Author Archive for Julie Stobbe

The truth about multitasking

Do you feel like you have too many tabs open in your brain?

Image by Jason-Salmon

Psychologists have described flow as an ecstatic feeling, being totally engaged with an activity you enjoy. Good productivity habits minimize interruptions in flow.

The average American uses up to 3 mobile devices daily. The untethering of people to these devises has made productivity shoot up. Multitasking slows down your productivity because moving from unfinished task to unfinished tasks means every time, you need to look back to see where you left off and where to start and all those seconds add up to minutes decreasing your productivity by up to 40%.

Only about 2% of people can successfully multi-task Click To Tweet

Slow down to be more productive

People also need time to think and reflect on their work so they can be more intentional and less reactive.

Sometimes, task switching is unavoidable –  an important  phone call at work or children hurt themselves at home. Whenever it’s possible, try to limit distractions and block out time to work on a specific task, and only that task.

Multi-tasking is seen as a badge of honour but really, it slows down everything and creates open loops in the day.  Reteaching yourselves and your children how to focus on one thing at a time is going to be the single most critical skill for the next few decades.  When focus remains on a single task, it can be completed, producing  a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

Physical vs mental multi-tasking

Brain research indicates that you can have several motor programs running at the same time. (Your Creative Brain ) So you can steer your car, talk to passengers and adjust your rear view mirror simultaneously. Unfortunately you can only focus your conscious mental attention to one of these things at a time. You can multitask physically, but not mentally.  We think sequentially so we should work sequentially.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here  to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

Organizing your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for some people.  Coordinating schedules, planning menus and preparing the house can make it a busy time.Make your Thanksgiving Day full of giving thanks. Click To Tweet

Here are some tips to make the day for full of giving thanks and you less stressed.

Let everyone help by bringing a dish to the meal.

1. Let people help

Ask them to bring some of the food.  If you have someone who doesn’t like to cook ask them to arrive early and help greet people at the door.

2. Plan a menu

  • record the amount of food you cook.
  • record the cooking time for each dish
  • reuse the menu, grocery list  and cooking  schedule next year

3. Plan to take a walk

Enjoy time together, be thankful for the beautiful nature around you.

  • Between the main course and dessert have your guests go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and build an appetite for dessert
  • While your guests are out, you will have time to clear the leftovers and put them in the refrigerator

4. Be thankful

  • let everyone say something they are thankful for, it is amazing how this can create a happy atmosphere at the dinner table

Share your best tip for making Thanksgiving celebrations less stressful.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter –  Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organize your life with a desk calendar

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasks

My guest blogger this week is Jessica Pyykkonen.

Even with hundreds of available apps to help organize your life, a paper desk calendar may be just what you need to stay on top of your work schedule. Despite dire predictions, desk calendars are thriving in the digital age. Furthermore, desk calendars may even be gaining some ground. Between 2014 and 2016, the sales of calendars jumped 8 percent and the sales of planners grew 10 percent.

Why are people sticking with or rediscovering paper? As organizational guru David Allen says, “There’s still no tool better than a paper planner.” Scheduling with pen and paper even offers some advantages over digital calendars. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of analog scheduling and discover tips to improve your desk calendar.

The brain-hand connection

Typing and handwriting may seem similar, but our brains handle the two activities differently. Because handwriting requires you to make sequential strokes to form each letter, it activates large regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. The same is not true for typing a letter on a keyboard.

In one study, pre-literate children were split into groups and taught how to draw letters by hand, trace letters, or type letters on a keyboard. Later they looked at the same letters while their brains were scanned in a functional MRI machine. Networks of the brain known to support successful reading activated in the students who’d written the letters, but not in the students who’d typed or traced.

The benefits of handwriting are also evident later in life. Older students comprehend lectures better when taking notes by hand rather than on a laptop. Moreover, adults are better able to learn a new alphabet when they practice letters by hand rather than on a computer.

What does this research on the brain-hand connection mean for your work calendar? You may remember your appointments better if you write them down on paper rather than typing them.

You could even think of jotting down tasks and appointments as exercise for your brain. “One of the advantages of moving away from the keyboard and doing something that requires greater flexibility in how we use our hands is that it also requires greater flexibility in how we use our brains,” writes Nancy Darling, a psychology professor at Oberlin College.

A desk calendar also provides a place to doodle. Scribbling idly may seem like a waste of time, but it’s a powerful way to improve concentration during boring tasks. In one study, people who were randomly assigned to doodle during an intentionally dull phone call remembered 29 percent more of the information transmitted on the call afterward. Doodling also quickly calms the mind, and most people find it enjoyable.

Dash digital fatigue

Of course, using a paper planner or calendar offers a way to step away from screens during your busy work day. If you feel like you spend too much time on mobile devices and are drowning in notifications and alerts, you’re not alone.

Devices are designed to be addictive. Our brains secrete the feel-good chemical dopamine when we hear a notification, and we experience real symptoms of anxiety if we can’t respond. American adults spend nearly 11 hours per day staring at screens, and iPhone users unlock their phones up to 80 times a day.

You may be suffering from spending too much time on technology without realizing it. The more time teens spend online, the more likely they are to say they’re unhappy. Adults randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended up happier, less lonely, and less depressed at the end of the week than those who used Facebook.

Former tech employees are even raising an alarm about the negative impacts of the technology they helped create. A group of them started an organization called Center for Humane Technology; they feel too much technology erodes mental health and social relationships. Stepping away from your laptop and phone to schedule on paper is one way to decrease your time on digital devices at work.

Plan and personalize

Using a desk calendar may help with big-picture planning and organization because it’s easy to see all your appointments at a glance. Many people prefer the tangible feeling of paper. For instance, 92 percent of college students prefer to read print books versus reading on a digital device.

Furthermore, whether you love minimalist, elegant, or cute desk calendars, your calendar becomes as unique as you are once you put pen to paper. Personalize it exactly how you want and don’t be afraid to transform it into an efficient, artistic extension of your brain. Once you have your calendar, stock up on different highlighterssticky notes, and colorful pens.

Don’t ditch your desk calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasksInfographic by Quill

Long live the desk calendar

Digital devices aren’t going anywhere. Chances are you use some sort of online calendar, and you may want to continue doing so. But don’t ditch your desk calendar just yet. Many people use both a paper planning system and an online calendar because each offers different benefits. Writing down appointments helps you remember them better, gives you an opportunity to step away from screens, lends itself to big-picture planning and organizing, and offers a myriad of personalization options. Moreover, putting pen to paper may help you stay calmer and more focused.

Do agree with this article? Paper or electronic what works best for you?

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter  FacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Back to school – making homework easy

Helping your child to be successful with their homework is about planning.  Plan a time when your child can concentrate and an adult is available to lend support to the task.  Some children will be able to do homework right after they finish school other children will need time to do some physical activity  before they can concentrate and yet other children will need to eat first.

Mother and child and after school homework

Have a quiet area near an adult . Children may need support from an adult at times to be successful

 

You will need a spot that has limited distractions, minimize stimulation from video screens and phones and reduce loud conversations with other family members in the homework area.

Large projects take more than one night to complete.  Help your child learn how to plan ahead.  Look at the week and weekend and see what time is available to work on the project.  Divide the project into smaller sections that can be completed a little at a time during the week and on the weekend.  At first it takes a lot of discipline from the parent and the child but as the family gets used to planning ahead your child will tell you that they need your help with some homework and the only night you are both home is Wednesday.  It will be great when they take over the time management of homework.

Large projects can be broken down into smaller sections and a little parts can be completed each day.

Teach your child management so they will have enough time to complete large projects.

Each child will be different, some will like quiet spaces and others will like to be around people. Some tasks will need large spaces and others will need hardly any space. Click To Tweet Many families have shared custody of children between parents and some families are always on the move taking children to after school events where children need to do homework while they are waiting for siblings to finish an activity.

have supplies on hand that can be taken with you so your child can complete their homework on the move.

Help your child be able to complete their homework quickly

 

Help your child be prepared so they can complete their homework quickly

Have a portable homework station that can be taken anywhere

Taking into consideration all the variables, homework areas need to be portable.  Children need have a container with all the pens pencils markers erasers ruler stapler tape glue paper calculator etc. they need.  This container can be used in any room in the house allowing for flexibility.  Let your child organize the container since they know what they need.   This container can be put in the car and taken along to activities, babysitters, parent’s homes.  It is important that children have the supplies they need and learn to take care of them so they can get their work done.  If you choose to have one room or area for homework make sure to consult your child about what it should look like so they want to work in that area.

Share your tip for making homework and enjoyable experience.

Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

6 Tips about laundry and your student- Bring it home or do it at school?

Success in doing laundry starts with packing the right clothes.When packing for college or university stay away from white clothes, they will turn grey and red clothes that will turn everything pink.  Leave them at home.Discuss who is responsible for doing laundry before your student leaves for university. Click To Tweet

1. Practice

 If your student has not done laundry at home use the last month or two before they leave to teach them how to use a washer, sort laundry, empty pockets and use a stain remover .

2. Money

Find out if the washers and dryers need coins or if money is put on a plastic swipe card.  Put some money on the card or send coins to get them started and into the habit of doing laundry.

3. Laundry ” Basket”

Provide a central collection area for their laundry in their room.  It might be on the back of a door or chair, a bin or bag in the closet. It needs to be easily portable so they can move it easily to the Laundromat which may be on another floor.

Collapsible Laundry Basket

Mesh laundry baskets let damp things dry until they are washed

cloth laundry bag

Put a laundry bag on the back of a door.

 

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Backpack laundry bags make it easy to get everything to the laudromat.

Plastic ventilated laundry basket.

A basket can be put in any convenient location and is sitting open easily to throw clothes in.

4. Supplies

Buy liquid laundry detergent because it dissolves quickly and comes in small bottles. It is better to have a supply of small bottles than a large one which is heavy and hard to take to the Laundromat.  Buy fabric sheets for the dryer as the student will probably never be there for the rinse cycle.

5. A place to hang damp clothes

Have a place to hang up clothes – a line, door hooks or a free-standing wire rack in their room for things that are damp or that they don’t want to put in the dryer.

wooden folding clothes drying rack

Use a rack to dry clothes and save money

Folding Clothes Drying Rack

Folding wooden or wire racks can be hidden away when they are not in use under the bed or in the closet.

Plastic over the door hooks

Over the door hooks come in many styles to fit the door and space.

 

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

over the door hooks are great for hanging up damp clothes

6. Who does the laundry, parent, student, home or at school?

Decide if you will do their laundry when they come home on weekends. Set the policy early so there are no surprises.

Share your experience about laundry successes and failures.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organizing a Student’s move to University or College

Panic maybe starting to set in.  This is the time of year for back to school.  Some of you maybe moving a student to a school close to home, some may have a long drive to the new school and others may have to fly.  Whether you may be able to make multiple trips to your student’s school or if you have one chance to get it right,  Anne Wynter’s    How to Cut College Clutter  shares my tips in this lovely blog post about:

  1. Clothes
  2. Documents
  3. Mini Kits
  4. Sentimental Items
Having an over abundance of possessions in your dorm room or apartment can contribute to poor time management and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed, Click To Tweet

Make your move a successful, low stress enjoyable event.

dorm room organizing

How much should I take?

 

Join my  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Click here to  learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

Learning about the overwhelm of stuff – hoarding disorder

Here is a great article about living with the overwhelming need for stuff.  If you have a hoarding disorder or live with  someone who has a hoarding disorder  this information may help you to better understand the situation.

Hoarding living with the overwhelm of stuff.

 

Looking for some more information on hoarding disorder?  Go to the Institute of Challenging Disorganization website. Share your stories with us. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click hear to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

 

 

Lack of abundance

 

Are you stuck in a mindset of “lack”?

Do you sometimes feel that you will never get ahead.  That life is holding you back.  I feel that way some days when I am working in my  business.   There can be a number of stumbling blocks to becoming successful.  Some we may not have any control over.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks can be our own attitude.  This short video gives you an insight into how to examine your attitude and move from focusing on what you don’t have (lack) and focusing on what you do have (abundance).

Click here to learn about an attitude of abundance. 

How do you overcome those feelings that you can’t achieve  something that you want to accomplish? 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter Facebook  Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

Click here to learn  more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

3 Alternative ways to get rid of your clutter

My guest blogger is Haley Kieser from Zog Digital helping us to reduce our clutter in environmental friendly ways.

The moment you realize you’ve accumulated way too much clutter and then need to take action, is common. It happens.

It might be the cheap coffee table you bought (it was too good of a deal to pass up) or the endless number of t-shirts you’ll never wear. Or maybe you’re moving and need to get rid of old kitchen appliances and mattresses. No matter what your clutter consists of, it’s important to know how to get rid of it.Let's keep our clutter out of the landfill and recycle it in environmental friendly ways. Click To Tweet

Why? Let’s look at Hamilton but it could be anywhere.

To keep Hamilton beautiful, of course! If you live near or close to Hamilton, these are the best alternative ways to get rid of your waste. (Other than the local trash collection.)

Let’s get started.

1. Donating your clutter in Hamilton

Donate clothing in good repair to thrift stores and older items can go to textile recycling. Let’s keep it out of the landfill

Is there any better feeling than giving back to the community?

Anytime you purge your closet, or your kids outgrow their clothing, bag up what needs to go and bring it to a thrift store.

But don’t stop at clothing!

Thrift stores collect all sorts of personal items. Such as books, toys, dishes, jewelry, and much more.

Some organizations like Habitat for Humanity will even collect construction and building materials.

Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you’re unsure about what you can donate, give them a call.

Another great way to donate is the old-school hand-me-down method. Shoot a message to family and friends to see if they could use your old coffee table or winter coat.

Need more direction? Use this thrift store directory.

2. Host a garage sale or sell online

If you enjoy meeting people and bartering then a garage sale is for you.

If your clutter still holds value, why not cash in on it? Host a garage sale or sell your items online.

One of the best times to have a garage sale is in the summer. Before you begin setting up, always check the weather.

Tip: Set a fair price on your goods. Don’t let the thought of making money distract you of your main goal – getting rid of your clutter.

Get cash before the event in case the buyer needs change. Additionally, if you have time, promote your garage sale on social media up until the event.

If you have leftover inventory list everything on Craigslist. If time doesn’t permit, donate the rest.

Hosting a garage sale is a great way to make some cash and can even be fun. Get the family involved, play some tunes, and hangout with each other for the day!

3. Hire someone to do it for you

For items that aren’t as easy to donate or even throw out, like an old over or cabinetry, hiring a service to pick it up may be the best route.

A full-service junk removal company will come to your home or business and do all the work for you. All you have to do is tell them what to get rid of.

Before choosing a company, make sure they have an environmental program in place, where they donate or recycle as much as possible.

If you’re constrained by time or have too much clutter to deal with, this will let you rest easy knowing you disposed of your clutter responsibly.

Note: You will have to pay for a service like this. Yet, they’re not very expensive. Especially if you have a handful of heavy items, it’s worth the money.

Decluttering your home or business can be a huge task and should be applauded. The next step is to take care of that clutter responsibly.

Use the motivation to become organized to keep Hamilton beautiful!

Need help identifying what’s clutter and what isn’t? Let us help you.

Before you go, here are some additional resources:

Use these links as inspiration to  find out if your community has similar resources.

Share your  best tip for reducing and recycling your clutter inthe comment box.

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 Twitter Facebook – Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space 

CLick here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

 

Organize your desk in 5 minutes a day

Decluttering your desk at home and at the office is not just about having a space that looks good.  Desktop chaos can take a toll on your productivity — and even lead to making unhealthy choices. Four in 10 workers say that having a tidy, organized space helps them behave more productively. Click To Tweet Another study published in the journal Psychological Science found that those who spent their time in an orderly office made healthier eating choices.

This week my guest blogger is Jessica Pyykkonen of Ghergich & Co. She has teamed up with Quill to create an infographic on decluttering and organizing your desk. It shows  research on messy workplaces and benefits of a clean, clutter-free desk. Then they break down several strategies to keep your desk clean and organized. For instance, you can take advantage of vertical space with cork-boards, shelves, and pegboards to help keep your desk clear.

Enjoy these office organizing tips and become more productive, healthier and happier.

 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life of your dreams. 

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook – Join my Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

Click here to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

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