Posts Tagged ‘scheduling’

Wouldn’t YOU like 10x the results?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...


Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s similar to other productivity ideas where you focus on your tasks for a block of time–25 minutes.

Thomas Oppong explains the technique in This Simple Life-Changing Technique Can Help You Achieve 10x Results.

 

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”



It’s Yard Sale Season!

Posted on: June 2nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

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Whether you’re putting your home up for sale or are clearing out some clutter, check out our Yard Sale Checklist.



Introducing… Lynda Schmidt from Staged to Sell

Posted on: May 29th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments
STAGED TO SELL

Staged to Sell 1

As a professional home stager, Lynda Schmidt notes that many homeowners trying to sell their homes often make the same mistakes:

  • too much stuff
  • dated flooring
  • dark rooms, or
  • startling wall colours

Lynda works with homeowners and real estate agents who see untapped potential in homes about to go on the market. “The biggest thing is clutter, too much stuff,” she says, referring to the clutter as “visual noise.”

With rooms filled with collections, family photos, religious icons, furniture and toys, prospective buyers tend to focus on the stuff rather than the room itself. If that first showing proves negative, chances are the buyer will simply move on.

“Every potential buyer only knows what they see, not the potential (of the house).”

Buyers will also zero in on specific items like that defeated old couch in the rec room. “Even though the furniture shouldn’t matter, it does.” Use slip covers or remove the couch all together. Also, think of furniture placement: in a small dining room for example, placing the chairs at two sides of the table rather than on all four sides will provide more space.

It is most important for sellers to “de-personalize” their space by removing all personal items, anything that smacks of the homeowner’s tastes or interests.

“Painting has the biggest impact and is the cheapest,” she says. “And remove old, dated wallpaper.” Removing extra furniture can also make a difference: a small living room with a couch, loveseat and three or four chairs makes the room seem cramped and small.

Lynda suggests having the bedrooms and bathroom appear unused. Remove cleaning products as well as personal items such as shampoos and cosmetics. Kitchens are also an issue, as homeowners tend to keep everything–from coffee makers to spice racks–on the counters. Clear it off. “You’re selling counter space, not the stuff on the counter. “Empty and organize your closets too.”

Repairs should be done before the first showing. Every flaw–from having to remove wallpaper border to updating the kitchen flooring–will give the buyer an excuse to “chip away” at the price. This can mean the seller loses more in the sale than it would cost to do the upgrades.

When she is hired to stage a home, Lynda rents larger items such as furniture. She has her own warehouse filled with everything from candlesticks to art work to give homes some oomph — which could mean the difference between a quick sale and languishing on the market.

“A high percentage will pay more for a property they can move into without doing a thing.”

Staged to Sell 2

Lynda Schmidt is the owner of L.B. Schmidt Creative Services and was one of the first Home Staging professionals in Waterloo Region. She has been in the buiness of creative visual presentation for over 25 years. You can contact her at lbschmidt@rogers.com or 519-589-7456.



A Quote from Jennifer Coolidge

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments



Be Clear About YOUR Purpose

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Linda Ockwell Jenner

 

BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE

If you sometimes have a hard time speaking up because you are not sure how to phrase your message, here are some ideas that may help you.

  • Make your position known and ask for what you want.
  • Present a logical and compelling case for your position.
  • Get your ideas heard in a group.
  • Hold firm to your position when necessary.

Be Proactive and Establish Support

  • Build a strong foundation of trust so that you are an influencer.
  • Encourage others to feel good about your ideas.
  • Build alliances that allow you to work together and offer support to each other.

State Your Observation First

Observations can be seen as facts. Things that can be seen, heard, or taken through your senses. Facts are objective, cannot be argued, and help the other person understand what you are saying.

State Your Thoughts and Feelings

Begin each of your statements with ‘I’ to indicate that they are your own thoughts and your feelings.

State What You Want The Other Person To Do

Make statements about your needs, rather than solutions. Stating needs opens the door to generating alternative solutions. Stating solutions can close that door. For example: “I would like you to be on time for meetings” is a statement of needs. Whereas, “I will call you five minutes before meetings start to make sure you will be on time” states a solution. The first statement naturally leads to a discussion of options on how to meet the need. The second statement closes off discussion of other options and places the responsibility for the problem on you.

When sharing your ideas maintain eye contact, a serious expression, firm voice and moderate rate of speech. Avoid aggressive gestures, or non-verbal gestures that may be interpreted as anger or impatience.

Practice your clear, concise messages before delivering them to others.

Always think clearly, and quietly when you have some alone time, before you decide to deliver your message to others.

Find a Way Where Both Parties, or Groups Achieve a Win/Win Outcome

  • Ensure that your own position does address other peoples’ needs and priorities.
  • Negotiate persuasively.

Listen clearly to the other person’s response to your message. It is important to hear them out. Do not be impatient to offer your point of view, so hear, listen and digest what is being said.

If something upsets you it may be a good idea to ask for a few minutes to take in what has been said, because your emotions may take away from your thought process.

Always ask for feedback. This is a positive request and offers the other person a chance to be completely honest.

Whether you work with a large team or alone, being able to communicate your message is very important. We can become stressed and feel like an outsider if we can’t understand why others do not appear to listen or care about our purpose.

People who speak up may be seen as a trouble maker, or someone who wants to get to the top faster than others. Once again this is an observation, and may not be the true facts of the matter.

Believe in yourself. Stay true to who you are, knowing you work with others and you are thinking about their needs and priorities, as well as your own.

Linda Ockwell-Jenner is truly one of a kind! As a survivor of cancer not just once, but three times, her determination to overcome all kinds of challenges defines her. Linda has put this energy to launching and managing two highly successful businesses. Learn more about Motivational Steps and The Small Business Community Network.



Why Should You Hire a Professional Organizer?

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerWe’re halfway through February already!

After reading last month’s newsletter, what decluttering or organizing tasks/projects have you completed? Haven’t accomplished what you had hoped?

Are you having trouble getting started because you’re overwhelmed? Don’t despair! If you just can’t seem to get started–for whatever reason–consider hiring a Professional Organizer.

THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER

People often think it’s a luxury to be able to hire an organizer, but the benefits can definitely outweigh the cost. In an organizing session with one particular client, we found gift cards and cash/cheques which far exceeded the cost of my services that day.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect.

  • Sense of control over your stuff AND your life
  • Better planning and organizing skills
  • Less time spent searching for lost items
  • More effective use of your time
  • Less money spent buying duplicates of things that you already have
  • Ability to prioritize, set goals and focus on tasks
  • Reduced stress and fewer moments of frustration
  • Meet important deadlines
  • Clear and peaceful surroundings that reflect your personality
  • Reduce the amount of time spent cleaning
  • Dispose of unwanted items in a responsible manner and preserve the environment
  • Improve your overall quality of life

Whether you’re hoping to declutter and organize your office, your entire house or a storage locker, consider hiring A New Leaf to help you. Contrary to what some people think, a professional organizer will not make you get rid of everything!

When your computer breaks down, you call your tech company. If your washer stops working, you call a repair person. Why not get a professional organizer to help you with your decluttering or organizing projects?

So get started and turn over another leaf!

Until next month,

a new leaf-cathy.png



What can we do in 15 minutes?

Posted on: January 31st, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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Think you can’t accomplish much in 15 minutes?

Check out Apartment Therapy’s article 15 Things You Can Organize While You’re Waiting for Your Show to Start.”

Haven’t got 15 minutes?

get motivated“If I can do something in less than one minute, I don’t let myself procrastinate.

I hang up my coat, put newspapers in the recycling, scan and toss a letter. Ever since I wrote about this rule in ‘The Happiness Project,’ I’ve been amazed by how many people have told me that it has made a huge difference in their lives.”
~Gretchen Rubin, American author

Ask yourself, “How can I be more productive?”



The Perfect Holiday!

Posted on: December 13th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy Mendler A TIME TO REFLECT

Another year is quickly drawing to a close. It’s a busy time of the year for everyone. Stop and take five minutes out of your hectic day and pause.

Recall your favourite holiday times as a child. Our recent snowfall makes me want to bundle up and build a snowman or make snow angels with the two little ones next door. They were so excited when they received an early gift this weekend–a new puppy. Watching Murphy chase them around in the snow was priceless!

Are you looking forward to 2017? Are the holidays getting you down?

Do you …

  • always overspend during the holidays?
  • feel like you’re singlehandedly keeping the local economy afloat?
  • regret the incoming bills in January …and February … and March?

Take a step back, reflect and make a conscious decision to do things differently this year. Perhaps this edition’s articles will help shift your perspective. Remember–it takes time to incorporate changes into your lifestyle. Small gradual changes usually produce better long-term results.

All the Things You Don’t Need for a Perfect Holiday

The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents

Here are some suggestions for clutterfree, low-cost and no-cost gifts. There’s no shortage of ideas!

The Best ClutterFree Gifts

18 Excellent Gifts for Kids That Aren’t Even Toys

The Gift of Doing

What Random Act of Kindness will you do over the holidays? Everyone knows someone who is less fortunate. What can you do to brighten their day?

Kindness Advent Calendar

13 Children’s Books That Encourage Kindness Towards Others

It is my hope that you can enjoy some relaxing time with your family, friends and neighbours–whoever means the most to you–in the remaining weeks of 2016.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at A New Leaf Organizers!



Time Management

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerIt’s September!

I hope you had some time to relax during the summer. Cooler weather has arrived, and the leaves are starting to change colour.

For many people, fall means getting back into a busy routine. Time management often becomes a juggling exercise!

MANAGING YOUR TIME

What’s Most Important?

One of the critical steps in managing your time is establishing priorities. Set aside some time to think about what’s most important in your life.

Everyone has the same amount of time each day:

  • 24 hours
  • 1,440 minutes or
  • 86,400 seconds

Time is one of your most valuable resources. You can’t store it or get it back once it’s gone. So why is it that some people are able to accomplish so much? The answer is simple. They have a plan.

Plan

In order to come up with a plan, you may need to start with your desired outcome and work backwards. If you take the time to create a plan first, it will pay off in the long run.

Prioritize

Set aside some time first thing in the morning to prioritize what needs to be done. It’s even better if you can do this at the end of the day. You’ll be more focused when you can jump right into the first task on your list.

Schedule

Take control. Set limits. If possible, schedule your most important or difficult tasks at the time of day when your energy levels are at their highest. Be realistic about how much will fit into your schedule. Just because there are 24 hours in a day, doesn’t mean that you have to schedule 18 of those hours. Schedule blocks of time in your planner or calendar for focused work time.

Remember–it’s OK to say NO. If you find yourself always saying YES, ask if you can get back to the person asking for your time. Once you’re away from that moment, you’ll be able to review your schedule and determine if you really do have the time to say yes.

Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is not attempting to be perfect when performing a task; it is the act of spending more time on a task, activity or decision than theresults justify.” Harold Taylor, Canadian Time Management Expert

Procrastination

Emmett’s Law states that “The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.”

Brian Tracy uses ‘“eat that frog” as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day.

Multitasking

How many of you think you’re more productive when you multitask? Numerous studies have proven this to be untrue. It’s next to impossible to completely eliminate multitasking from our busy lives, but being aware that multitasking reduces your productivity is a step in the right direction.

Lateness/Missed Events

Are you on time? Not arriving on time shows that you are not respectful of other person’s time. When scheduling your day, remember to allow sufficient time to get to your destination. Set a timer or the alarm on your phone to remind you.

Do you miss events because you didn’t put them into your calendar? Make an effort to enter them into your calendar as soon as you make the commitment.

To-Do Lists/Planners

“To Do lists are intentions, but scheduled blocks of time in your planner are commitments.” Harold Taylor, Canadian time management expert

Delegate

Can you delegate an item on your to-do list? Ask yourself if YOU must complete the task. Remember—you are only one person, and there are only 24 hours in each day.

“You have the power and responsibility to decide what you do with the time you have, so choose wisely.” Matthew Jones, Contributor, Inc.com

So get started and turn over another leaf!

Until next month,

a new leaf-cathy.png



GETTING ORGANIZED FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerSCHOOL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

It’s that time of year again. The relaxing days of summer are almost behind us. We’ve had such a warm summer already!

If you plan ahead, you’ll be ready for the first day of school.

Let’s get started and turn over another leaf! 

GETTING ORGANIZED FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

Planning

  • Don’t wait until the night before school starts to try and get your children into their back-to-school routine. Start a week or two before.
  • The morning routine is under your control. Everyone will have a better day if it starts out calmly.

Clothing

Have your children try on all of their clothing to see what still fits. Make a list of what is needed.

School Supplies

Has the school provided a list of supplies that will be required?

  • First, take inventory of the supplies you currently have. You may not need as many supplies as you think. Check out Katy Wolk-Stanley’s Just Say No to Unnecessary Brand New School Supplies!
  • Stock up during the back-to-school sales. Keep in mind that saving a couple of dollars by running from store to store may not be worth the extra effort involved. Remember–your time is valuable!

If you can, support a School Supply Drive in your area. There are always children in need.

Ensure that backpacks are the correct size for your children.

  • Let them choose one with your help; if they like it, they’ll be more likely to use it and less likely to lose it.

Lunches

Keep your cupboards well stocked with lunch items.

  • Single-serving sizes may be more convenient, but they are more costly. Buying in bulk can cost less—if you have sufficient storage space.
  • Keep a pen and paper handy in or near your pantry to note items that are running low.
  • Reduce the environmental impact of making lunches every day–try to make them litter-less.

Labeling

Don’t forget to label all items your children take to school which need to be brought home each night or week.

Entryway/Mudroom

Have a designated spot for each child’s coat, mittens, boots, backpack and sports equipment.

Homework and Study Area

Make sure that your children have an area to do homework or study that is free from clutter, comfortable, well-lit and as quiet as possible.

  • Pens, pencils, erasers, coloured pencils, markers, paper, glue, stapler, ruler, calculator, tape, scissors, etc. should all have a designated spot. If you’re limited for space, a rolling cart with drawers is great for storing art and school supplies.
  • Keep reference materials handy, so children aren’t distracted by having to look for these items.

Calendar and Scheduling

All activities should be put onto one calendar.

  • Keeping more than one calendar is difficult; it usually results in missed appointments.
  • Label each family member’s activities in a different colour; let your children pick their favourite colour.
  • Limit extra-curricular activities for each child. Try not to overschedule.

Your children need some time to just be kids!

Until next month,

P.S.  Do YOU or someone you know need a professional organizer? TAKE OUR TEST and find out for yourself today!