"Mummy, look at me!" "Mummy, look at me!"
I was swimming at a pool in Charlotte after having a wonderful weekend with Marcia and two other moms I met. There was only a little girl of about 4 or 5 and her mom with me.
The English mum was playing on her phone in a chair while her daughter swam. And chanted, "Mummy, look at me!" every other minute. Mummy didn’t glance up, only made an affirmative noise while nodding. "Watch, Mummy. Watch!"
I remember this time and it seemed like the kids drain your energy and always want you. But, when you spend all your time trying to run from the attention, the kids chase harder.
I can see Mummy playing in the pool with the child for part of the time. Then letting the girl play in the pool without her for a little bit. She probably would hear, "Mummy, look at me!" less often.
Technology is sneaking. You don’t even realize when it starts taking over. Especially if you are trying to anesthetize yourself from the overwhelming attention it seems your kids need.
I was talking to a mother who noticed when she left her laptop open, a quick check at email might turn into a much longer tech session. Now she keeps her laptop closed during the day, so she can spend that time with her kids.
We have to be aware because it can become an addiction. We get a little adrenal rush every time we get a new email or text message. So, we have to be conscious about our tech use.
Last week, I noticed I was checking facebook and my email in between almost every task. This is unusual for me, so I checked in with myself. Turns out I was nervous about my trip and the checking kept my mind busy so I wouldn’t feel. Not the healthiest way to live.
Look at when you reach out for technology this week. Could you be using it to anesthetize yourself from something? Or to get that adrenaline rush? Or maybe it’s become an unconscious habit?
Today is a very windy day here in Michigan. As I drove my daughter to school, I saw a seagull flying against the wind. And going nowhere. That picture reminded me of my day yesterday.
The day began with a tech emergency. Then another one. Various computer problems, simple tasks didn’t even go smoothly. My frustration kept rising all day. But, I kept pushing.
When my husband came home from work, he found me yelling at the computer.
"I don’t think that’s going to help anything."
Pausing before yelling at him, I realized he was right. Sigh.
I stopped my work which wasn’t going anywhere. And we went for a walk instead.
One of the things I tell my coaching clients, is you need to get in a great mindset before you do the work. Otherwise things are much harder. Much slower.
When nothing is flowing & everything stops working it’s probably a good time to take a break. You don’t want to be that bird going against the wind.
Too often when we hit a roadblock in something we are doing, we plow ahead. And end up spinning our wheels. The project or task seems so hard. But, it has to get done so we keep going.
If we step away, even for 5 minutes, we may come back to an easier time. Gives our subsconscious time to play with the problem.
When I am writing and things stop flowing, I put it back it in draft mode. And the next time I write it feels so easy.
Or I’ll start getting frustrated with a technical problem. I’ve learned if I keep at it I will get tight and snippy. And my mind stops looking for solutions. So I walk away. Maybe move onto a different project or I’ll stop for some water. When I come back, often the problem fix is completely obvious.
So this week, when things start to feel like a struggle, step back. See how that works for you.
I am so excited with a new lab I discovered in my Gmail Account. This one lab cuts the email I see in my email box immensely and quickly.
If you have Gmail, go to the gear at the top and click on labs. Scroll down to SmartLabels to enable.
Instead of filtering out each email list or newsletter you have, which takes a lot of time to set up, this lab creates three categories automatically:
Now your email is labeled so you know right away the more important email.
I go one step further as I don’t even want to see these in my in box. So I created filters:
With these types of messages filtered out, I can get through my email much quicker. My clients, family and friends have first priority.
When I have a break and want to look at one of the categories, I click on the label and the messages pop up.
If you find something that doesn’t belong in your new categories, click Not (bulk, notification, forum) at the top and it will be filtered correctly next time. But, so far I have been very impressed.
I’m not really an "As Seen on TV" person, but I couldn’t get my corkboard jewelry board to stay up. So when I saw UGlu at Michael’s I thought I would try it out.
I was able to get my board to stay up quickly and it hasn’t fallen down since.
UGlue has the texture of rubber cement, but it sticks better. Then you are supposed to be able to remove it easily, though I haven’t wanted to remove it from anything. I’ve read some people have no problem getting it off, but some do, depending on the material. (Walls and carpet, not so easy. ) You peel and stick like double sided tape.
It’s also helped me with simple repairs. My belt loop came apart so I UGlued it right back together. Wallpaper falling down in the kitchen – repaired in under 5 minutes. It’s good to stick tiles and this weekend I’ll use it to stick back down laminate tile on our porch.
You can also use it for crafting projects. Much less messy than the hot glue gun. And great for scrapbooking including putting on buttons and metal pieces.
I wouldn’t use it for heavy things which would hang more sturdily with nails.
I thought I’d let you know about a helpful tool I found.
With Jon’s death, I got connected to many of his friends through Facebook. Lots of oversharing by teens going on.
I know the only way my kids could be on facebook is if they friended me.
And it’s not just teens. Many adults are sharing more personal information than they realize.
To check who is seeing what, go to Account –> Privacy settings in Facebook.
The top one is Connecting on Facebook. View your settings and decide what you are comfortable with. Then Preview Profile. That will show you what people that aren’t your friends will see. If they are seeing too much, fix your settings.
The next section is Sharing on Facebook. Make sure yours is Custom. Then go to Customize Settings. Most of mine is friends only. Very important is the People Here Now section which can show friends your location. Same with Friends can check me in places.
I also found this helpful article:
I am not a inbox zero proponent. I think if you manage to get to the bottom of your email everyday, you may be spending too much time on email. I usually have about 40 in my inbox at any time. I get to the important ones then once a week I do some catch up.
But, sometimes on really busy weeks, when I’ve been on vacation, or I’ve been really lazy with email I may have more than a couple weeks of email to go through. I find the quickest way to clear out all the emails is to take a week. On Monday I will clear out all the emails from Sunday, then the Sunday before, then the Sunday before, etc. I like to go by week’s because otherwise I am afraid things from earlier week’s will take too long to get to. And it’s fun to find out that most of those older emails can be deleted or archived.
Then Tuesday I will take care of Monday’s and the Monday before and the Monday before.
In one week, the email backlog is gone.
Sometimes we make simplifying complicated. We see it as a big project. "Decluttering is too much work. Working out our finances is tedious. Discovering what is important is too difficult," we think.
But, what if we thought it was easy? What if you only look at one step at a time and see the littleness of it? What if you think of decluttering as a few minutes a day of letting go of what is burdening you? What if you think of figuring out finances as an archeological dig? Or get curious about it? And discovering what is important is actually a grand adventure.
Feel how different your energy levels are when you read the first paragraph compared to the second.
Next time you get ready to do some simplifying, get that mindset in order first to make it easier, more fun and more energetic.
If you need help breaking things down, you can try my Simplicity eCourse
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:
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.)