Let’s Get Organized

So, who is humming “Let’s Get Physical” as they read the title of today’s blog?  This month I am going to focus a lot on getting organized.  WHY?  Because it is the top New Year’s Resolutions people make.  Was it one of yours?

I admit I can be a ‘hot mess”!   From my desk and my office to the dust bunnies under the coach.  I  love to de-clutter and organize but am often overwhelmed by it.  Crazy right since I have lots of tips for everyone else?  I used to be a “just in case” gal.  The one who saved things in case they were needed from crafts to knickknacks…. you get the picture.

I am working on a room, maybe a closet/cabinet at a time cleaning things out.  One the outside it may not look like much has been cleaned out but believe me, I have been decluttering.

Are you feeling overwhelmed already in the New Year?  Day 3 with everyone is back to work and school.  Do you have a hundred things going on –  work, family, social life, daily responsibilities, goals, and the list goes on, right?  Has the day just started and you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all?

I tend to overcomplicate things. It isn’t intentional, it just happens. We are going to work on clearing the clutter (a little bit at a time) – emotionally and physically.  Once the clutter is gone, we can embrace the many blessings the Universe has for us.  So, here is some basics and we will talk about all of them in more detail as the month goes on…

CLEAN AS YOU GO

Don’t let the dishes pile up in the sink.  Put them in the dishwasher or wash them up.  Make the bed right after you get up in the morning. Open the mail as soon as you get home – tossing the junk mail. Have one spot to read later.  Doing things “as you go” will keep things neat.  It will also keep you from feeling overwhelmed or like you are constantly cleaning.

RE-EVALUATE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

We all have toxic relationships.  The people who suck the energy from us, are negative all of the time or just aren’t good for you. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with people like this. Your time is precious, so you want to spend it with people you care about, and people who make you feel good about you.  This is a process.

UNSUBSCRIBE

OMG!  You will be amazed at the difference this makes in your life.  How many hours do you spend deleting messages from your inbox without even reading the email? I routinely unsubscribe to lists instead of just hitting delete.  When you unsubscribe, you also stop getting emails from their “associates”.  Unsubscribing will not only make your inbox easier to read but may also cut down on the impulse shopping.  A whole other subject!

DE-CLUTTER

Get rid of old things like clothes, dishes, electronics, magazines, furniture you no longer need- donate what you can.  Too many material possessions sitting around can make you feel drained and can complicate things,  taking your attention away from what matter’s most.

WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS

Write down your top 3 daily goals. I put them in my planner and block time for – reading, cleaning tasks, calls to make, errands to run and  general life stuff.  I limit myself to 3 tasks in my business and 3 tasks in my home.  It has helped me to increase my focus and get things done.  It also helps me to stay in the moment when I am with friends and family.

FORGET MULTITASKING

We have all said it at some time “I’m good at multitasking.”.  Did you know multi-tasking is stressful and ultimately unproductive?   You can get so much more done when you focus on a single task, time-block and schedule your work.

CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE

Are you always running out the door in a rush?  What if you got up just 15 minutes earlier every morning?  Getting up a little earlier would give you more time to write your to-do list, prepare lunch and get ready for the day.  Write down the things you need to do in the morning and the time it takes to do them.  Then figure out what time you need to get up to get them done.  Be realistic!

RE-EVALUATE YOUR COMMITMENTS

This one is tough and takes practice, at least for me.  What matters most to you?  Home life, social life, work, side-gig, family, hobbies, friends, worship? If you are doing something you don’t love or it doesn’t give you value, give it up – if you can.  Focusing on the things which bring you joy or matters most to you will make a HUGE difference in your life.

SAY NO

How often do you feel obligated to say “yes” to something?  Did you know “NO” is a sentience all by itself?  We tend to forget it and try to explain why we can’t do something which opens the door for a conversation.  There is no need to explain yourself – if you don’t want to do it, just say no.

This year, why not focus on getting back to a simpler time in our lives.  Let’s start valuing our time.  Life is too short.   It is time to do the things we want and what we like doing. De-cluttering, getting rid of anything  which doesn’t serve you will help you simplify your life and feel more at peace.

Lots more tips and tricks on simplifying your life and de-cluyttering this month…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Meeting Your Goals?

I love when other bloggers inspire me….

The first Monday morning of a new month, how I love setting up goals for success.  I am learning how to set goals in all areas of my life in an effort to stay focused.  It isn’t always easy on those “bad days” but there are things I want to accomplish, what about you?

Sometimes we focus on professional/ business goals, sometimes the focus is on personal goals and often it’s both. Regardless of the focus, many times we don’t meet our goals, even when they’re really important to us.  Admit it, I am  not alone, right?

Why?

When I am talking about goals, I don’t mean the proverbial to-do lists, I mean actual goals.    When we are trying to lose weight, the goal is a number on the scale.  In our careers, maybe it is a certain pay or job title.  In our business maybe it is the chance to have our own business which actually pays the bills.  Maybe your goal is freedom from debt.  Whatever it is,  why is it so hard to meet those goals?  You have the desire and motivation, right?  So why don’t we reach them sometimes?

Multi-tasking!  Yup, the main reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they are trying to do too many things at once. As we get ready to set ‘new year resolutions” or as I like to call them “new year goals”, how often do we list out more than two?  Think about how you started this past year, how long was your list of goals?

Maybe you wanted to lose weight, eat better, get a new job, find your passion, be a good mother, create a vibrant social life, start a business and so on. Sound familiar? All are terrific desires, but too much for one person to handle at any given time.

When we try to make lots of changes in our life, it is overwhelming and we become unproductive. Despite years of thinking “multi-tasking” was a good thing, recent studies are showing it is actually less efficient than focusing on one project at a time. WOW!  I was the QUEEN of multi-tasking.  With the onset of MS, I am finding this doesn’t work for me.  The truth is our brains just aren’t wired to do lots of things simultaneously.

Although it’s wonderful to have multiple goals in life (I know I do), the key to success is to step back, examine what you really want right now, and pick ONE goal to focus on. YIKES!  I know it’s hard to do, but if you spend the majority of your time focusing on just one goal, you’ll accomplish it in record time. Determine the steps you need to finish the project, follow those steps daily before you tackle anything else on your daily to-do list.  Remember no more than 3 things on your to-do list a day!

I will admit, my vision board for 2017 was filled with many things.  The reality is, when I focused on just two aspects – things began to happen.

First, I earned the Leadership Incentive Trip.  Then I moved on to being consistent in my business.  The results have been AWESOME!  While reaching for my goals in business, I built strong relationships and strengthened my walk with God.

I am already thinking about my vision board for 2018.  I really do like the simple drawings and words.  Handmade helps me to feel connected with it instead of just cutting out pictures from a magazine.

What’s amazing is with laser focus, you’ll reach the goal sooner and be able to move on to the next goal on your list. Handling your goals one at a time like this will actually enable you to achieve more each year than if you try to complete everything at once.

Set up a time frame (90 days is recommended) to devote yourself to the goal you’ve chosen to focus on first. After 90 days, if you’ve been taking consistent and concentrated actions you’ll have hit the goal – or at least come a lot closer to it than if it was just another item on your list of things to do.  Will some of the other goals overlap?  YES!  Will you make progress in other areas while focusing on one? YES!

Won’t it feel AMAZING this time next year to know you have accomplished the most important goals you’ve set for yourself? Try it for six months and see what happens!

Want to be accountable?  Share your goal with us and then come back in 90-days to share the results.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Time Saving Tips

Screen_Shot_2015-03-04_at_7

WOW! Where did the month go?  I am so glad that the weather has warmed up here in New Jersey.  I LOVE the Spring.  It is the last day of the month, for some the kids are on Spring Break.  For others, they are just wondering where time went, right?

Over the last two weeks, I have been concentrating on being more productive in my business and in my personal life.  I was tired of saying “there is not enough time to XYZ” or looking at my to do list and seeing NOTHING checked off yet feeling busy.

Weekly_8878

My first step was to really put the AMAZING Passion Planner that hubby got me to work.  I have been sitting down on Sunday night and planning out my week.  I mean EVERYTHING from work to be done in my business to errands to chores in the house to meal times and sleep time.  WOW!  I now feel like I am accomplishing something.  The planner is broken down into 1/2 hour increments so I plan my tasks that way and I keep checking the clock – especially when I am in my office.  When it is time to switch tasks, whether the task is done or not, I switch.  It took me a little while to get used to it but it has helped me to stay on task.  It has also helped me to stay focused and get things done.

Focusing on one task is actually a proven strategy used by many successful entrepreneurs.  Okay, maybe not planning every minute BUT “picking 1 task to focus on”.  You pick one thing and do it, blocking out all distractions.  There is a program called Rescue Time for those who may not have the willpower to be self-accountable when online.  I haven’t tried it but I know some who have.  It is an application that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time so you can make better decisions.

A problem area for me is setting time limits when I meet with a hostess, a customer or go to a meeting.  Even in my personal life, this is a struggle.  I am trying hard to stick to a set amount of time.  I assign travel time to the meeting, meeting time (usually an hour unless scheduled for longer) then travel time home or to the next task.  Vanessa Coppes said  “Meetings can be time vampires.  So, be cut-throat when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.”

Unknown

Get up earlier. It really is true that “the early bird catches the worm”.  Research shows that mornings can make or break your day.  By scheduling my day with tasks, I push myself to get out of bed earlier so that I can get things done.  I know that if I don’t get up and get moving, things will fall by the wayside and tasks will not get done.

For the “people pleasers” out there.  Yes, that can include me.  Practice saying NO!  You don’t need to say yes to every request.  When I don’t have everything planned out, I tend to say yes to everything and then I take on more than I can handle.  When we do this, we kill our productivity.

Are you the proverbial multi-tasker?  Been there, done that!  Believe it or not it is the WORSE way to get things done.  Research confirms that all the multi-tasking causes our brains to be rewired and as a result we get less done.  It will take practice but you will be amazed at the difference when you have mono-focus on one thing.

Finally, did you know that by saying “I don’t have enough time” or anything along those lines, you are actually drawing less time into your life.  You want to speak the positive to the Universe because the Law of Attraction really does work.

When you protect your time, you will protect your energy, your business, and your life.  What is YOUR best time saving tip?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Want To Be More Productive?

bad habits 2

We are almost done the first full week of the New Year, so how do you feel?  Are you overwhelmed with all of the posts about “planners”?  Does the thought of getting taxes ready make you sweat?  Are you already dreading the goals that you set thinking they are impossible?

BREATHE!  Stop for a moment and take a deep breathe.  Release it slowly.  Now, let’s talk about putting things in perspective.  Here are some tips that I have picked up over the last year that work for me:

  • Put just 3 things on your to do list every day that will help you reach your goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LONG “to do list”. The difference is that each day I pick 3 things that will help me reach my goal and make sure that they are done first!  Not sure what your goals are – use this SIMPLE planner by my friend Desiree Wolfe.
  • Block out distractions. Period.  Shut down Facebook or your email or whatever else is on your computer that distracts you.  You will be surprised at what a difference in makes in getting things done.
  • Set up productivity rituals. This is a work in progress.  By 9AM, my goal is to have completed my devotions, a blog post and checked off my “daily tasks”.  This even includes about 15 minutes on Facebook to see what it going on with friends and family.  Setting up rituals of automate behaviors, make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir.  By getting all of my “daily tasks” done, I am able to focus on the 3 things that will make me money when everyone else opens for business.

clock

  • Get up earlier. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.
  • Increase your effectiveness through technology.   There are oodles of programs to help with this and many are FREE.  I use Cinchshare for posts to Facebook.  LOVE Dropbox to store files online and it allows me to access documents when I am out and about.  Hootsuite will also help to schedule your social media posting.
  • Don’t say yes to every request.  I am guilty of this! Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which can kill our productivity
  • Stop multi-tasking.  Yes, you heard me!  There is new research that confirms that distractions invading our lives rewire the way our brain works.  Practice focusing on just ONE thing and you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish.  Set a time limit if you have to but stay present in whatever you are doing.
  • Learn from others.  I am like a sponge, always learning – I am in constant student mode.  The idea is that you have to gain information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.  This does NOT mean that you have to copy everything.  Learning means that you find out what works for you and knowing that just because it worked for someone else, it may not be right for you.

Taking consistent steps to move forward in your business will allow you to ultimately reach your goal.  Yes, you want to see the big picture.  In order to be successful in reaching that BIG dream, you need to break it down into smaller manageable steps that do not overwhelm you.

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Multi Task versus Productivity

monday morning

WOOHOO!  I really do like Mondays… Yes, I am one of those crazy people BUT it is because I love my business.  So, let’s talk about multi-tasking and productivity.

I always said “I am great at multi-tasking” but I always felt like I was falling short on productivity.  Despite my best efforts to lay out a plan and a timeline, I was always crunching things at the end.  So then my tag line was “I work better under pressure”.  Really, who wants to work under pressure?

Now as CEO of my own business, I occasionally find myself on this same hamster wheel.  I find that I spread myself too thin,  getting small amounts of many tasks done, but never quite finishing any of them.  In the end, I feel over-worked and under-productive, basically burnt out.

So my mission is to change the hamster wheel mindset.  Did you know that you can increase your productivity by 40% when you give yourself time to focus on one task?  You know what I mean, those squirrel moments.  We all have them, right?

So how do we get off the hamster wheel and increase our productivity?

1.  Put your phone far, far away.  

When I am in my office, I very seldom have my cell phone.  I have spotty reception in my office so why be frustrated  or frustrate others with dropped calls.

If you are one of those who have notifications for every app (Facebook, etc) alerting you –  STOP!  That simple notification in the middle of working on a project can leave you distracted and considerably less productive.  Put your phone across the room or even *gasp* turn it off which will reduce the risk of distraction. Why not let people leave a message and return their calls later after you finish the project?

2.  Notice patterns and set specific times

Think about your patterns. What’s your go-to distracter? Email? Updating your calendar? “Work”-related social media? Whatever it is, avoid the distraction by setting specific times during the day that you can check it.  Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek suggests checking your email 2-3 times a day, max. Give yourself specific times when you’re not working on other tasks.  This way you are present when talking to customers and team members without being distracted.

I close all  “tabs” on internet when I am working on something.  Better yet, if I am working on a project, I close the internet if I don’t need it.  When I consistently do this, it takes less time to get a simple project done because I am not distracted.

3.  Take a productive break

If you feel the urge to switch tasks, take a a little break – this will increase your productivity.  Now, that doesn’t mean make a call or run a quick errand.  Instead, take a walk or meditate for 10 minutes.  A real, mental break will give you the relaxation you  need and leave you with a more productive mindset.

4.  Set a timer

I only use this one when I am pushing to pick up the dreaded 500-pound phone but I may need to try it for some other projects.  Set a timer for your task.  While the timer is running, ONLY work on one thing.  When you’re finished, take a quick break to check social media, or whatever it is that normally distracts you

Set your timer based on your daily to-do list of the top 3 things you want to complete then set a time limit for each task.  This way you can properly plan out your day.

Who is ready to conquer Monday and spend the rest of the week being productive?  What is your best tip to increase productivity?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!