it away or pack it away with the out of season clothes regardless of what season they are.
- You can put out of season clothes in an out of the way closet, under bed storage or in a box in the basement.
- Don’t forget the pajama drawer.
- Write down if you notice anything missing in your wardrobe. Maybe you notice you don’t have a classic black pant anymore or your favorite blazer is no longer fit for public.
- Schedule in your calendar when you will switch seasons again. If you are afraid you will forget, note where you stored the out of season.
- If you like flannel sheets or such in winter, you can store away summer sheets. I like two winter sheet sets and two summer sets. You don’t usually need more than that for one bed.
- As you tuck away sandals for boots or vice versa, also check for any shoes you didn’t wear all season.
- Are there any shoes that need replacing? I had to let go of my favorite brown loafers. Scuffed, broken, and no longer with a shape. So I sadly got rid of them and now need a replacement since this are my go to fall shoes.
- Keep less decorations. I have only one box for each season/holiday except Christmas. I can switch out decorations quickly. I don’t like a lot of decorations because they take up useful space. I don’t need to be reminded of what holiday it is every where I look. For fall I put up a welcome shovel with a pumpkin painted on it for the porch along with two other porch decorations. I created two fall vignettes on the living room entertainment center. I tucked a fall leaf thing among things on my desk. Then I got out the fall towels. Quick, quick, quick.
- If changing everything out at once seems overwhelming. Do a little each day until it’s done.
What are your favorite changing of the season tips?
A couple weeks ago I did a post on How to Catch Up. But, I don’t want you trying to catch up on everything in your life. Some things you can let go of catching up with if you get in a busy time:
- TV shows you only kind of like
- News programs
- Blog reading
- Ideas you thought you might do one day
- Recipes you will never get to
All of these are about information. We all get plenty of information coming at us every day. We can’t digest it all. So often we need to trim this information sources at the beginning. Here are a few articles on information for you:
We were away last weekend and busy all week. So today I had a bigger pile of papers than usual. I did my TV pile method.
I turned on No Way Out on the TV. I like the movie but I’ve seen it quite a few times and don’t need to have my full attention on it.
I sat on the living room floor with my pile in front of me. One by one I picked up a piece of paper and decided what pile it went in. These were the piles I needed this week
- to file
- to do/data entry
Once everything was sorted, I used the commercials to put it all away.
Trash got thrown out. I filed the to files. Receipts I shredded (tax receipts went into the to file pile).
The magazines went into the magazine rack which I quick glanced through for any magazines to be recycled.
Coupons went in my coupon folder.
The exercises were ripped out of my fitness or yoga magazines and put in my in box. The exercise articles go in an expandable file folder sorted in categories: upper body, abs, lower body, full body, yoga, pilates, cardio, ketteball
The recipes go in my menu planner. When the slots get overfilled, I let go of recipes I probably won’t make.
Another commercial gave me time to put the local college’s arts schedule into Google calendar, my hair appointment from my schedule card, some to dos on my to do list (and I put the cooresponding paper into the take action folder)
Now my inbox is empty.
If you are feeling behind, or the house is a mess or your to do list is huge you may feel the need to catch up. But, how do you catch up in an all ready full life?
The most important part of catching up is staying current. I’ve seen this a lot – someone neglects the daily and weekly stuff to concentrate on catching up. They never finish catching up and now they have things to catch up on that they neglected because of catching up. This is called running in circles.
If you stay current you know that eventually you will catch up.
In my time class, someone always says they don’t have time to keep current much less catch up. There are usually two reasons for this:
1) They haven’t actually kept current. It’s a lot faster to do mail daily or weekly than a huge pile every once in awhile. Doing dishes after each meal goes quicker than washing every few days once food is dried on. Clearing off the kitchen table before every dinner doesn’t take as long as trying to sort through a week’s worth of stuff. Keeping current also alleviates some of the procrastination of seeing a big mess.
2) They have too much on their plate. They said yes to too many things. Their kids are in too many things. Maybe at the moment they are parenting kids and taking care of elderly parents. Maybe they are taking care of little kids all day. Some periods of life are busier than others.
If you start doing just the current things first and discover you never have enough time, you will want to evaluate what you don’t need to do. What you can delegate. What needs to be put off until a different time in your life. You need to make the hard choices or your life will always feel out of control.
Add on to your current by a little bit
If you do the mail daily, add on 5 pieces of paper from an old pile. Do yesterday’s email, glance for urgent recent emails plus two older dates of email. When you put clothes in the closet from laundry, evaluate a couple clothing pieces that can go to Goodwill. When you get a new magazine, recycle the old one before you even read it if you haven’t had time so you can start fresh. When you make your bed, declutter a couple things from the bedroom while you are there.
This is where people start getting uncomfortable. "I will never catch up that way. It’s not enough." Then they start neglecting daily stuff to concentrate on the backlog. They never catch up.
If you are doing anything over the current – you will eventually catch up.
Make time to catch up faster
If you want to go faster, plan time. Turn off one TV show and gain 30-60 minutes. Get someone else to drive the kids or have them bike to practice for a month. Take a day off work to catch up at home. If you are catching up at work, come in early or stay late. Miss some meetings you attend regularly. Get someone to cover a volunteer duty for a couple weeks. Go on a facebook, magazine, gaming or news fast for a week or two. What can you let go of for a time so you can catch up faster?
A client of mine hired some people for a Saturday to get a bunch of things done at the house that have been on her list for a long time. It was so satisfying to get those checked of on one day. My grandma had a housekeeper when she was a working mom. Even a couple hours every couple weeks will save you time. Declutter with a friend who can keep you on track. Hire a teenager to do some yard work, filing or computer tasks. Hire a handyman to for a couple hours to fix all the broken things. Order online and have things delivered. Get in an accountability group to keep you motivated. If no one at home is helping you, make that a priority. What help do you need?
Catch up day
Have a regular monthly catch up day. This is a day you don’t have appointments. You don’t plan social events. You don’t go to meetings. At the beginning of the day, you write down what you want to catch up on. Start work then take a break. Work, take a break. Breaks will help you keep up the energy. Use a timer to keep you on track. It’s also helpful to check in with a friend. In some of my groups, they meet online at the top of the hour work for 30-45 minutes, then check in for "way to gos" and support.
Notice what you have done
It’s easy to beat yourself up about falling behind. When you are de-motivated, you tend to quit. Catching up seems to take too long, so you don’t try anymore. One way to counteract that is to notice when you have done something. Really notice the clean table and smile. When you get through a bunch of email, congratulate yourself. Look at your beautifully made bed for a few seconds before leaving the room. You will feel more successful which will make you want to keep it up.
Feeling behind? What is one thing you are going to do to catch up?
Can you do one thing at a time?
We’ve all seen the studies that claim multi-tasking isn’t efficient. Some studies say multi-tasking is up to 40% less productive. The main reason is that we aren’t doing two things at once. Instead you are switching attention back and forth. Each time you switch attention you lose time re-settling into the other task.
But, from my time class I have found most of you don’t believe it. Most of the people in my classes believe you have to do multiple things at once to get everything done. I can see society is doing as much if not more multi-tasking than it used to.
People don’t just eat – they have to be driving or interacting with media. Too often you can tell the caller on the other end is doing something else and you don’t have their undivided attention as you talk on the phone. Interaction with work, with other people, even leisure time is done in short spurts.
One thing that saddens me which is lost is flow. I love the feeling of writing and the words come and I am connected with my work. Or listening to a song so intently it goes to my soul. Or being enthralled with a bird on a walk.
You lose that deep connection, that immersion, that flow when you check your email every time it beeps. Or watch a movie while you are playing an internet game. Or stop every few minutes during a work project to check facebook.
Even if you don’t believe multi-tasking is inefficient, why don’t you experiment today with immersing yourself in one thing? Even if you multi-task everything else, see how doing this one thing feels.
I’d love to hear your experience in the comments.
"I’m not living the life I want because I have no time." "My family demands too much of me." "I have no energy because of health problems." "This recession has made being abundant impossible."
It’s easy to show obstacles as excuses for not having the life we want. But, if we are honest, most of the problem is our daily choices. Our habits.
We want financial success, but then don’t focus at work, pay bills on time or organize the financial paperwork.
We want energy, but don’t plan meals or exercise and choose to watch TV instead of more active pursuits.
We long for a more serene home, yet decide we are too lazy or disorganized to make changes in that area.
Perhaps a goal is to start a new business or learn a different language. But, we always put off doing the activities that would produce those outcomes.
For whatever you want in life, the keys are creating new habits and making better daily choices.
If you want support with that, my habits and daily rhythms class starts Monday, (see below).
Habits and Rhythms 4-week class
Starts Monday August 5
I asked my readers what class they would like and they said one that combines what they’ve learned in the time, finance, declutter and self-care classes to help create habits and rhythms.
It’s time to put it all together.
Even if you haven’t taken the other classes, this will be a great class to create those habits you have wanted to create.
Format: Weekly chat sessions at 8pm ET Mondays (transcript is sent if you can’t attend)
Then we can check in as much as you would like for accountability in the private facebook group. This will be where you really make the changes. If you have been wanting to make habits stick, but they don’t seem to stick on your own, the support may be what you need.
As this is a pilot program the class will only be $17. So if you have been wanting to try one of my classes this is a great one to start with.
It’s that time of year for some of you. Here is my back to school checklist.
Also, a mentor of mine, Jan Lundy, has a timely book out: Mindful Mommy’s Back-to-School Survival Guide http://www.janlundy.com/new-book-release.html
Every Sunday evening I hop on my computer with music going and a drink of water to do my weekly planning.
For me, weekly planning isn’t about planning to get all your to do’s done. Instead weekly planning is to make conscious decisions about your time and life. Rather than just do the to dos that life throws you, you are deciding what is important for you.
I like to get quiet before my weekly planning. I pray, but you can center yourself however you choose. The pausing gets you out of flight or fight mode where many live most of the time.
Once I am calm, I think of my top 3 things that are most important to do or think about this week – usually gleaned from monthly planning and what my accountability partner Marcia and I talked about at our Thursday Skype chat. These I schedule into my Google calendar so I make time for them.
While I am in the calendar I look over the week to see if there is anything I need to prepare. Then I peek at the next few weeks as well.
Health is important to me so I write out my exercise schedule. Last week it was:
Sunday – swim at the beach
Monday – weights and yoga
Tuesday – walk with a friend
Wednesday – Zumba DVD
Thursday – off
Friday – weights and yoga
Saturday – Groove dance class
Then I plan my menu if I didn’t do a monthly plan. I include snacks which tends to be my downfall in healthy eating.
People are important to me as well so I plan time with my family and a friend or two. (An extrovert might need more social time.) Or I plan if I am invited to an event. Do I need a present? What will I wear? How do I get there?
And finally to keep myself wanting to get out of bed in the morning I make sure I have at least one thing to look forward to every day (some are from earlier planning).
Sunday – church, take pictures of the sunset at the beach
Monday – out to eat with my husband
Tuesday – morning walk with a friend, evening reading time
Wednesday – play the piano
Thursday – see the Street Performers or concert in the park with a friend
Friday – play with my visual journal
Saturday – farmer’s market with my daughter
If I am not having any fun or not taking care of myself or neglecting my relationships, it’s because I am not planning. What will your week be like?