Archive for time management

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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Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past

Are you a procrastinator? Many of us have the tendency to put things off and no matter how often we beat ourselves up over waiting to the last minute to pack for a move, declutter our home, or file our taxes and struggle to get it all done in time, we keep doing it again and again. If you’re ready to finally beat procrastination and get ahead of the game, you’re in the right place.

Forgiveness

Over the course of seven blog posts, I’m going to share my best tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination with you and we start today with – Forgiveness. I know it seems like a strange place to start, but it’s an important first step. Here is why forgiving yourself for procrastination should always be the first step.

There’s nothing you can do about the past except learn from it. Beating yourself up about not following the plan you made for reaching a goal does you no good. Quite the opposite actually. If you stress yourself out and engage in negative self-talk, you make it worse. Those feelings of anxiety will enforce your habit to procrastinate again the next time.

Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more. Click To Tweet

Try to do better

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Say it out loud and then promise yourself to try to do better. Trying is the important keyword here. You’re working on mastering  new skills and changing a habit. That takes practice, time, and of course failing again and again. It’s part of the learning process.

You may feel frustrated at times about your lack of progress. It’s normal. If you can, tap into that frustration and use it to motivate you. Vow to try again and do better. Look at your mistakes. What caused you to procrastinate this time? Learn from it and you will start to do better.

Learn from your failings and start again

Maybe there’s a big task and you started strong, chipping away at it a little at a time. Then you missed a day and another. That’s okay. Not great, but okay. You did well for a while. It’s good practice and maybe this particular experience taught you that you can’t allow yourself to skip more than one day on an ongoing project.

There’s always something new to learn whenever we fail at something or slip back into a bad habit. At the very least we figure out that something isn’t working for us. Maybe you do better with three or less to-do’s per day. Maybe you need twenty-five so there’s always something to check off. You won’t know until you try.

Forgive yourself for procrastinating so you can move on and practice some more.

If you need help to get back on track with your project try a virtual organizing appointment. Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.

Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing appointment. 

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?

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Understand how sleep cycles and time management can improve your productivity

Man in blue shirt with a coffee cup in each hand  sleeping on one of the cups on a brown desk

Most people need more sleep than they realize

Some people say they don’t need very much sleep.  Recently a super sleep gene was found.  Only about 5% of people have it.  It allows their body to cycle through the REM and non REM sleep cycles more quickly so the person feels more rested in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately, about 30% of people report only needing 4 hours of sleep a night.  So about 25% of those people would benefit from more sleep. Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He publishes a newsletter, Taylor Time Newsletter.  The August edition has a great article on sleep and time management.

by Harold Taylor Work Smarter is more about Timing then Technology

What are sleep cycles?

When we sleep, we do so in approximately 90-minute cycles throughout the night, each cycle consisting of five stages – four stages of non-REM sleep (about 75% to 80% of our sleep time) and one stage of REM sleep (about 20% to 25% of our sleep time.)

The first REM stage begins about 90 minutes into our sleep and then the cycle begins again about every 90 minutes until we wake up.

Scheduling your worktime and projects

What most people don’t realize is that these 90-minute “sleep cycles” run through the entire day. We obviously don’t sleep during the day if we have slept sufficiently during the night, but the cycles become waves of high and low energy and are referred to as ultradian rhythms.  Our internal clocks are critical to our personal performance as well as our health and well-being. Our body has many internal “clocks,” each operating independently but in constant communication with one another.

In a few of my books and articles and all of my seminars, I talk about scheduling projects in 90-minute segments.I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes Click To Tweet

I have always known that I was more productive working in sixty or ninety-minute chunks of time, and I suggested all kinds of reasons for it – such as it was the maximum amount of time I could work without having to be interrupted or even interrupting myself. But I never knew until recently that ultradian waves of high and low alertness had actually been identified. One study of young violinists back in 1993 revealed that the best violinists all practiced the same way – in the morning in three segments of no more than 90 minutes with a break between each segment. The same thing was noticed among other musicians as well as athletes, chess players and writers.

I recommend that people find their high energy time in the morning and start working on their top priority items for about 90 minutes. Then take a break of about 15 or 20 minutes before starting the next task. Following the second 90-minute work session there should be a break of at least an hour before resuming. (This could be lunch and a brief walk.) It will take time to get into the right pattern. You have to listen to your body to determine the best start time and the actual duration of your high-alertness cycle.

Breaks are important too

You don’t necessarily have to take a coffee break, go for a walk or do stretches during your breaks as long as you switch to a different type of task. There are three basic types of activity – mental, physical and emotional. If you have been working on a mental task requiring intense concentration such as writing a business proposal, a switch to cleaning your work area, filing or checking messages on Twitter or Facebook for twenty minutes might be just as relaxing to the mind as a twenty-minute chat at the coffee center.

Use your natural body rhythms to be more efficient

The problem is that people have been fighting their natural body rhythms by feeding it coffee and other stimulants and therefore developing inefficient working habits. They have likewise short-circuited their natural sleep cycles with late nights, artificial lighting and stimulating electronics.

Contact www.taylorintime.com to subscribe to his newsletter

Virtual organizing allows me to support your organizing projects by providing planning, coaching and mentoring while both remaining safely at home.

Book a 30 minute complimentary virtual organizing assessment to help develop your productivity. 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 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?

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Have you been putting something off?

Here is an excerpt from a great article on why we procrastinate and tips on how to stop procrastinating.

“You know how it goes. One part of your brain says –

“Stop procrastinating. Just get on with it. Finish it!”

But then another part screams-

“But I don’t want to!”

Ziegarnik effect

It may not be anything major, but the task keeps niggling at the back of your mind. It can leave you feeling unsettled, slightly annoyed and stressed. Here’s the thing: you can’t be fully at peace until you complete the task. Why? Because the Ziegarnik effect is in full swing. The Ziegarnik effect is the tendency we have to worry about something we have started and haven’t yet finished. But if you can just get it done, your brain will breathe a sigh of relief. You will feel lighter. Chances are you will have turbocharged energy levels too.”

Read the entire article at  http://learningfundamentals.com.au/blog/how-to-motivate-yourself-at-any-time/

Procrastinating, why do you do it?

There are  tasks or projects that needs to be completed and they are  getting put off to the side and nothing is being done.  Many times the problems is that you don’t know what to do.  Break the task or project in smaller pieces that so you can start on the things your know how and complete them.  As you continue you will find the parts you are not sure how to handle.  When you have determined the part that is outside your knowledge, ask for help, do research or delegate to someone with that expertise.  Let procrastination be a trigger to look at the situation as a problem solving question instead of an activity you don’t like to do.

For tips and articles to help you organize your mind and space  join Julie’s 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

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space

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

 

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Is your work environment keeping you from working?

Here is a short excerpt from an article by Harold Taylor.  Harold Taylor is a time management and productivity expert.

Change your  environment in some way to offset your natural inclination to avoid doing things you don’t like.

You can minimize destractions:

  • turn off your cellphone,
  • disengage voicemail,
  • turn off email alerts and
  • close your office door at specific times while you work on your priority projects.

image by Jason-Salmon

You can minimize visual distractions:

  • remove all clutter and other potential distractions from your immediate work area
  • including any in-baskets, they give you an excuse to chat with the person dropping off paper
  • don’t have family photos or memorabilia in your line of sight
  • face a blank wall, not a window or open doorway.

You can set-up a work schedule:

  • Work on projects for 60 or 90 minutes at a time – maximum.
  • Then change to another type of work for 15 minutes
  • Work on a project for 60-90 minutes
  • Then take a 30 minute break, doing something completely different from your previous work
  • Work for 60 monre minutes on a project

If you find that’s too long to postpone urges to interrupt yourself, shorten the work sessions. You can always increase them gradually later. Between sessions you can check email, return phone calls and grab a coffee. Work in short sprints rather than attempt marathons. Research shows that it takes a lot of energy to practice willpower.

Resist the temptation to interrupt yourself

Do what you can to develop a work environment that makes it easier to resist the temptation of interrupting yourself or others, checking email constantly, grabbing for your smartphone whenever there’s a call or being distracted by other things.

To subscribe to his monthly  newsletter on Time Management go to www.taylorintime.com

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 – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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My favourite time management technique

No Wifi, oh no

My favourite time management technique is to know when I will have a WiFi connection and when I won’t.  Yes, there are still times and places when I can’t get WiFi.  Use data? Not me. For those time I plan to have work with me to do when I am unconnected.  You might think, “when does that ever happen”, more often than you think:

  • When I  arrive early at a client’s home
  • When I arrive early to pick up someone
  • When the person I am pickup arrives late
  • When the client is late
  • When the distance between appointments and returning to the office will cause me to waste time commuting, I find a quiet location to work instead of wasting my time driving.

Plan your time

I will have a book along to read to do some professional education,  mail to open or start on my e-mail that I downloaded before I left for the call.  Sometimes I am reviewing a speech I am presenting, signing holiday cards, planning my week/ month or getting in my exercise by going for a walk.  Using these small expected or unexpected amounts of time well will make you more productive.  I learned this technique by trial and error.  I found myself sitting around waiting with nothing to do when my children were involved in activities.  I quickly realized that I was wasting a lot of time and needed to plan my “spare time” as well as my work time to be able to get everything accomplished without using my family time or free time to get things completed.

Manage yourself

Time management is not about managing time it is about managing yourself.  There are traps we fall into that cause anxiety and stress because:

  • we are late,
  • we don’t meet deadlines,
  • we miss meetings,
  • we are unavailable for important personal events

Determine what “traps” cause you to miss mange your behaviour making you late.  Are they:

  • doing one more thing that makes you late
  • underestimating how much time you need to get ready and leave ( the house, for a meeting)
  • thinking your time  are more important than the people’s time who are waiting for you (to arrive, hand in a report), they won’t mind waiting
  • procrasting on projects, reports and committments instead of looking for a solution to be able to complete the task on tim

I can help you manage your time and streamline your routines to increase your productivity.  Give me a call or text 905-321-1616 

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 – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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7 Tips to Reduce Paper Clutter

Harry Potter Film Studio, England 2017

We use 20% of the stuff we own. Keep the 20% of paper that is important and discard the other 80% . Click To Tweet

1. Don’t allow paper to build up

  • Handle paper daily, don`t let it grow into a pile
  • Place all paper in one location, don’t let it travel all over the home
  • Open mail and discard the envelop and advertising
  • Schedule a time to file, make calls, pay bills etc

 

2. Make a decision on each paper the first time you touch it

  • If it can be done in 60 seconds or less to it now, otherwise R.A.F.T it
  • Set up 3 files, bins or trays and sort your paper into:
  • R – read later
  • A – action required
  • F – file
  • T – toss it / shred it now

3. Follow through on work

  • Each time you pick a sheet of paper put a small dot on the top corner.
  • Three dots or more means it is time to take action on that piece of paper.
  • If you are procrastinating about what to do, it probably means you are not sure how to solve the problem in the paperwork.  Ask for advise, designate it to someone else, research the issue or break it into smaller parts you can complete.

4.  Be ruthless

  • 80% of what is filed is never accessed again, so 80% or more of the paper you receive on a daily basis can be discarded
  • Clear out your files once or twice a year
  • Remove yourself from subscription lists

5. Think before you print

  • File e-mails  in a folder on the computer
  • Print only the selection of the e-mail or webpage you need

6. Store inactive files in boxes indicating a destroy date

7.  Follow retention guidelines

  • Retain files as specified by your company or accountant
  • Put inactive files in boxes and place them in storage indicating a destroy date on the box
  • Clear out outdated files

For more great office organizing ideas  read “Don’t Agonize Organize Your Office” by Diane A Hatcher

If you need help with your paper organizing  book a complimentary discovery organizing session with me.  Organizing Session

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?

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An unwanted inheritance

For children of  parents who hoard, the mess remains after their parents pass away.

Newsweek  by Hannah R Buchdahl

“Greg Martin wasn’t sure what to expect when his mother died last May, forcing him to return to his childhood home for the first time in nearly 18 years. The house, located on a pleasant block in San Diego, had always been cluttered, but now it was virtually uninhabitable. “There were piles as tall as me, six feet or so,” Greg said. “Where there used to be floor, there were trails—a foot and a half high, so you’d be walking on stuff.” Greg was forced to navigate through piles of magazines, papers, and books, plastic bags filled with thrift-store purchases, expired medicine bottles and literally tons of clothes. The only “living space” was a small pocket by the front door, where his mother, a colorful and fiercely independent woman, had collapsed shortly before her death at the age of 83. Greg, who has taken a leave of absence from his job, expected that cleaning out the house would take six months. It’s now been eight—and counting.”

Relatives  are forced to put grief on the back-burner and the emotions that surface are usually anger, frustration, guilt and depression.

Books

This book can help you to better understand hoarding even if you are not a professional organizers.

Grey book cover with horaading pictures on the front

Everything A Professional Organizer Needs to Know About Hoarding by Judith Kolberg

Clutter Scale

It can help to get information so you better understand the situation.  You can download a clutter scale at https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/clutter-hoarding-scale-

9 small pictures of bedrooms at varying levels of hoardingICD

The Institute of Challenging Disorganization also has resources available and a directory of Professisonal Organizers that can help a family member who hoards.

Share your stories with us in the comments.

POC Gold Leaf crestJulie 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 – https://twitter.com/Julieorganizer Facebook – http://facebook.com/mindoverclutter/  

Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space https://www.facebook.com/groups/1881280812154271/

What to learn more about working with a Professional Organizer?

https://mindoverclutter.ca/what-does-a-professional-organizer-do/

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10 Hacks to help parents organize their children’s routines.

You have successfully accomplished back to school organizing but the day to day chores are not getting done and you are feeling overwhelmed.  Clutterbug has a great video, Organizing Hacks for Parents.  Organizing your home to help your children become more independent means that they are able to complete tasks without your help.  This will help daily routines and habits to be accomplished quickly leaving more time for family fun together.

Which hack worked best in your household?

Need some organizing help contact Mind over Clutter, julie@mindoverclutter, to help bring happiness to your home.

POC Gold LeafJulie 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?

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Get your life reorganized

Remember to donate items to charity and not to put them in the garbage.

Being organized is not about being perfect. 

Anyone can learn to be more organized.  It is a set of skills that can be taught.  Organization creates efficiency and effectiveness, making your life and surroundings perform optimally for you.  When you start organizing remember these tips:

  • Accept your limitations on time, space, energy and money
  • Be consistent,  do a little at a time on an on-going basis
  • Acknowledge your successes.  Success breeds success motivating you to do more.
  • Take it one day at a time

How do I decide where to start?

I tell my clients:

  • to start with the space that is bothering them the most.
  • sometimes you may need to start in an area of your home that you  are going to use for storage.  Organizing that space first will give you more places to store items that need to be removed from other rooms.

How do I start?

Get some boxes and bags for :

  • garbage
  • recycling
  • things to go to other rooms – put them in a container and take them after you are done working in the space your are organizing.  If you leave the room you might never return
  • things to be returned to other people – put them in a container and return them to the correct owner after you organizing time is over.
  • don’t buy organizing products – wait until you know what you are storing, where you are storing it, and how much you have to store.  Then you can the best container to hold the items.

How to I get the room looking nice?

There are 5 steps to follow:

Step 1 Sort 

Sort everything in the room into categories.  The categories depend on what is in the room.  You might have:

  • electronics
  • books
  • tools
  • computer items
  • dishes
  • food categories
  • cosmetics
  • paper supplies

Figure out the categories of things you have in your room  and sort the things you can see and then work in the drawers and cupboards

Step 2 Part with items

Part with items you no longer need  and donate them to charity

Step 3 Assign a home

Find the best place to store the  item , close to where you use them and so you access them easily. Things you don’t use very often can be stored further away and in less accessible places.

Step 4 Containers

Now is the time to get the right container to store the items.  Anything can be a container:

  • boxes
  • wine boxes cut in half
  • magazine holders
  • jars
  • tins
  • plastic bins
  • bags

 Step 5 Evaluate

Use your system and then see:

How do I remember all this?

Easy it spells SPACE

S – sort

P– Part with items

A – Assign a home

C – Containerize

E – Evaluate

If you need some help with your organizing book a 50 minute break through organizing session .  Click on the link to book your complimentary appointment, and speak with me to get helpful tips to get you unstuck. Organizing Break Through session 

POC Gold LeafJulie 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?

 

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