Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where's your launch pad?

Time or Task- You Choose How to Get Things Done

When it comes to adding things to the To Do list think in terms of describing your goal as a time or a task.

For Example:
Time: 15 minutes at the end of each day
-File two inches of paper from a pile to be filed

Remember we can't do a project. We have to break it down in to smaller manageable pieces.

1. Think about how you can break things down in to smaller and smaller manageable pieces that are easier to get you started.
2. What are the beginning and the end of the job?
3. Decribe your time or task so you are able to say "yes" or "no" to whether you completed your goal.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time or Task- You Choose How to Get Things Done

Time or Task- You Choose How to Get Things Done

When it comes to adding things to the To Do list think in terms of describing your goal as a time or a task.

For Example:
Time: 15 minutes at the end of each day
-File two inches of paper from a pile to be filed

Remember we can’t do a project. We have to break it down in to smaller manageable pieces.

1. Think about how you can break things down in to smaller and smaller manageable pieces that are easier to get you started.
2. What are the beginning and the end of the job?
3. Decribe your time or task so you are able to say “yes” or “no” to whether you completed your goal.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sticky Do’s and Sticky Don’ts

Do use sticky notes for:
  • Marking catalog and magazine pages
  • Reminding your self of special tasks (on bathroom mirror, front door, fridge).
  • Out of office notice-have sticky notes prepared to leave on your office door such as back in 10 minutes, at lunch, working at home, in a meeting.
  • Flow charts and scheduling.
  • To avoid writing on original documents.
  • Brain storming sessions.
  • For quick lists (errands, groceries) to place on your to do list.
  • For daily affirmations. Put a positive message on mirror.
  • To enter the fax number on a document you are faxing.
  • Writing positive notes to employees and family members.

Don’t use sticky notes for:
  • To remind yourself of day-to-day activities or projects.
  • When there is more than one task to complete.
  • As a record of phone messages. Use a notebook instead.
  • As a method of retaining information on permanent documents. They can get knocked off and will dry out after awhile.
  • To label computer disks and CDs
  • For external or formal correspondence.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When a Shoe Thing is No Longer a Good Thing - When to Say Goodbye to Those Extra Pairs

When a Shoe Thing is No Longer a Good Thing - When to Say Goodbye to Those Extra Pairs
A shoe thing is more than just having a reasonable amount of shoes to wear, it’s about collecting them and not letting any of them go. It’s a good time to retire a pair of shoes when:
1. They are scuffed up and worn so they lack support and tread and cannot be repaired.
2. Your toes can’t move in them and the last time you wore them left you in pain and having to rush for a chair.
3. You are waiting to stretch the shoe before you can actually leave your home in it.
4. You really can’t walk in them properly no matter how hard you try.
5. You are waiting for the style to come back.
6. You are regularly hiding your shoe purchases from your partner.
7. The odour your shoe gives off arrives in the room before you do.
8. You are holding onto certain footwear for sentimental reasons.
9. You have dozens of shoes for every activity known to man. The problem is you don’t do half of those activities.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Routines Rock!

Routines Rock!
Here’s how to create a rockin’ routine or to rework one you already have:
1. Make a list of some of the regular activities you do in the run of a day like getting the kids ready for school, exercising, email or a report at work.
2. Estimate how much time it takes to do each task.
3. Try to group actions by similar activity and location to minimize the amount of time you spend running back and forth, such as preparing supper, getting dressed for work, or items to be photocopied or sent out at work.
4. To finish your routine, write down your tasks in the order you will perform them along with the time allotted for each.
5. Use the times to limit the amount of time you spend on an activity (like getting dressed or primping).
6. Add up the times to determine a start time to begin your routine.
7. Be sure to give yourself a buffer zone of extra time for unexpected events.
8. Save time and adapt to curve balls by completing tasks before you need to do them.
9. To create some new habits try linking them to ones that are already in place. Put a load of laundry in as you start to make supper.
Once you make your routines rock, you’ll see how it can save you time, toil, and trouble every day.

Monday, March 30, 2009


With everything going on in the world today it makes us wonder how prepared we really are. Even if an emergency isn’t constantly at our doorstep, our lives will run a lot smoother and we will feel a little more in control with some proper planning.


Make sure you have a back up system that is in place and check it sporadically
Be aware of evacuation procedures
Keep a first aid kit in your office
Be able to quickly find documents of ownership and entitlement to property
Have access to your bank records and account numbers
If possible let employees know where and when they can be contacted


Does your family have a plan for abnormal situations?
Can you quickly put your hands on all vital documents?
Do you have cash on hand in your home in case you need to leave?


Make sure you have a full tank of gas and put together a small bag of supplies in the corner of the trunk for emergencies:

Warm hat and mitts
Small blanket
Flashlight with spare batteries
Bottled water
First Aid Kit
Sanitation Supplies
Salt or Sand

Friday, March 20, 2009

Never Lose Your Cell Phone Again!

Never Lose Your Cell Phone Again!

Here are some tips to help you never lose your cell phone again.

-When you are out, always store your cell phone in the same pocket of your coat, purse or briefcase so that way it will be in the same place each time.
-As soon as you get home or at the office place your phone in a cell phone holder so you will know where to grab it when it rings or when you are on the way out the door.
-Set up your cell phone holder by an outlet which you will always use to charge your phone.
-Keep your phone in a case with a clip, so you can attach it to your pocket or your purse.
-Have you ever lost your phone under the seat in the car? Remember to take your phone off silent or vibrate as soon as you are out of meetings.
-Make sure your phone is always well charged.
-Always check for your cell phone when leaving a public area such as a restaurant or public washroom.

Following these tips will simplify your high tech life. A little extra thought and planning can save you time and frustration later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Take the Ten Minute Challenge

Instead of wasting a small amount of time like 10 minutes, take the 10 minute challenge! Try some of the following suggestions when you have a few minutes to kill. You can even get the kids involved by setting a timer and making it a game.

  • Make a list of the first few steps you need to take for a large project and, if you have time, you can start the first step.
  • Make an appointment with the dentist, doctor or other practitioner.
  • Sort through the mail, open everything and discard all the envelopes and non essentials to recycling.
  • Tidy up your email- deleting and filing.
  • Straighten your desk.
  • Look at your schedule for the next month and find a good time that you could see a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Decide on your meals for next week and make a grocery list.
  • Organize your briefcase, purse, book bag, or gym bag.
  • Grab a donation bag or box and look around the room or in a closet for a quick pick of some things you no longer use or love and pass them along.
  • Use commuting time to read a book or learn a new language.

The ten minute challenge is a great way to squeeze a little more activity into your busy schedule!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memories or Maybe - What's Your Clutter?

The most important things in our lives are those that are with us in the present: those items we use frequently and enjoy regularly. Being stuck in the past or dreaming of the future creates mental and physical clutter.

Do you hear yourself saying?

I can’t let that go, it belonged to…
That was a gift, so I have to keep it…
I loved that…
I used that all the time…
That was my favorite…
I paid a lot of money for that

These are statements related to your past. Our emotions tied to our past or someone else’s in the case of inherited goods leads us to cling to these items.

When you say:

I’m going to do that...
As soon as _____, I’m starting that...
I could use that sometime…
What if my ____ breaks – then I will need this.
It would be really nice to …
Just in case…
I should ….

These are future statements. If you hang on to extra things, “Just in case” you will have a harder time finding and using the items you do need today.

Take a look around your home and see where you are living: past, present or future.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Like to find some money? It pays to get organized.

A recent poll by the US based National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) found that an impressive 78% have found money or un-cashed checks during an organizing project and a fairly remarkable 26% of respondents have found $1000 or more. It proves it literally pays to get organized!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to Sleep in a Half an Hour Later Each Day

Here are some tips to get you that extra shut eye and reduce the anxiety in the morning hours.

The night before…
-Set table and prepare breakfast items.
-Have vitamins and medications ready to be taken.
-Use a coffee pot with a timer.
-Prepare lunches when making dinner.
-Have a basket by the door labeled for each family.
-For children, get home work together and in knapsack
-For adults have briefcases, purses, gym bags at door.
-Know where your keys are.
-Create checklists for different bags or activities.
-Review your calendar and know what’s up for the following day.
-Prepare the clothes to be worn the next day.
-Take a shower or bath the night before.
-Get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Also try…
-Simplifying your toiletries or cosmetic routine.
-Carpooling or sharing some other duties
-Getting a real sense of how much time things take.
-Organizing closets, bathrooms, kitchen cupboards and pantries.

Start your day off on the right track with some new organizing tips and tricks that give you the extra sleep you and your family crave.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Being Organized Takes the Sting Out of Tax Time

A few simple reminders to save you money:
  • If you plan to seek expert advice during the tax season, look early
  • If using an expert, bring everything related to your taxes, including last year’s information
  • Have a system to separate all your paperwork- this could be envelopes, an accordion file or file folders
  • After you have organized your papers and receipts in categories, flatten them out and have them upright to save time for you or the expert.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Room to Spare

What do you do with that extra room in the house? The one that has no real purpose except to collect things? What to do with a spare room:

1. Dump the junk- Don’t waste that spare room with an accumulation of junk.

2. Guestroom– Create a spa-like retreat for your guests.

3. Craft or hobby room– You finally have a place to do your scrapbooking, sewing, or painting!

4. Gifting- Have a room just for gift giving. Keep ribbons, gift bags, tags, and wrapping paper in the room along with any items you have purchased ahead of time for gifts.

5. Exercise room- This does not mean you have to have all the big equipment that you find at a gym, but if the area is designated as a workout space, you are more likely to do your yoga, palates, and strength training.

6. Home office- Instead of letting paper pile up on your coffee table or kitchen counter, set up an area to pay bills and answer mail.

7. Mediation room– Oh, to have some peace and quiet…create it! Don’t allow anything in this area that doesn’t bring you peace and tranquility.

8. Room to spare, room to share– create that media room, music, pool, puzzle, card or board game room and invite friends over for a night of fun and hospitality.

9. Renovators rescue- Use the empty room as the spare room to hold addition furniture, etc. when you are renovating.

Take the next steps today to give that spare room some real purpose and turn it into a room that will give you a feeling of satisfaction and relaxation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dreaming of a Good Night’s Sleep – 8 Tips to Create a Restful Sleep

If you are tired of tossing and turning, follow these 7 tips to enjoy an uninterrupted night of shut eye.
1) Organizing yourself the night before can help to alleviate stress allowing you to benefit from a more restful sleep.
2) Wash your bedding and sleepwear regularly.
3) Try not to exercise right before you go to bed.
4) It is important to try to cut back on all caffeine products, but especially be mindful of your consumption before bedtime.
5) Give yourself enough time to get a pleasant and relaxing sleep.
6) Try to watch something light hearted on television before you go to bed, listen to soft music or read a calming book.

7) Too much light may be keeping you awake. Dim the lights an hour before bedtime to prepare your mind.
8) Try deep breathing while counting sheep. Try counting your breaths.
By following these suggestions, you will see an improvement in your sleep patterns and wake up feeling refreshed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Calling All Cell Phone Users - Show Proper Etiquette

Here are a few courtesy ideas to show others before dialing those digits or answering those rings.

If you are in an enclosed area, keep your voice down or keep off the phone altogether.

Get in the habit of checking to see that your phone is turned off, or on vibrate before going into the meeting, restaurant or theater.

Keep your phone out of sight while driving so you will not be tempted to make a call.
When on a cell phone, don’t talk louder than you would on a land line.
Keep all calls concise and to the point.
Eliminate phone calls that are solely made to showcase your cell.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Are the Winter Blues Getting You Down?

It’s cold outside and everyone is spending a little more time indoors. When it’s too cold to leave your office why not grab lunch at your desk and assign that time to work on an organizing project.

Take the opportunity to work on your files. Here are a few tips:

1. Every time you start a new project, create a file folder for it. Get rid of those piles.

2. Staple relevant materials together. Paperclips tend to catch on other papers within the file.

3. Color code your files. Use color to designate your priority tasks or client files, so that you can quickly search your files by scanning for a specific color.

4. Keep files thin. Whenever you have to retrieve something, spend a few minutes tossing out paperwork that you no longer need.

5. When placing a file back in the cabinet always look in the folder before and after and do a quick purge.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Use what you have – the cure for your post-Christmas financial blues

Save money-use what you have. You’ll be surprised at how many items you have lying around that you’ve never used. Items that, by using them, will create more space in your home and save you money.

For example:

1. Use those gift cards and certificates you received over the past year.

2. Those decorative candles? They were meant to be lit and to burn out, so use them before you buy new ones.

3. Check your books and magazines. There’s always one you haven’t read. Consider canceling subscriptions.

4. Take an inventory of the food that you have and think about ways to use it.

5. Why rent when you can catch up on movies you’ve collected, or programs you’ve recorded?

6. Built up a lot of points on your merchant loyalty cards for air travel, products or services? Now is the time to redeem them.

7. You probably have more beauty supplies than you realize. It’s time to take stock and start using them.

8. Have a lot of loose change around your house? Gather it up and use it.

9. Instead of a new hobby or craft, revisit one that you set aside. You’ll save money on supplies.

What are your ideas for using what you have to save money?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Planning the Perfect Dinner Party

Hosting a dinner party takes preparation and organization. Here are some suggestions to help make your next gathering easy and memorable.

1) Start by making pre and post checklists of the supplies you will need.

2) Figure out how big or small a get-together you would like to have so you can plan your budget.

3) Consider your china, dishes, flatware and cooking pots you will use.

4) If you plan on having a party on a specific holiday, be prepared for a fewer number of RSVPs.

5) Time your invitation for people to come half an hour to an hour before you plan to serve dinner.

6) Ask friends and family members for help as well.

7) An organized house is more attractive and welcoming to your guests.

Take time for yourself before guests begin arriving. Being a relaxed and stress free party host is the best thing to serve your guests.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

News Years Resolutions or Fatal Attraction?

Have you set and broken many of your New Years Resolutions already? The law of attraction says we will draw those things towards us that we spend time thinking about.

Attract more of the positive and create brighter possibilities:

Don’t get caught up in the New Year hype.

Instead of focusing on making a resolution, focus on what you have accomplished last year and how you can take those positive events and use them towards making this year the best yet.
Look back on how you made your special memories and how you can create more to last a lifetime.

Picture those activities you shared with loved ones.
Think about what you are most proud of in your career.
Live your life with meaningful intent.
Take charge of your own well-being, embrace it and enjoy everything that the New Year has to offer you.

Resolve to evolve into the person you want to be by attracting what you want.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Flaw of January 1

Quote from author, Ellen Goodman:
“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.’

Paper Trail: Common Sense in Uncommon Times by Ellen Goodman