Posts Tagged ‘Time management’

Introducing Georgina Forrest from Smartworks!

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

The Super Simple Secret To Getting Stuff Done!

When you look around, do you see evidence of incomplete commitments, projects, tasks and “I’ll deal with that later” piles?

Do you wonder how on earth you are EVER going to get it all done?

If you answered yes to these questions, you’re not alone.

Now, let me ask you this: are you as tired as I am about hearing from the ‘experts’ on how to get this stuff done? You know … write down your goals, prioritize them, set dates and schedule them in your planner … yadda yadda blahdey blah.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Boooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiinnnng!

Not that this isn’t good advice, and there’s no denying we wouldn’t ALL benefit from following these practices, but for some people this is the stopping point in the whole process of getting stuff done.

It may just be too complicated and structured for some of you … right now.

We live and work in a time where there’s much more to do than we have time to do it. It’s the reason it’s more critical today, than ever before, to find simpler ways to stay on top of our ever-expanding workloads.

Want to know my super simple secret to getting stuff done?

I set time limits and I limit the amount of stuff I can reasonably do.

Yup. It’s that easy.

Before you toss this idea out, think about it for a moment.

If you knew you had a set amount of time to work on something, how likely is it you’d get down to the crux of the work and eliminate the superfluous stuff?

For example, how ruthless are you the day before you leave for vacation? Suddenly many tasks and commitments don’t appear to be nearly as important as you thought when it seemed you had time available to do it.

And if you limited the amount of commitments and stuff to do, wouldn’t your workload get a bit lighter? Thereby giving you more time to work on the REALLY important stuff?

I think so.

Time management doesn’t need to be a complicated, step-by-step process. It can be as easy as setting time limits and limiting how much you can reasonably get done.

It’s time to GET REAL!!

You are not Superhuman – you cannot get it all done at the pace you’re currently working at. And an endless amount of ‘time’ is NOT going to suddenly drop down into your life.

You need to start doing something – anything – to get that stuff done quickly.

So, what can you limit today? Do it. Get more done.

Now, get on with your day!

Georgina Forrest owns and operates Smartworks! in Red Deer, Alberta. Smartworks! specializes in helping people learn the principles of organizing and developing good work practices, so they can work in the kind of stress-free environment that they’ve always dreamed of. Additional services include getting your office and computer organized and functional, enhancing your productivity and time management through coaching, and process improvement and/or development.



How to Become Exceptionally Successful

Posted on: October 30th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...

A University of California, Berkeley, study “found that on average, office workers go only 11 minutes between interruptions, while it can take up to 25 minutes to get into a state of productivity called flow.” Check out Elle Kaplan’s You Need to Give Up These Toxic Habits If You Want to Be Exceptionally Successful.

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

 



6 Stages of Change… with Judith Tremblay

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

STAGES OF CHANGE

Perhaps it’s the change in weather that’s brought this on, but I’ve been hearing from many people lately about their wanting to change, not able to change, unwilling to change, needing to change, being afraid to change. Whether you are thinking of ending an unhealthy relationship, changing the way you eat, changing jobs or giving up an addiction, it may help you to become aware of the stages of change.

There are six stages of change. The first is the “Pre-contemplation” stage. At this point, you are really not aware that you have a need to change. You will find yourself rationalizing your behaviour, defending yourself against the need to change or maybe even blaming someone else for the situation in which you find yourself.

Second is the “Contemplation” stage. This is when you start to think there may be a problem that needs to change. You become curious and start looking for information. You may develop an urge to gain more insight into what is happening, perhaps developing a desire to make a change. This is where most people procrastinate. It is a good idea to ensure you have developed good stress management skills to handle any stress that may arise from this point and beyond.

The third stage is the “Preparation” stage. You seriously begin to look at options to make the change. Your view is changing from the past to the present as you become ready to make new choices. You might talk with others about how they accomplished the change you wish to make. You will work through the obstacles in your path and the challenges you may face. Change is becoming a priority. You develop a plan to make the change. This is a time of decision making and commitment to change.

Now you have arrived at the fourth stage – the “Action” stage. You work through the old thoughts, feelings and behaviours that kept you stuck. You will probably ask for help to work through the painful emotions, the hurt and the effort to make the change. People will notice that you are changing. Sometimes, people in your life will not like the changes you are making, and you will get “change back” messages. You might need help to resist going back to the old behaviours, to keep making progress.

After the Action stage is the “Maintenance” Stage. In this stage, you are moving towards a healthy balance, re-evaluating your new behaviours and making necessary adjustments along the way. You have developed new, healthy habits. However, you must remain vigilant in order not to revert back to your old behaviours.

You have now arrived at the stage where your new habits are established and no longer require the same amount of vigilance. Make sure you give yourself a reward for your accomplishment and continue to practice the new behaviour!

Paths to Change provides one-on-one counselling as well as coaching to reduce stress, overcome procrastination and become better at self-care.

Judith Tremblay has spent over 20 years developing the skills to assist people to make changes in their lives. She believes that we all have the knowledge and solutions we need within us, and with guidance and support, we can make the changes we must to reach our potential and enjoy a more fulfilled life.

Check out the Paths to Change website.



Holiday help…

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

If organizing your home before the holidays is on your to-do list, take advantage of this month’s offer.

Contact A New Leaf by November 15, 2017 and let us help you get ready.

Pay for 3 hours and receive a 4th hour at no charge!
 



Lemon Zucchini Bread and other September Recipes

Posted on: October 5th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Who doesn’t like quick and easy recipes? I can’t wait to try a few of these.

BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato Sheet-Pan Dish

50 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Back-to-School Mornings

Lemon Zucchini Bread

LEMON ZUCCHINI BREAD – Cathy Trochelman

Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 50 minutes
TOTAL TIME – 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/4 c. cooking oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel

Glaze

  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

*Glaze can be doubled if desired.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium mixing dish combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a separate mixing dish combine sugar, zucchini, cooking oil, egg, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Stir to combine.
  3. Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture; stir just until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into greased bread pan.
  5. Bake at 350F for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and set.
  6. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.
  7. Once cool, combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over bread.
It’s never too late to make healthier choices!

 



What habits can you improve?

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

Get Productive...

Start fresh now that it’s September! What habits can you improve? 

Belle B. Cooper of RescueTime shares her Tips for organizing your calendar.

Check out Tom Popomaronis’ 4 Toxic Habits That Are Poisoning Your Productivity (And How to Break Them).

 

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

 



Mud Rooms

Posted on: September 13th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy MendlerIt’s September already!

As I’m putting together this edition, it is 23C (73F) and I’m out on my deck–even though we’ve already had frost a number of times. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want summer to end, make sure you get outside and enjoy everything that fall has to offer.

I’m excited that I have become a grandmother! Congratulations to Jason and Amber on the birth of Nash Carter Blaxall on the morning of August 20. He’s adorable! Spending time with Nash has definitely been added to my list of priorities. I just wish they lived closer!

MUD ROOMS 

Let’s talk about mud rooms. This topic piggybacks nicely on last month’s topic of laundry areas. While writing this article, I realized a separate discussion about front/main entryways is needed. Stay tuned!

When I Googled “mud room”, I found over 21,000,000 results–just a few more than expected!

Perhaps you’re one of the many people who wants a “to die for” mud room you’ve seen on Pinterest. Unless you’re building a new home or renovating, it may not be realistic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some great ideas and inspiration which can be adapted to your home.

While a mud room isn’t usually the main entrance to your home, it’s likely a very high traffic area. If you have a garage, often the door from the garage into the house leads to a mud room.

If you’re thinking about renovating to add/create a mud room, there are many things to consider. What are your expectations?

Take the time to plan your space. Make it as functional as possible. Yes, you want it to look nice, but it needs to function on a day-to-day basis. Nowadays, a main floor laundry is often located in this area. I frequently see clients who find it’s difficult to do laundry in a mud room when there is nowhere to store 15 pairs of shoes. Piles of dirty laundry on the floor often make the entrance impassable.

Unless you’re a designer, consulting a professional for his/her expert advice will be worth the investment.

Make a list of everything you would like to store in your mud room.

  • Outerwear – Sweaters, coats, hats, scarves, mittens/gloves
  • Footwear – Shoes, boots, sandals, flip flops
  • Sports Equipment
  • Backpacks
  • Laundry Supplies – Detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, hamper, laundry basket(s), hangers – (if your laundry is located there)
  • Pet Supplies – Food, water dish, leashes

Unless you have a large room, you will need to limit the number of items that can be stored there. Otherwise, disorganization can still occur.

REMEMBER – No amount of storage space will satisfy you if the people using the space don’t put things away. Designate homes–with LABELS–for everything! If your children don’t hang coats or jackets on hangers, consider adding some hooks. Hooks generally work better for young children. Just remember to hang them at a height they can reach!

Until next month,


Cathy Mendler



Is someone heading to College or University?

Posted on: August 29th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Checking...


Do you have a child heading off to college or university this fall? Here are links to Bed Bath & Beyond’s Campus Checklist and Apartment Checklist.

 



6 Summer Productivity Tips!

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...


Ste
phanie Vozza of Fast Company shares some great ideas in Six Productivity Experts Share How To Actually Get Work Done During The Summer.

Check out this summer reading list from 40+ TED speakers.

 

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

 



Introducing… Carolyn Caldwell from Altered Organization

Posted on: August 9th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

Carolyn Caldwell

 

 

Organizing colleague Carolyn Caldwell of Altered Organization shares her knowledge.

THE PATH TO AN ORGANIZED GARDEN SHED

If you have a piece of property, chances are you also have a garden of some size and complexity and likely a shed to house the tools. So, along with turning the soil, top-soiling the grass and trimming the roses, why not set up for an organized garden shed as well?

No more looking around for tools you thought you had, can’t remember if you lent out and need for trimming that Euonymus. Here’s a step by step process to get you off on the right path.

Step 1 – Empty the Shed

Start by completely emptying the entire shed if feasible. Once it is empty, you will be able to start with a clean slate. You will also be able to see what you have and inventory your tools and their condition.

Sweep out the cobwebs, mouse droppings and other debris.

Step 2 – Inventory and Assess Your Tools

Review all your tools, shovels, rakes and hoes. Are there any that are broken, rusted or beyond repair? Throw out the irreparable and fix what’s needed. Are there any that are redundant, never used and could use a better home with someone else? Keep only those tools that you know you will use.

Step 3 – Look for Creative Storage and Give Everything a Home

Think vertical and you will find lots more fresh storage space that you may not have realized existed. The rakes, hoes, shovels can be stored on hooks or nails on the walls. This will get them out of the way and make them readily available when you are ready to rake. If you have the funds, many garden or home supply stores sell mountable devices specifically designed for hanging gardening tools such as rakes. If you are looking to organize using limited or no funds, use straight nails for hanging rakes, hoes, shovels and almost everything in the shed. Have some fun seeing how many tools you can actually hang for storage.

Hang one bag on another hook or nail to hold your digging and planting tools and a separate one for your garden gloves. Cloth grocery bags, made from recycled plastic bags and readily available in stores, are a great storage tool. Label with a permanent marker or bright fabric paint. An alternative to hanging gloves and hand tools is to repurpose a wooden winerack as a tool rack.

Items that are used on a daily basis or frequently during the week can be stored near the door on easy hooks or readily accessible shelves. Think secateurs for deadheading roses, trowel for pulling or upending weeds. Keep your garden gloves on the same shelf or hook beside – your tools are easy to grab for a quick 10 minutes of deadheading flowers each day.

Step 4 – Hide the Seeds from Wannabe Snackers!

Rodents and small animals would be delighted if you would just leave all those seeds out where they can help themselves. Let the squirrels find their own nuts and pack up the seeds to limit their scent and make it hard for animals to get access. Seeds that are stored in a plaster or metal box will be out of temptation’s way if rodents are a regular visitor to your shed. This is especially true of grass seed.

Step 5 – Keep Solutions Legal and Out of Reach

Review your solution bottles and know your pesticide by-laws. Many, if not all, jurisdictions have outlawed the use of pesticides. Check with your municipality to see where you can take the pesticides for disposal. Then check out your local garden centre to find an environmentally friendly alternative.

Even environmentally friendly products must be kept out of reach of children. Make sure your organized garden shed includes shelves high enough that curious children can’t get into solutions, anti-fungal products and plant food. Garden shed shelves, like tool hanging devices, can be expensive and fancy or inexpensive and simple. Most home supply stores carry industrial shelving of various sizes and strengths. Make sure to check the weight capacity, usually listed on packaging by individual shelf. If your shed is metal or plastic, you may be limited to commercial standalone shelves. With a wood shed, simple shelves can be constructed between the joists.

Step 6 – Use your Organized Garden Shed

An organized garden shed is easy to use and supports your interests in the garden. Try taking your shed for a test run. Can you easily find the tools you need? Can you just as easily put them away? Are your daily use tools where you can get at them? Are the seeds safely sealed away from intruders? Have you kept only what you use and what you need?

Last step – as always, enjoy the fruits of your labours and the bounty of your garden.

Carolyn Caldwell is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Altered Organization in Toronto, as well as being a mentor for professional organizers. You can contact her at 647-505-2256 or by email.