Archive for Time Management

Manage Technology Before it Manages You

Reading Time – 5 minute 

In 2020 technology become a communication lifeline.  It was used for education, business, family communications, school and social events.  It became the most important method of communication and entertainment.  Zoom took over life.  Will this be a difficult habit to change? Do you want to reduce your reliance on technology?  Did technology get you the results you wanted for your life? The ideas and thoughts in this 2014 article by Harold Taylor still hold true for 2021.  How are you going to manage your technology going forward?

 

Who manges what

By Harold Taylor

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He has published over 17 books and presented over 2000 seminars.

An online poll of over 1000 Canadian adults released last Saturday by Angus Reid/Vision Critical (Toronto Star, January 26, 2013) revealed that 90% of the respondents believed their smartphones made their lives more convenient. So convenient, evidently, that 30% of them went online before getting out of bed, 31% at the dinner table, 29% in the washroom and 42% before falling asleep at night,

Smartphones may be smart, but they lack intelligence. Why are we so willing to be at the beck and call of an idiot? The Internet leads anywhere, which for the undisciplined means nowhere. Why browse away the hours? Email, computer games and social media are endless, but our time is not. Why do we behave as though we will live forever?

Smartphones maybe smart, but lack intelligence. Harold Taylor Click To Tweet

Research shows that the Internet and digital technology can have a negative impact on our ability to learn, focus, pay attention, memorize and relate to others on a personal basis. It also gobbles up our time, encourages busyness and multitasking and stifles creativity.

The futures of our business, personal lives, and our nations do not depend on the development of technology, but on our ability to manage the technology we develop.

Technology is important, it can’t be avoided, you’re reading this blog, lol.

Comment on how will you change your use of technology? 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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Have you applied the 80/20 rule to your life?

The 80/20 rule can be applied in many situations and states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.  It is also known as the Pareto Principle. The principle has been named after Vilfredo Pareto—an Italian economist—who, in 1895, noticed that about 80% of Italy’s land belonged to 20% of the country’s population.  Maciej Duszyński states in his article Pareto Principle & the 80/20 Rule, “Pareto’s principle is more of an observation than a full-fledged scientific theory. It is commonly noticeable in a variety of contexts—but it’s not applicable to each and every scenario. Plus, the numbers 80 and 20 should not be added up to 100. The fact it’s called the 80/20 rule is a simply a catchy, historical catchphrase.” As an organizer the 80/20 helps people to easily, subjectively analyze what they use the most, how they spend their time and how to manage their projects.

Possessions

Many times Professional Organizers will talk to clients about the 80/20 rule.  I will say, you use 20% of your stuff, 80% of the time.  This means most of your stuff (80%)  is not used very often.  Think about your clothing.  Do you have some outfits you wear a lot?  You love how they look, feel and you get a lot of compliments. If you apply the 80/20 rule you can let go of 80% of your clothing because you don’t wear them very often.  Think about your other possessions.  Do you have DVDs, books, jewelry, tools, toys and dishes filling your closets and cupboards?  Let go of the 80% that you almost never use.  Organize, enjoy and respect the 20% that you use frequently.

Time Management

Once you realize that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of the time and effort you spend on them, the importance of prioritizing becomes obvious. If you have a To-Do List, prioritize the top 2 items (20%) and complete them first. Although the other items, of less importance, might not be completed the ones you did complete will have a big impact (80%) on your accomplishments.   Don’t neglect the other tasks. Move on to doing them once you clear the big ones. You can delegate the other tasks. The 80/20 rule will help you to use your time efficiently.

Projects

It is important to understand when a project is finished.   The first 20% of the time you spend on a project will get you to 80% finished. Trying to get the final small amount completed perfectly may not be a good use of your time.  When you have 80% of your project perfected should you move on and publish it, institute the changes or present it for discussion?  I have a saying on my bulletin board that says, “good enough” + “published” is 1000 times more valuable than “perfect” + “not quite ready yet”.  I have seen weeks, months and years spent focusing on making the last 20% perfect.  It can be a stumbling block to your success if it allows you to procrastinate and lets you hide behind the fear of accomplishing a new challenge.  The feedback you receive on your project will be more valuable in perfecting your work than you spending more time on it.

Paper

An organizer, Linda Samuels reminded me that the 80/20 rule can help you with your filing.  She says, “Applying the rule to papers is a good one too. We only retrieve 20% of the papers we file. And since most people (other than organizers) dislike filing, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Perhaps recycling rather than filing is a better option for that other 80%.”  You usually keep more paper than you need and that makes it difficult to find the 20% that is important in our files.   This is true for emails also.

Kevin Kruse states in his article in Forbes, “No matter what your situation, it’s important to remember that there are only so many minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. Pareto can help you to see this is a good thing; otherwise, you’d be a slave to a never-ending list of things to do.”

What 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your satisfaction? 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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11 Tips for organizing your lists

paper or electronic To Do lists?

Do you spend valuable time making a to-do list and it doesn’t seem to help you get anything done? Does that list keep getting longer and longer? There are many ways to keep track of tasks you need to complete.  Bullet Journaling, apps, notebooks, lists or recording a list on your phone.  No matter how you record your list here are some tips to help you become more productive.

11 To-Do List Tips 

These suggestions are from “Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office” by Diane A. Hatcher.

  1. Make an Action list, Today’s Goals list or give it a title that motivates you.
  2. Make a tomorrow’s list before you finish your day and throw out the old list and start fresh daily.
  3. Lists help you to focus and this increases productivity.
  4. For lists or calendars to help you be more productive you need to use them consistently.
  5. Write down anything on your list you don’t want to forget and cross off items as they are completed to help you achieve a sense of satisfaction.
  6. If a list is longer than 10 items focus on priorities and meeting due dates.
  7. Record individual tasks on your list, not projects.
  8. Look at the list often and keep it visible in the same location every day.
  9. Double the amount of time you think each task will take to prevent over scheduling.
  10. Use one calendar to record all your appointments, due dates and deadlines. Refer to the calendar when you prepare the action list for the next day.
  11. Prioritize by time blocks. Choose tasks off your list that can be accomplished in the time you have at hand. Also, consider your energy level when you are selecting the task to complete.

Kanban System

digite.com

What happens if your list has more than 10 items and you’re afraid you will forget something if it is not on the list. There is a Japanese system called kanban.  This is a good system for visual people and for projects.

  • Place your list of items you don’t want to forget about in the To-Do column
  • You pick 3 tasks you will be working on at any one time and move them to the doing column.
  • You can only add a task from the To-Do column to the Doing column when you complete one.
  • Using Post-its on a whiteboard, arrange in columns:  “To-Do”,  “Doing”,   “Done”.  There should never be more than three notes in “Doing”.
  • You can add a “Waiting” column if you are waiting on other people to send you information.

Let me give you an example.  During the pandemic when my area has a stay at home order, lockdown, I work on my new online course, Create an Organized Home.  At the beginning of the project, all of these items were in the To-Do column,  I picked items to work on and move them to the Doing column and as they are completed they are moved to the Done column.  The nice thing about the Done column is I can check and see if I missed something and put it on my To-Do Column.

To-Do                               Doing                             Done

Update my website         Proofread the material      Learn to write a course

Market my course           Check settings               Write the course

Add SEO to each page                                              Find the best software

Determine price                                                        Put course on software

Release course                                                         Make videos

Your To-Do column is a holding area for all those things you need to get done not just related to one project as in my example. The Doing column are the high priority items to work on that day.  The Done column lets you know you are meeting your deadlines and gives you a sense of accomplishment.  Using this system you don’t need to keep rewriting your list.  Move the post-it note from one column to the next.

Task- Board

Instead of having a list, you might like to have your items on a task board.  Here is a link to an infographic about what a task board is, the benefits of using a task board, and tips to create a customizable task board.

However you structure your list you can only do a small number of tasks at once. Whether it is a list on paper, a digital list, journal or post-it notes,  set your priorities for the day, work on them first so you don’t get distracted by less important tasks and refer to your list frequently.

Let me know in the comments how you structure your To-Do lists. 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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3 Ways to organize your goals for this year.

January is usually the time for goal setting.  Why am I writing about it in February? You may have thought about setting goals, you procrastinated so it never got done. January was a busy month this year with all the ongoing changes related to Covid 19.  Now might be a better time for you to take a moment and think about goals.  Goals don’t have to be set in January you can do it any time of the year.  I want to present three ways of setting goals.

Pick one  area and improve it

I am a person who is motivated by a fear of failure, I don’t want to fail, so I am cautious. My system of setting goals is to look at my business or life and see where I think could be improved, what types of skills I need to improve so my business or life will improve.  I pick one thing and then work on it all year to get better at it.  For example, I didn’t like social media so I decided to start working at becoming better at it and setting up a system that works for my day and philosophy about the importance of social media.  I picked a platform, got good at it and continued to add more and more platforms. I organized workshops on Twitter and Google My Business, I listened to webinars.   A vague plan works for me because  I am self-motivated,  I am not a procrastinator.  I read an interesting article by Ravi Venkatesan about the importance of learning new things, “What skill will you acquire this year? What new activity will you start?” Perhaps learning to play a new instrument, going on an adventure or taking on a new role- anything that causes you to move out of your comfort zone.  Pick a goal that challenges you at about a level 5 out of 10.  If you are too fearful you will panic and not start.   Choose that goal that challenges you and allows new neural connections to form. That would be a good goal for this year.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Set goals that you can attain

That vague framework of deciding what you want to do to improve your business or life would not for everyone.  We are all different.  So there is a goal-setting system called SMART.  You pick a specific goal, with measurable outcomes, that are achievable, realistic and timely.  When you use this system of goal setting it gives you a step by step plan to follow.  For example with my social media goal, if it had been a SMART goal, would be something like

I will learn how to post on Facebook,

S (specific) – I will post 3 times a week, one original content, one a picture, one comment on someone else’s post

M(measurable) – Did I post 3 times/week?

A (achievable)  – I have that much time in my week

R(realistic) – If I only have to do it 3 times a week I will not become frustrated and stop

T(timely)- I have 3 mornings a week when I can do these posts. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

This will work for some people who like to have a step by step plan and follow it.  It can cause problems if people stop following the plan. They may give up and not start again or some people may feel like it is too rigid.  Set your goal and keep trying to do it, that is the only way you will get better at it.

Turn desire into intention

Be intentional about your plan

I read an article that reveals a simple trick that doubles the chance for success of obtaining goals.  Earlier I commented on what motivates me.  Sometimes we say, I need to motivate myself to get working on….,  In this article, it says motivation is not the key to reaching your goals it is intention.

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology divided 248 adults into 3 exercise groups.

  • Group  1 had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
  • Group 2 were told “ most young adults who have stuck to a regular exercise program have found it to be very effective in reducing their chances of developing coronary heart disease. ” ( motivation to exercise) and had to record how often they exercised during a 3 week period
  • Group 3  recorded when and where they would exercise (intention to exercise), they were given the same motivation as group 2  and they recorded  how often they exercised during a 3 week period

Results

  • Control group 1 38% exercised at least once per week
  • The motivated group 2 35% exercised at least once per week
  • The intentional group 3 91% exercised at least once per week

We all have some level of desire or willpower or motivation but what turns desire into action is a written plan for implementation.  When you have a goal to do something, record when and how you will do that behaviour or activity. It will be the environment that triggers you to do your new behaviour or activity and not motivation or will power.  This year I used the intention method to become better at making videos.

  • Every morning for 30 days I made a video of 1 minute or less and sent it to a friend.  It was not edited and most of the time there was only one take, no practice videos.  The when of the intention, was at 8 am and the who of the intention, was a friend who expected to receive a video.
  • Step 2 was 30 days of videos on Instagram Stories.  It was usually at 8:15 am but sometimes it was at another time in the day when I was getting dressed up for a meeting.  Check out my Instagram stories.
  • Step 3 ( I am not there yet) will be 30 days on Facebook live.

The level of challenge increases with each step.  It is a great way to become better at doing video.  Thanks to James Mel for teaching me this.

These are just 3 systems

  • Having an all-encompassing vision or
  • Setting SMART goals or
  • Intentionally decide when you will do something and block off time

that can help you establish new behaviours to accomplish a goal for 2021.  Pick the one that works for you.

Set goals to help you move out of your comfort zone, learn new skills and grow. Click To Tweet

When you hire me, I don’t come to your office or home with the Mind over Clutter organizing system, install it and then leave.  I come and see what is working for you and how you do things so I can find solutions that work for you, how you think, feel and your lifestyle. I want you to accomplish your organizing project so you meet your goals.

Now I liked to hear from you:

What strategy from today’s post are you going to try first?

Maybe I didn’t mention your favourite way to set goals?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

Want help in 2021 to get your Mind and Space Organized, join my Facebook group full of free tips 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebookFacebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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5 reasons to use checklists for organizing your mind and space

I  believe that having routines helps you to accomplish things using less energy.  It automates chores and tasks that need to be done regularly to keep an office or home organized.  If one person has routines for the tasks the system works.  That person will get burnt out doing all the work.  Delegating the work is the key.  How do you delegate work that is in someone’s mind?

Checklists

Checklists can be used for many reasons.

  • to make a process repeatable
  • to clarify a task for another person
  • to schedule tasks to be completed at regular intervals
  • to reduce what you need to remember

Reproducible

I have many tasks that I do infrequently or I am learning.  I set up a checklist with all steps I need to do so I don’t forget one.  The checklist takes the stress out of completing the task.  I don’t need to figure out how to do it each time.  The checklist will become refined after each use when I realize I left out a step or I have found an easier way to do it.

Some examples are:

Collecting income tax records:

  • material needs to be gathered from a number of institutions,
  • forms need to be filed,
  • receipts need to be organized,
  • copies made,

Setting up meetings:

  • agendas prepared
  • reports requested to be compiled/ submitted ahead of time for the meeting
  • meeting notice sent with the current date, time,  location and attachments
  • set-up meeting room in-person or virtual
  •  take meeting minutes
  • meeting minutes sent out to attendees
  • follow up on items to be completed by participants

Social media posting

  • list hyperlinks to social media sites so I don’t need to look them up each time
  • record steps on how to post to each site until it becomes easy
  • record date when something was posted
  • record the topic that was posted so it is not posted twice

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Clarity

How many times have you asked someone to do something and you come back and you are shocked by what they did or didn’t do?   Checklists clarify what needs to be done in order to call the task completed. It allows you to delegate work.

Some examples are:

Clean your room – this means something different to each person

  • Take the sheets and pillowcases off the bed and put them in the laundry
  • Put on clean sheets and pillowcases
  • Pick up everything off the floor and put it away
  • Dust everything( list the items)
  • Vacuum the floor, closet and under the bed
  • Empty the garbage can into ……

Filing

  • place documents in designated box for filing
  • recycle advertising
  • shred unimportant documents with personal information on them
  • sort pile alphabetically or by date or category
  • file placing new documents in the front, header to the left

Planning an event for your family or at work

  • set date, time and place
  • send out notice/invitation with date, time, directions, need to know information, RSVP
  • start to build a purchasing list
  • decide on food and drink- quantities, order or prepare on site
  • set up the room – seating, decorations,  pens, paper
  • clean the location
  • have a place for coats
  • plan activity- ice breakers, games,
  • purchase/shop for items for the event
  • set up a timetable for the event
  • reminder notice
  • post signs showing where to go, the name of the event Developing a checklist is a good way to think through all the steps in a task. Click To Tweet

Avoid mistakes, frustration and embarrassment 

Checklists are great for things you do from memory to confirm you have not missed anything.  Memory is fallible, especially the busier you get.  If you have a checklist you won’t forget to make sure you have enough handouts for your meeting, you have defrosted the meat for supper, you have your passport etc. Sometimes I have a mental checklist I run through before leaving the house, a written checklist is better

How to write a good checklist 

In his book, Gawande said a good checklist contains only five to nine items and fits on one page. You might not get your checklist right the first time, so practice using it in the real world, and then refine as needed.

Checklists can improve performance, help you be more consistent, reduce anxiety and errors.  If there is something you are doing and it is hard, complicated, never seems to go right or needs to be delegated try making a checklist for that task.  It is a good way to think through all the steps in a task. It only works if you use it before you begin your task.

Need help making a checklist book a 30-minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. https://mindoverclutter.as.me/virtualorganizingassessment

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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Make progress every single day and you’ll beat procrastination for good

It’s hard to believe but we are coming to the end of our seventh blog to get off your butt and finally beat procrastination. I hope you’ve been following along and more importantly that you’ve been making progress on at least one of the things you’ve been procrastinating on. We end today with the most important piece of advice and the main lesson I want you to take away from all this.

Make progress every single day! 

Of course that’s easier said than done. That’s why I’m leaving you today with three simple hacks or strategies to help you. Give them a try and see if you can’t get into the habit of being productive every day instead of procrastinating.

Time to schedule, words on blank board hold by a young girl in the outdoor.Plan For It 

It’s easy to make progress every day when you know exactly what you should be working on next. Make a plan and then decide what you will do each day of the week. Write it down in a planner and adjust daily as needed. In the morning, you can see at a glance what it is you should be doing. Then get to work on it first thing before the day gets away from you. I find it helpful to have my planner sitting right in front of me at my desk, keeping me on track.

Don’t Break The Chain 

There’s something to be said about a chain or a streak. Record every day you don’t procrastinate on something. You can mark it on a monthly calendar, or create a chain of sticky notes, stickers, or even one of those paper chains you used to make in school. The goal is simple. Don’t break the chain. Once you have a few days under your belt, you’ll be motivated to go the extra mile and do that one thing you need to do to avoid breaking the streak.

Check In With Yourself 

As you start to make progress on the things you know you need to be doing, you should feel your anxiety reduce. Instead you will feel your confidence go up. Don’t be surprised to feel proud of your accomplishments. Instead use those feelings to propel you forward to more procrastination free days. Procrastination is a habit. It’s something you learned to do, which means it’s something you can unlearn. Stick with it, make progress every day, and enjoy those feelings of accomplishment.

Make progress every day, and enjoy those feelings of accomplishment. Click To Tweet

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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Beat procrastination – listen to your inner voice and change that dialogue

Something we haven’t talked about yet is that little voice in our head that either encourages us to go do something else – thus procrastinating, or the other one… the critical one… the one that tells us how much we suck because we didn’t get the things done we set out to do. Listen to your inner voices; the negative one, the fun one, change that dialogue and stop procrastination Click To Tweet

Forgiveness

Why is it important to listen to those voices? Because they have an impact on your life both on a conscious and a subconscious level. Let’s start with that negative voice because I think in the long run it’s the most destructive of the two. Back on day one of this seven-day challenge to beat procrastination we talked about the importance of forgiving yourself. To quickly recap, it does you no good to beat yourself up over past procrastination and that you should expect to “fail” by procrastinating again here and there. Nobody is perfect. We all have good days and bad days. The important part is to show up and try your best.

Negative Voice

That little negative voice in your head doesn’t help you do that. Become aware of it and when you hear it, defuse it. You can do this by responding to it out loud or in writing (via a journal). Or go up and do something else. Do whatever it takes to silence that voice. A great option is to prove it wrong by doing something productive. Over time that voice will speak up less and less unless you indulge it by paying attention to it and letting it ruin your day.

The Fun Voice

Next it’s time to tackle the voice in your head that tells you it’s much more fun to do just about anything other than what you should be doing. We all have that voice. It’s why we come up with terms like procrasticleaning and procrasticrafting. We can get pretty innovative when it comes to doing anything but the thing we don’t want to work on and that little voice is feeding us suggestions and cheering us on.

The best way to diffuse this particular voice into something more productive is with “yes, and” statements. “Yes, playing video games sounds like a lot of fun and I’m going to play for an hour or so after I get this task done.” Use the suggestions this voice gives you as bribes if they sound like something fun. Ignore them otherwise, or put them off until tomorrow.

Comment on which voice do you listen to most often and why? 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Old habits are hard to break – accountability is key to beating procrastination

Beating procrastination can be hard. We do well for a few days, but then old habits set back in, or we get frustrated with our lack of apparent progress. Nothing goes fast enough. If you face a small setback at this point, it may be enough to stop working on what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Thankfully there’s something you can do to greatly improve your chances of success. Accountability.

Procrastinating is a habit and you can get out of it and turn yourself into the motivated and productive version of yourself you want to be. Click To Tweet

Track Your Progress 

Start by tracking what you do. You can do this via a simple habit tracker. Use a box for each day of the week and check it off or fill it in when you do the thing you told yourself you would do. Keep tracking until it becomes a habit or until the project is done.

For larger projects that you may or may not work on a daily basis, it helps to write down your goal and then break it into milestones. Record your progress and how much closer you’re inching to each of your goals.

Make Daily To-Do Lists 

Write out a list of everything you want to get done for the day. I find it helpful to do this the day before. Play around with how many items you put on that list. You don’t want it to overwhelm you, but you do want to challenge yourself to get more done. The list holds you accountable because you can see in black and white if you procrastinated or not.

Tell Someone About Your Plans 

If there’s something you’ve been struggling to get done, tell someone else about your plans to finally tackle it. Call a friend, tell your spouse, or announce it on social media. Encourage the people you’re sharing with to check back with you on how you did. It may be the little extra push you need to stop procrastinating.

Find An Accountability Buddy 

Last but not least, find someone else who’s procrastinating and start holding each other accountable. This could be as simple as checking in once in the morning to declare what you each want to get done, and then again at the end of the day to see what happened. Knowing someone else is right there with you can be super motivating.

Give each of these procrastination beating strategies a try and see which ones give you the best results. Like anything else, procrastinating is a habit and you can get out of it and turn yourself into the motivated and productive version of yourself you want to be.

Need help being accountable? Set up a complimentary 30-minute virtual appointment to help you stop procrastinating 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter in your, home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Don’t let things or people distract you into procrastinating

You wake up in the morning motivated and ready to tackle whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. Or maybe you’re excited about a new project. You drink your coffee, get dressed, and get ready to get to work. Then something happens.

Maybe you open your email, or worse Facebook and get sucked into spending the next few hours on your computer. Or maybe a good friend calls and asks you to go shopping. Or you get an alert that your favorite TV show dropped on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are people and things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. If you let them.

Strategy – plan the night before

There’s a simple strategy you can use to keep this from happening. It’s to make the important project you’ve been procrastinating on a priority and working on it first thing every morning. The whole process starts the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down and make a simple plan for what you want to get done the next day. Identify the three most important tasks. This will be things that start to move the needle. Maybe they are all focused on one main project, maybe it’s several things you know you should be getting done.

Write 3 things down

Write these three things down. They don’t have to be anything big. In fact, I find it helpful if they are all items I can take care of in an hour or less. When you get up in the morning or get to your office, look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. Don’t look at the email. Don’t start playing on your phone. If possible don’t even answer the phone or attend meetings before these three tasks are taken care of. Make them your number one priority.

Don’t leave it to the end of the day

This alone will make a huge difference in how your day goes, how productive you are, and it of course keeps you from procrastinating on those projects. Putting them off until the end of the day when you’re too tired to do anything is no longer an option. Stop procrastinating: strategize, write 3 tasks down, complete them first thing in the morning and beware of things that derail your plan. Click To Tweet

Pinpoint what caused you to procrastinate

Aside from that, simply being more aware of what things, devices, and people tempt you to procrastinate is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, book a complimentary 30 minute coaching appointment to discuss how to increase your productivity and reduce your procrastination.

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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Stop procrastinating: 7 Hacks to motivate yourself to make progress

Ready to stop procrastinating and make some progress? Try one of these seven simple hacks to motivate yourself into action. Give them each a try over the coming days and weeks and find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these hacks. Your productivity will soar.

Tip #1: Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. This creates momentum and forces you to take action.

Tip #2: Set A Time And Go 

Another hack that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built-in, as do most smart watches. Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. This works just as well for decluttering your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded forms. If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten and increase your time. Again, the goal is to start and do something.

Tip #3: Bribe Yourself 

There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home organizing project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favorite show. Or promise yourself a walk or dinner out when you finish decluttering the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day.

Tip #4: Find An Accountability Partner 

Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same. Try it.

Tip #5: Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term like organizing your enitre home for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going.

Tip #6: Remind Yourself Of Your Why

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you feel less overwhelmed? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work.

Tip #7: Just Start

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Hear this. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it’s something super small. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum.

Comment on the hack that works best for you.  

Need some help to get started? Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual appointment and let me help you get started on your mission. 

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 has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

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