Wow! What a role model for being this calm, collected and grateful in such devastation and loss.
Prayers for more blessings and finds for all natural disaster victims worldwide.
Wow! What a role model for being this calm, collected and grateful in such devastation and loss.
Prayers for more blessings and finds for all natural disaster victims worldwide.
“Procrastination is the foundation of all disasters.”
~ Pandora Poikilos
TO DO LIST
Feeling overwhelmed can make us stall out and stop moving ahead on projects. Does that happen to you? If so, these strategies will get your focused and moving into the doing, getting your checklists checked off for good, sooner than later.
If we focus only on the BIG JOB we can feel exhausted before even starting. It’s just too much! So, see the job instead as a series of small, incremental pieces or “projects”. Then figure out how much TIME it will take to get started and to complete each smaller task or project. TIME BLOCK each one separately making them doable.
Schedule these TIME BLOCKS into your daily calendar/schedule, making each as important as a doctor’s appointment – no cancelling or missing it. They are that important too! Getting your TO DOs TO DONE can actually help keep you out of the doctor’s office by keeping your stress level down.
How? Because, when you move ahead on projects that make you feel good, your body and brain respond with floods of endorphins and other good chemical reactions that lower your stress, support good health and boost your self-esteem too. When you don’t do the TO DOs – and usually feel guilty, mad at and bad about yourself – your body reacts in a negative flood of stress chemicals that are bad for you, your health and your self-esteem.
“The essence of self-discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.”
~ Barry Werner
Make a long term PLAN to TIME BLOCK and SCHEDULE in your TO DOs and PROJECTS every day for the big picture and to get your checklist checked off for good!
Because, as it’s been said for decades, “We don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan.”
Without a PLAN or vision for the outcomes and results we truly want, we bog down and get stuck, which can swirl into stress, anxiety and depression; a very bad spiral in which to live and waste our precious lives. Wouldn’t you agree?
But, a long term PLAN without short term doable tasks and projects that can be completed and realized quickly just will not hold our attention for long.
PLAN IN FUN, TOO!
Don’t wait until you get all of your TO DOs TO DONE in order to have fun! PLAN your fun into the schedule and enjoy both!
HOW I CAN HELP YOU
Whether I, “Dr. DeClutter”, make a “house call” and help you dig in, or we have a Priority Coaching call to figure out how to get you started and move forward on your plan, I’m here for you.
How many emails do you have in your email inbox?
How many can you really read in this lifetime?!
Maybe it’s time to take a deep breath and press the DELETE ALL button, declutter your inbox, and start over.
Cluttered, overloaded inboxes waste time and sacrifice productivity. Use these 7 simple ways to declutter your inbox and get time and space back quickly.
1. Set up Priority Inbox.
If you use Gmail, you may be missing out on an amazing feature called Priority Inbox. Priority Inbox puts new emails in two different places within your inbox – one for ones it considers important, and another for ones it considers unimportant, based on the sender and subject line. So, eventhough you might have 90+ new emails when you fire up your computer in the morning, you can immediately see the 12 that need your attention, rather than getting lost in a sea of “daily deal” offers and cat slideshows until lunch.
Check your email provider options and see if it has something like this.
2. Create filters.
Many email providers allow you to set up filters for certain types of emails. You can use these filters to do lots of things – apply a certain label to an email, delete it, send it immediately to a certain folder and more. For the emails that you get a lot of that aren’t urgent, set up filters for them to skip your inbox and go straight into a certain folder to look at later. Then, once a day, go into that folder and see what’s new. I use this for topics I research often and get great ideas to help my blog readers.
3. Create and name folders.
This is like using the auto-filter system, but you create the folder and then click and drag, or click and move the email to your specified folder.
4. Use Boomerang For Gmail.
Boomerang is a free plug-in for Firefox and Chrome with Gmail that allows you to do things like schedule an email to send in the future, bring an email back to your inbox at a certain time (like your flight itinerary the day before your trip) or return an email back to your inbox if you have not received a reply to it after X days. Rather than leaving an email in your inbox just to remind yourself to follow up on it or have it to easily access for later, use Boomerang to clear it out for now and have it come back when you actually need it.
5. Unsubscribe from 90 percent of the lists you’re on.
While you probably just delete most of these unwanted emails every day — like snail-junk-mail that you keep recycling but don’t actually get off their mailing list — they clog your inbox, keep coming back, waste your time checking them off and then pushing delete, and make it hard for you to see the emails that actually matter.
Ways to unsubscribe:
a) If your email system will sort under the FROM column (Gmail will not unfortunately), click on FROM and they will line up A-Z. Find the ones you want to unsubscribe from and click open only one of them. Find the unsubscribe, usually at the bottom, click and complete. Then, go back into your email and delete all from that same sender. Done!
b) Or, for a span of about a week or so, every time you get an email you do not want to receive take the time to open it, scroll down, and unsubscribe from the list. It will require a little more time upfront but it will pay off in the long run when the number of emails you receive on a daily basis goes way, way down.
c) Use the Swizzle. You can also use a service like the Swizzle to help you unsubscribe from a ton of lists all at once or to opt to receive daily digests from certain lists instead of individual emails.
6. Use your calendar rather than your inbox.
People often leave emails in their inbox to remind them to do something – to make a call, start a project, or to follow up with someone. Instead of taking up valuable inbox space with emails you have already read, schedule these to-dos in your calendar to remind yourself. If you’ve been meaning to call to make an appointment somewhere but the place doesn’t open until Tuesday, create an event in your calendar for Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. as a reminder, rather than leaving the related email in your inbox (which you might not even see on Tuesday anyway because you have another dozen to 100 that came in since then and it’s just too overwhelming).
7. Delete them all and start over!
The co-founder of Twitter says that he has “email bankruptcy every 30 days.” He deletes them all and starts over. He said that he gets thousands of emails a month and doesn’t have an assistant or anyone to help, and wants to keep it that way and personal. So, he dumps them all and says, “If someone really wants to contact me, they’ll email me again, or, try Twitter!”
Like decluttering anything, when you finally do it, it really does feel great.
2 BONUS E-DECLUTTER IDEAS:
Like material clutter, every time you opt into a new one new ezine, you have to unsubscribe from one.
Or, just like “you can’t buy anymore because there’s no room, no place to put more,” think of your inbox the same way. You can’t “bring any more home” unless you declutter first!
Of course, I hope you enjoy my newsletter enough to not delete it or unsubscribe! But, it’s okay if you do too, I understand.
Find more information on decluttering home and office/paper and more in my information packed ebook
Wait for a quick ad and then you’re in!
Using your laptop at your favorite cafe, latte’ lounge or airport?
Many computer and data security experts say you should avoid public Wi-Fi all together due to the rise in free Wi-Fi hacking.
There are ways to be more secure. If you need to check something on the internet, you can follow these suggestions to keep your risk to a minimum.
You can also read more about FREE Wi-Fi tips from John Sileo.
1. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
Check with your work or school to see if it offers this connection. Turning on a VPN connection on a public Wi-Fi network is like creating a secure digital tunnel your data can travel through that is out of reach of hackers. Data is encrypted. Some companies will provide you with a VPN client, which is software on your computer.
2. Use encrypted browsing.
When connecting to websites, see if there is an “s” after “http” in the your browser. It should look like “https://” This insures the data you’re sending and receiving from this website is encrypted on a Wi-Fi network. Watch out while using websites that don’t use this type of browsing.
3. Turn off sharing!
Many laptops have “sharing” enabled on some of their hard drives and printers. This allows someone using the same network as you to open up whatever you have “shared.” To find out how to turn off sharing, you can usually find the answer in the help section of your computer software. Right-clicking on your hard drive and folder icons can also open up the properties section in Windows so you can disable sharing.
4. Set up firewalls on your computer or device. Firewalls can be set up using software that will filter data. Firewalls can be set to stop connections to certain websites while on a public Wi-Fi network.
5. Don’t do any banking or shopping on public networks.
Even if you’re using an encrypted connection, it’s best to avoid plugging in credit card numbers while using pubic Wi-Fi. Thieves have been known to watch people type in their credit card numbers on keyboards.
6. Don’t automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Some devices and computers have a setting that allow you to “remember” Wi-Fi network so you don’t have to repeatedly click on it to connect. Leaving this function on can cause your computer to connect to the network without your knowledge.
7. Use reputable anti-virus software.
Hackers can also install malware on your laptop if you’re using their bogus Wi-Fi network. The malware can be used to log your keystrokes.
8. Question the Wi-Fi network.
If you must use public Wi-Fi, ask the business behind it to make sure you’re connecting to the legit network. Employees or management at a hotel or coffee shop should be able to recognize the network.
9. Change your passwords routinely and use multiple passwords.
Hackers know people have a habit of using the same two or three passwords for their email, banking and social media accounts. Try not to use the same passwords and routinely change them to something complex. Avoid incorporating children’s names or birthdays in your passwords.
See this full article and tips at Denver 9news.com.
Does your table gather piles, stacks and overflowing lumps of stuff? This can be the cause of increased stress and loss of time and productivity in any home.
Whether your tables are in the basement, the kitchen, dining room or loft, it is not a storage device! Kitchen counters and islands are certainly in the group too.
The dining room table should not be a dumping ground for piles of paperwork, craft materials, bicycle parts, unfinished projects, fishing gear and school projects that don’t have deadlines.
A cluttered table can’t do what it’s meant to do, like have a nice meal several times a day, read the paper, do lessons, etc. when it’s a mess.
WHAT TO DO?
STOP walking by the table and ignoring it! STOP for 10 – 90 minutes at a time and DECIDE what each pile is about.
SORT each chunk you pick up into a box to reroute to and RETURN to where it really belongs. See more on sorting in my post here.
With everything you touch and pick up to decide what to do with, always think, “Where does this LIVE?” And, “Where is its HOME?” Take it there and teach everyone in the house what the plan is for them to help keep “it” living, or returning to live, in its home when done with “it.”
Learn to value emptiness rather than seeing it as a vacancy and open space to just dump on and walk away.
I have lots of great ideas for decluttering your home and office in my ebook, Burn Your House Down!
Does your house have good Chi?
It’s great to live in a home with great “flow” and harmony with our stuff and things. No clutter. No piles. Everything streamlined and humming perfectly, right? That’s good chi.
Chi (chee) is natural energy.
Just as everything is made up of vibrating molecules, chi/energy runs through our bodies as well as through our homes and through all space and things everywhere.
When it comes to our homes and living environments, the placement of furniture, plants, colors, texture and other items, creating balance and harmony in everyday life, are really helpful to create a good chi, a good energy flow that then makes us feel so much better.
Benefits from good chi and flow in our homes
Creating harmony in our homes means giving everything focused attention and intention to get it there the first time, and them maintain it.
This kind of attention and intention in every area of your life is a must if you are to gain focus and clarity. Intention in your decisions, actions and choices. Intention is “What do you want to happen here?” “What do you ‘intend’ to happen?”
Everything in your home must have a definite answer to, “What is the ‘purpose’ of this?” “I don’t know” is not the answer!
How to get good chi
1) First, declutter and clear out everything that does not support you, your present and future life, and your joy. (Please recycle and donate so that others can use what you don’t want of course.)
2) Organize everything you can into the “homes” where they belong, and where they “live.”
3) Then, learn, read, study all the ways to make your space flow better and work for you.
4) Hire (by referral) someone who listens to you and works with your personality.
Please note that I have been hired to re-organize in homes and offices where they’ve already hired a Professional Organizer or Feng Shui consultant and because they didn’t listen to the client’s needs, the client still didn’t have a “functional” system and needed help again. Maybe the more important part of decorating and energy balancing is attention to “listening!”
Get all my tips and ideas in my ebook, Burn Your House Down!
Feng Shui Tips
This is a good resource to find ideas for positioning furniture, etc. to make the flow of your space up your chi! Click to order.
When you need space to sort – and your counter tops, desk, table tops and maybe even floor is/are cluttered and full too! – just get out a towel, blanket or sheet and drape it over the top of the surface on which you want to sort. Or use an empty box lid or even plastic storage box of any size.
Just use something that is clean and empty in which you can go through the sorting process with less visual distraction, confusion and oh, yeah… STRESS!!
When you’ve cleared off enough of the surface you can then use the surface itself.
Find more tips in my book Burn Your House Down! And 99 other ways to create an organized life.
Do you have excuses for holding onto clutter?
”I might need this someday!”
”I don’t know what it belongs to . . . but I’d better keep it.”
”We’re going to use it someday.”
”I’m keeping it for… (who?)”
Do you have phrases and thoughts like this go through your head, and out of your mouth, about your clutter and “stuff?”
Part of assessing and letting go of clutter is getting ruthlessly realistic about it.
Excuses and “reasons” for holding onto things that are out of date, have no future use, are lost from the complete set or bigger item, or are unidentifiable just don’t hold water, and are keeping you stressed and overwhelmed.
1. Get a new perspective about it. Think how the same excuses would sound to you if they came out of the mouth of a friend. Would you be thinking, “Yea, right,” or would you think that she made sense?
Getting outside ourselves, getting perspective, is an exercise in perception to make it easier to identify our faulty reasoning.
2. Ask yourself honestly, “If my house burned down . . . would I miss it? Would I know I even had it?” I ask this question often on my jobs and in my workshops. Sometimes we need a new perspective that shocks us enough to jolt us out of our trance.
If you actually feel relieved thinking it would be “burned” and gone, or at least gone . . . then, let go of it now and enjoy your home with less stuff and decisions not being made!
3. If you won’t get rid of these things, at least contain, categorize and label them so that you can find them when you DO need them!
Use zip type baggies and clear tubs so that you can see what you have. Many items may go into the same category: USE IN THE BACK YARD. Or, FOR BASEMENT SHELVES. FOR KIDS TOYS.
And in your household? Those are scary stats that are echoed in many other countries around the world.
People complain about rising food costs, yet waste food daily. Does that make sense?
And, did you know that, unless you are feeding your food waste directly to animals or composting it, all trashed food typically ends up on landfills thus producing the greenhouse gas methane, on top of all the damage and landfill that the excess packaging and transporting causes?
I’ll add another problem here – we’re teaching another generation to waste, to not be efficient and to care be oblivious about how their daily patterns and habits affect themselves and others. We can change, and we can be better teachers and stewards starting today.
Here are keys to become more conscious and more organized for ourselves, and a better steward to our very cool planet, while saving money! How great is that?!
9 Plus Ways to Stop Wasting Food
1. Inventory, Declutter and Organize What You Have – What’s in your cupboards? Fridge? Freezer? Pantry? We tend to buy more and waste food because we don’t know what we have to begin with. Get a notepad and take stock of what you have. Categories will include: meats, veggies, fruit, dairy, prepared meals, canned foods, etc. While you’re taking your inventory you may of course be tossing some things as you’ll find you forgot something in the back and it’s rotten, rancid or growing parts unintended!
TIP: From your inventory, don’t buy another thing until you plan meals from what you already have that needs to be used up, especially opened products and fresh fruit/veggies.
2. Use Grocery Stocker Techniques – Move perishable foods, like dairy products with the nearest expiration date and leftovers to the front of the fridge and cabinets, store the newer items behind the older ones. Use labeling to mark containers for all to see when it was cooked, when it should be used by, etc. to help out too. (No, you don’t need a fancy labeler for this! Just a piece of scratch paper taped to the side or top of the container is fine!)
TIP: Perishables can be repurposed! If you have strawberries, bananas, etc. that are just not going to get eaten soon enough, including bread, rolls and leftovers, put into zipper bags and freezer suitable containers and freeze. Use fruit and veggies in smoothies later! Breads can be used anytime for anything again.
3. Use Your Inventory for Your Shopping List — Place your inventory notepad on the fridge with a list of the basics in your categories. Scratch off items as you use them (keeping you from overbuying).
4. Buy Realistic Quantities — Don’t bulk buy when there’s no way you and your family, which may have dwindled over the past year or more, can possibly eat. You are NOT saving money!
5. Cook Realistic Quantities – Don’t cook for eight when there’s only two or three of you. You don’t need the leftovers or calories. Or, if you’re really into leftovers, great! (I like leftovers!) But then make sure to a) plan to eat them soon and, or b) freeze them – with a label!
6. Plan Ahead — Not only on your food list, but meal plan as well. With a meal plan you know exactly what you need and are not buying haphazardly.
7. Food Shopping Tips
a) Don’t shop on an empty stomach – you’ll tend to buy more and items you normally wouldn’t “crave” or impulse buy.
b) Shop more often and buy less – you’ll buy and eat the food more quickly and consciously in a plan, leaving less opportunity to find that later in the week you don’t want that great selection anymore and it’s decaying every second.
c) Buy only what you will definitely eat – you know what your eating habits are, you know what you really like and don’t like, buy accordingly. If yours is not a great diet then make only one change a week and eat it right away before you fall back into your old patterns and it rots one more time.
d) Set a budget – a budget in any area of our spending life limits our unconscious spending. Thinking through your purchases is not a sign of poverty or confusion, it’s a sign of discernment and healthy decision making for what you really want and need.
8. Use Your Freezer – There are very few foods that can’t be frozen for future thaw and use. Buy extra meat (getting a better price), split it up and freeze it right away for future use. Break apart loaves of sliced bread and freeze 3-4 pieces in a baggy to use when you’re ready. Be sure to regularly review your freezer contents and LABEL them so as not to risk freezer burn creating more wasted food!
9. Eating Out Tips — When you know you’re going to eat out, carry a “doggy bag” with you. I do! I keep some in my car all the time “just in case” too. Why waste more containers and bags to the landfill for a small leftover when you can take in your own zipper bag, plastic or glass container in which to haul it back home for another great meal? Restaurants overfeed us, but we can make a meal or two more out of it saving money and enjoying it again, while keeping food and packaging trash from the landfill. You can also NOT biggie-size your orders and ask for 1/2 orders.
Bottom line? Food is a wonderful thing and how nice to have so many choices! Enjoy it while being organized and efficient with it.
Find some good answers here too:
It’s that time! Spring break!
Where are you going? What are you doing? What’s the plan?
Whether you’re going somewhere or sleeping, have a plan so that you enjoy every minute.
There are many ways to plan and experience your spring break this year. The overall best way is to have fun, be safe and create stories and memories that you won’t regret or are embarrassed about later! They’ll be all over TV and the Internet soon enough.
Here are some tips and links that will help you help yourself to a great fun time!
1: Plan ahead.
Don’t “assume” you’ll get a ticket, a room, or whatever you dream of having when you “get there” and if you get there.
2: Tell a friend, family members where you are going.
Being a free spirit is lovely, and can get you into trouble too. Make sure someone has your travel plan. Take travel warnings seriously. “Stay on the trail”, and take a friend with you.
3: Take care of your body.
- Drink lots of water if you’re going to be in the sun or racing down ski slopes all day.
- Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Limit alcohol. Your future employers may skip right by you if they see social media pictures of you drunk and crazy. It’s not worth it. I don’t need to go into all of the other reasons not to drink, get drunk and set yourself up for problems, right?
4. Sex? Protect yourself.
You know the lecture, right? Condoms, etc. etc. etc. Your life and future and dreams are the core of who you are. One moment of “passion” can kill it all. Be smart. There’s always more passion!
5. Credit cards, money, license, passport, tickets, maps - protect yourself.
Make a copy of these items so if lost you have proof and the numbers. Copy both sides when numbers may be different on each side. Plan ahead to keep them somewhere safe.
6. Don’t overspend.
Plan your budget and stick to it. If you need an extra reminder and stop-gap help click here to get my free Money Pocket Sanity Tool.
7. Call/text home.
Don’t get into the “I’m freeee! I can do anything I want!” Call or text home, to friends, etc. Not so much that it stifles your fun, but enough to let others who love and care for you know that you’re okay and they don’t have to worry one more night about you.
8. Be 100% responsible.
Don’t set yourself up to have problems and then blame others for it. Be 100% responsible for yourself and your experience. Make the choices you need to make to stay with or leave your “friends” or groups of people if they are headed down a dark road and everything in you says to get out now. Get out now!
9. HAVE FUN!
Enjoy every minute! Try new foods and experiences. Don’t be shy, say hi and meet new people.