Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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

Many gals have a shoe thing. 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 hard to let go of items that have memories attached, cost a lot of money or were a gift from a loved one. Most people, however, do not have enough closet and storage space for shoes that are not being worn. Discard any that are damaged, and donate pairs that are too small or unstylish to you. Now’s the time to give old boots the boot and kick those broken high heels to the curb once and for all.

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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Law of Subtraction

We live in a world where bigger is better and more is all the rage. When we are trying to get the life we want, it often involves adding something new: a new routine to lose weight, exercising more, taking a class or starting a new activity. Also, we are always looking for more time–most of us want to spend more time with our friends and family. Lately, we have heard many promises that if you just put out the intent, then it will all happen for you. In our business we have found that this simply is not true for most of our clients. Our clients’ lives are so packed full already that adding just one or two more things in to the mix or the thought of adding anything else is just too overwhelming. Simply willing something you would like to happen is not enough.

We live in a high pressured, busy, success driven, in search of perfection and not excellence type of world. Often you can’t get what you really want because your current lifestyle is so jam-packed with things you don’t want, that there is just no room for anything else.

So before you contemplate adding anything else in your life, practice the law of subtraction. Remember, when you say “yes” to something you have to say “no” to something else. So let’s say “no” to some things, so we have the space to say “yes” to things we want.

You can do this in many ways:

-If your boss is piling more tasks on an already full plate – ask what could get postponed or handed off to someone else.

-If you are making impromptu purchases of clothing, furniture and accessories – ask yourself what you are going to let go of that you already own.

-If you start worrying about a future event – ask yourself what nice things you won’t have time to think about as a result of this worrying. Are you willing to give up those nice thoughts for something that may not happen, alter your mood and cause frustration?

Stop spending time with toxic people who don’t make you feel good and find more time to spend with the friends that empower you and make you feel great.

-You no longer do your children’s laundry or pack their lunches and have more time to do the things you would like to around your home.

-You spend less time sitting in front of the TV or your computer and you find the time to get moving and do some exercise.

-You say no to extra volunteer activities and have more time for activities with your partner.

It has been my experience that less is really more.

You don't always have to say "yes", even if it is something that you feel you are obligated to do. Saying "no" makes room for the things that matter most in life. Practice the Law of Subtraction and less can actually make you happier and healthier.

Colette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, is a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people set priorities, stay focused, manage time, and transitions so they can achieve their goals, grow their business and be more successful. Contact her at www.coletterobicheau.com and sign up for her newsletter of useful tips at www.organizeanything.com.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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

Time is when you designate an amount of time in hours or minutes and you simply stop when you are complete. You are free to stop because you have reached your goal and then you can get on with your day or weekend.

Task is when you describe what needs to get done by just one specific area, location or job. This goal is complete when that individual task is finished. It is vital that you are very specific as to what your task goal looks like.

We are often overwhelmed when we approach our goals because everything just looks too big. We spend so much time worrying about getting it all done and we get nothing done.

To avoid this try the following:
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.

Here are some examples of some ways you can approach you’re to do list for different areas of your life:

Time: Two hours, Saturday morning before noon.
-Sort all sporting goods
-Throw out broken items
-Donate unused
-Store the rest

Bedroom closet
Time: 15 minutes each time I put the laundry away
-Organize all pants on pant hangers by colour, length and season
-Repeat for shirts
-Donate unused items

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

By setting your goals by time or task you can free yourself by creating more of a sense of completion to those somewhat overwhelming projects. Do the allotted time or perform the allotted task. It’s your choice.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Take the Ten Minute Challenge

When you only have a few minutes before going to lunch, attending a meeting, or leaving for an appointment, it often seems useless to start any important or involved task. But those few minutes could be a great start to getting yourself organized or chipping away at a larger project.

On average this “transition time” can add up to about 40 minutes a day. This can be even more for those who commute. Think of how much you could get done with an extra 40 minutes every work day!

Instead of wasting this time, 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. This could be making a list of materials you need or notes on who you need to call. You can take a few minutes to gather everything you will need so that the next time you have another few minutes you can dig right in and start another step with ease.

 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. Make a quick call or email to see if they are available.

 Decide 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.

 Waiting time can also be used to further your life goals. For example you can use commuting time to read a book or learn a new language (on audio for those who are driving). Research a topic of interest on the internet, start the plans for your next vacation or check schedules for a recreational activity you were only pondering.

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